On what was supposed to be a joy-filled home opening day, the Lady Rattlers fell to the Mercer Bears 0-4 and 2-11.
On Wednesday night, a large and energetic crowd gathered at Florida A&M’s softball field to honor six Lady Rattlers from the graduating class of 2017. The banner signified the women’s academic and athletic excellence that translated into a four-year MEAC championship streak. Portrayed on the banner are Denise Anderson, Whitney Farris, Amber Fullwood, Miesha McBride, Kenya Pereira and Tashayla Irvis.
Toni Anderson, a senior infielder, is a younger sister to one of the women honored in the banner reveal.
“I truly think they deserve it. My sister is on there so I was pretty excited for her to make it.” said Anderson.
After the reveal, the Lady Rattlers quickly got off to a rough start in their first home game of the season, a double-header against Mercer University. Mercer scored one point in the first inning and was able to keep FAMU at a standstill for the rest of the seven innings.
FAMU had several “three up, three out” innings where no one was able to make it on base. Mercer capitalized off of FAMU’s small but costly mistakes in the infield which allowed Mercer to get on base multiple times leading to runs. The first game ended in a 0-3 loss.
In the second game, the Lady Rattlers came out with renewed energy headed by Senior pitcher Veronica Burse. However, they were unable to maintain their drive as Mercer ended the first inning with a 0-4 lead.
FAMU fought hard to get on base and score but was unsuccessful until the sixth inning when Taylor Rosier, a Junior infield player, managed a big hit to left field followed by another almost identical hit from Anderson, bringing in two runs for FAMU. The final game ended in a 2-11 loss.
“When they give us opportunities such as outs and walks we need to capitalize on them” said Assistant Coach Constance Orr when asked about improvements the team can make moving forward into the season. The coaches are hopeful for a very successful season as they integrate 12 new players to their 2017-2018 roster.
Mackenzie Woodard, a Junior catcher, emphasized the connection of the 12 new team mates.
“It’s actually been really easy. I’ve played two or three of the new girls prior to being on this team. We click very well and they are ready to go out there and get it. I respect that and really like that from those 12 new girls”
It is clear that the 2017-2018 Lady Rattlers have a long season ahead of them with not only energy and enthusiasm to carry them through it, but a legacy as well.
Their next game is Friday Feb. 23 against Morehead State in the Kennesaw State Tournament which will be held in Kennesaw, Ga.