TALLAHASSEE, FL (Feb. 21) – The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers (3-8, 0-0 MEAC) dropped a pair of games to the streaking Mercer Bears (8-2, 0-0 SoCon) in the home opening doubleheader at the FAMU Softball Complex.
In the first game, FAMU first baseman Toni Anderson garnered the only hit for the Rattlers, while the Bears carded 10 hits. Mercer, the leading team in batting average, slugging percentage and runs scored in the Southern Conference (SoCon), remained true to form shutting out the Rattlers 3-0.
“We knew they were tough. It is part of the reason we schedule teams like this in the early part of the season. What we need for our young ladies to bounce back is short-term memory,” said assistant coach Constance Orr.
Laurenne Sanchez led all hitters wth a 3-for-4 performance, scoring one run in the game. Meghan Rud continued her tear this season with two hits, while Megan Lane chipped in two hits as well.
Kyaira Brown went the distance for the Rattlers. She gave up two earned runs, walked two batters and struck out three.
The Rattlers were not dismayed by their performance. Head Coach Veronica Wiggins loads her early season schedule with top opponents in order to put her team through the trials of competition in order to find which players can handle the pressure of intense competition.
Orr feels the team is progressing, despite the two losses. “We saw spurts of how good we can be. Once we come together for a full seven innings, we shouldn’t have any problems,” Orr said.
Alexis Day feels the team is very close to being where they need to be. “I think that so far the season is on a good tract. With so many new players it’s pretty exciting to see what we can be once we come together,” Day said.
The sentiments were echoed by teammate Toni Anderson. “I just keep telling out team to just focus on one game at a time. It’s going to fall together. We can’t be discouraged by the top caliber teams we play at the beginning. It is all part of the process to get us ready to be the team we need to be for the MEAC,” Anderson said.
In the night cap, FAMU’s bats finally came to life. The Rattlers carded eight hits, though they weren’t strung together to make a big impact on the run production.
Jamesia Stoudemire had two hits, while six other Lady Rattlers got one hit each. Stoudemire would earn one RBI with her hits.
Veronica Burse started game two on the mound. She would go six and one-thirds innings, while Brown would card the final two outs on the mound.
Mercer’s Caroline Taylor took advantage of playing under the lights, clubbing two home runs and seven RBI in the second game. The Bears ended the evening with 12 hits and 11 RBI.
What’s next: The Lady Rattlers head up to Atlanta, Ga., to play in the Kennesaw Owls tournament this weekend.