Claflin softball
Photo: West Chester Athletics

Kutztown, Pa. – The Claflin University softball gave a valiant effort but came up short, dropping both games of the 2021 NCAA DII Softball Atlantic Regional. The Lady Panthers fell to West Chester University, 10-3, and to East Stroudsburg University (ESU) 5-1 in the elimination game.

With the losses, the Lady Panthers finish the season 8-3.

In the second game of the day, East Stroudsburg got on the scoreboard first. The Warriors used one hit and a Lady Panthers error in the bottom of the first to jump out to the 1-0 lead. The Warriors put up an additional run in the bottom of the second inning to take the 2-0 advantage.

Mercedes Howze led off the third inning with a single to the shortstop and subsequently scored off an RBI single to shortstop by Jaelyn Jackson to cut the deficit to one, 2-1. The Lady Panthers continued to threaten in third but left two runners stranded heading into the bottom of the inning.

Also read: Morgan State softball draws No. 1 Oklahoma in first NCAA tournament appearance

The fourth inning proved to be the game-changer for the ESU. In that inning, the Warriors forced Claflin into an untimely error to help increase their lead to three, 4-1. ESU put up two runs off one hit and one Lady Panther error.

The Warriors put up one additional run in the fifth while holding Claflin scoreless over the final four innings for the four-run win.

Jackson, who was the losing pitcher of record, had two hits with one RBI. Howze scored the lone run of game two.

In the opening game, Claflin got on the scoreboard first as Kadaisa Damon, who reached via an error, scored off Sametra Duck sac fly with one out in the top of the first.

The Lady Panthers tacked on its second run in the top of the third as Ashley Thomas scored after reaching base off a fielding error by the shortstop.

West Chester’s offense came to life in its half of the third, putting up three runs off four hits and one Claflin error to take a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth.

The Golden Rams picked up two more runs in the fourth to take a three-run lead, 5-2, heading into the sixth inning.

Jackson led off the sixth inning with a single to left field and advanced to third on an errant throw from the catcher that got past the first baseman. Jackson subsequently scored the Lady Panthers third run of the game off a single to left field by Chaston Huntly. Janell Brown grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning.

The Golden Rams added four runs in the sixth inning to take a 10-3 lead into the final innings.

Claflin could not put any runs on the board in the seventh, falling by the seven-run margin.

Chaston Huntly went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to lead the Lady Panthers at the plate. Bre’Zhay Chambers was the losing pitcher of record.

Courtesy: Claflin Athletics


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