On March 21, the Lady Rattlers lost a lopsided 10-1 decision to the same team at the Lady Rattlers Softball Complex. The Lady Rattlers didn't appear to put up much of a fight in the first game, but according to head coach Veronica Wiggins, tonight was different. "This is a good sign and we need to move forward from here on. We had to go through what we went through to get here. There is no short cut. Either you fall, or you grow. Tonight they showed they had heart," Wiggins said.
The Lady Rattlers got quality pitching from Ashleigh Minter, who went three and one-thirds innings. She allowed eight hits and five earned runs. She also had one strikeout in the 18 batters she faced.
Whitney Robinson pitched one and two-thirds innings in relief. She allowed only one hit and one walk in her stint on the mound. Jennifer Lindsey came in to close the game in the seventh inning, carding two hits in the four batters she faced.
Continuing to carry the hot bat for the Rattlers was Jasmine Donaldson, who got three hits in her four at-bats, scoring twice. She also had two put-outs and one assist. Donaldson's increased offense was not by accident. She credits the team's dependence on her to start things off with her focus on hitting. "I'm realizing that I am the tonesetter for the team. When they see me put the ball in play, it seems to get the team rallied up. It assures them that they can put bat on the ball too," Donaldson said.
Tera Gainer carded two hits in her four at-bats, scoring the final run for the Lady Rattlers. Alyssa Weaver, Whitney Robinson, Tenisha Dixon and Obie Roberson garnered one hit each to constitute the nine hits FAMU had in the game.
The Lady Seminoles were led by Kirstin Austin, who gathered two hits and scored twice. Kelly Hensley and Morgan Bullock garnered two hits each in the game.
On the mound, getting the win for FSU was Jessica Nori, who pitched five innings. She allowed three runs and carded two strikeouts in the 23 batters she faced. Lacey Waldrop came on in relief in the sixth inning. She allowed two hits and got six strikeouts.
Minter also felt that the Lady Rattlers are starting to gel. "I knew what was going to be asked of me, so I prepared all week. On top of good pitching comes good defense, so the combination worked well tonight. We've collected a lot of things that has helped us come together as one, so coming against tough competition doesn't affect us like it used to," Minter said.
The Lady Rattlers' starting roster is drastically different from last season, which somewhat explains the cohesive issues to start the season. It appears the team has bonded in time for a run at theMEAC championship. "Today we weren't worried about our opponent or the outcome. We just came out to play the game we love," Donaldson said.