RALEIGH, NC- Late heroics by the Rams propelled Winston-Salem University to their eighth CIAA Championship in program history with a 5-4 win over Chowan University on Saturday afternoon. The Rams advance to the NCAA Atlantic Region Tournament with the win carrying a 30-21 record. The Hawks end the season with a 29-14 mark.
Chowan struck first in the contest using an RBI single by Kris Neal in the first. The Rams promptly answered back in the home half of the frame when Destiny Snipes knocked a base-hit up the middle to score Mercedes Hargett.
With the score tied 1-1, Katherine Zimmer laced a triple to score Melissa Carillo and scored on a Hawk error to give Winston-Salem State a 3-1 lead in the third. In the fifth, Tori Cragan's single for Chowan allowed Rachel Clark to score but Hargett worked out of a bases-loaded jam to hold the Hawks at-bay.
Trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Tina White led off the seventh with a solo homerun to center to knot the score 3-3. Neal answered the call for the Hawks in the same frame with a triple to score Haley Cooper, sending Chowan ahead 4-3.
In the Rams' final at-bat, Hargett hit an RBI single to set the stage for Rebecca Demko, who capitalized on a bases-loaded situation and knocked a single to left to propel Winston-Salem State to the 5-4 walk-off win.
Hargett, Snipes, and Zimmer each recorded two hits and one RBI in the win for Winston-Salem State. Hargett picked up the win on the mound, surrendering 10 hits in seven innings of work while recording nine strikeouts en-route to earning CIAA All-Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Neal paced the Hawks with four hits and two RBI in the setback. Cragan and Cooper each notched two hits for the Chowan Blue and White. Kayla Robins took the loss on the mound. She allowed five runs off of nine hits while striking out three.
The NCAA Selection Show is slated for May 2nd at 10am.
The CIAA All-Tournament Team
Tournament MVP #33 Mercedes Hargett - WSSU
Jaelyn Belt- Bowie State University
Haley Cooper- Chowan University
Rebecca Demco- Winston-Salem State University
Mercedes Hargett- Winston-Salem State University
Idaysha Quinones- Winston-Salem State University
Kris Neal- Chowan University
Kayla Robins- Chowan University
Cameryn Smith- Virginia State University
Danielle Watt- Bowie State University
Alex Wickham- Fayetteville State University
CIAA Tournament MVP – Mercedes Hargett