Lady Rams win CIAA title
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 22:05
The Lady Rams (30-17, 15-1 CIAA) softball team repeated as CIAA champions April 21 when they shutout the Virginia State Lady Trojans (21-22, 12-4) 3-0 in the CIAA championship game.
The Lady Rams defeated the Lady Trojans on VSU’s home field in Ettrick, Va.
Britney Cato, a junior right hander from Las Vegas said that the win was expected.
“I have been there before as far as winning a championship,” Cato said.
“I was excited and had the confidence that the team would win the title.”
Nikki Lynch, a junior right-handed infielder from Wilmington said that the team did what they knew they were going to do.
“I feel like winning the conference is something that we should have done,” Lynch said.
“It is no surprise that we won. We have a lot of talent on this team.”
Lynch said that the championship was special but she really wanted to win it for the freshman on the team.
“It was very satisfying to help the freshman win a ring in their first year,” Lynch said.
Yasmin Lee, a sophomore transfer pitcher from Greensboro, said that winning the title gave vindication to the reasons she transferred.
“It felt good getting the win in the title game,” Lee said.
“Coach [Hilliard-Gray] said that it was my time and believed in me and my teammates backed me up.”
Lee is a transfer from Maryland Eastern Shore from the MEAC.
Lee was the starting pitcher for the championship game.
She said that the reason for her transferring was her relationship with the coaches at UMES.
“I didn’t like the coaches too much there,” Lee said.
“I wasn’t happy at all.”
With the conference tournament over, the Lady Rams are focusing their efforts on winning the national championship.
Cato said that she wants this team to be a history maker.
“We have an opportunity to become the first HBCU to win a game in regionals,” Cato said.
“Our ultimate goal is to win regionals.”
Cato had to fight back from a high ankle sprain that she suffered in a game against Johnson C. Smith April 5.
She wasn’t able to take the field, but she was able to hit as a designated hitter during the tournament.
“I wanted to take my time and make sure I didn’t further injure myself,” Cato said.
She said that she wants to play during the NCAA Tournament and knows that her injury will hamper her chances at playing well.
“I want to get out there and give it all for my team,” Cato said.
“But high ankle sprains take a long time to heal.”