RALEIGH, N.C. – The Shaw University softball team gave the undefeated Claflin University Lady Panthers (16-0 CIAA) all they could handle before falling 13-3 and 13-2 in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Assoication (CIAA) Southern Division doubleheader at Worthdale Park Sunday afternoon on Senior Day.
The Lady Bears recognized five seniors, Raquel Kellow (Conroe, TX), Alex Masnica (Chicago, IL), Kiana Rogers (Fort Atkinson, WI), Taija Bailey (Greensboro, NC) and Christine Ngeve (Greensboro, NC) after the completion of game one.
Shaw (3-11, 3-9 CIAA) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Masnica doubled to left field for the games first RBI, bringing home Ngeve. Claflin (30-13) got the on the scoreboard in the third when LaKaylin Lee tripled to centerfield to allow Marion Goins to score but the Lady Bears matched with a run of its own led by a single from Masnica that led to a Bailey scoring and 2-1 lead after three complete innings.
Stifling defense by the Lady Bears held the Lady Panthers scoreless in the fourth as Shaw then took a 3-1 lead after capitalizing on a miscue for Claflin when freshman Joan Wendt (Jacksonville, NC) scored on a wild pitch.
Momentum shifted for both teams in the fifth, Claflin plated three runs in the top to tie the contest at 3-3 before gathering nine runs on eight hits to take a commanding 13-3 lead as Shaw was unable to revamp for a comeback.
Masnica would lead the offense in game one, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI's. Wendt would take the loss in the circle, allowing 12 hits, walking four and striking out one of 38 batters faced.
In the nightcap, the Lady Panthers got on the scoreboard first with a single to left field from Kayla Cato, allowing Kadasia Damon to score. But things took a turn for Shaw in the second as the Lady Bears offensive spark diminished compared Claflin who managed to plate six runs to go ahead 7-0 over Shaw heading into the third inning.
Shaw earned its first run of game two on a single to right center from Bailey, bringing home freshman Victoria Ortiz (Tucson, AZ) but the Lady Panthers then plastered four runs in the top of the fourth that featured a triple from Kyra Shuler for a 10-2 spread over Shaw.
The Lady Bears added one more run in the fourth as Rogers scored on a passed ball but unfortunately, the large deficit proved to be too much for a Shaw's comeback. Claflin scored its final run unearned to put the stamp on the victory against Shaw.
Shaw accounted for just three hits in game two led by Bailey who finished 1-of-3 at bat and an RBI. Wendt concluded the day with her second loss on the mound (3-11), allowing 14 hits, walking four and striking out one.
The Lady Bears will return to action Tuesday, Apr. 9 for a makeup contest against Meredith College in a nonconference doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. at Wortdale Park.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit shawbears.com.