March 12 was the final day of the softball's team spring trip to Florida which saw the Golden Rams drop two close games by scores of 4-3 in eight innings against NJCAA DI Crowder from Missouri and 7-3 against DII Lewis and Clark from Southern Illinois.
The first game saw Anoka-Ramsey face their toughest opponent and pitcher of the season. The Golden Rams were locked in an old-school pitchers duel with both pitchers consistently winning the battle with the hitters. The team trailed 0-1 heading into the top of the 7th when Ashley Stepaniak reached on a walk and Bailey Zenk laid down a perfect bunt single.
With runners on 1st and 2nd and one out, Chloe Vezies hit a single to right field to tie the game at 1-1. The Golden Rams held in the bottom of the 7th to force extra innings.
Anoka-Ramsey had a runner on 3rd with one out when Cleopatra Nystrom hit a rocket over the left center field fence to give the team a 3-1 lead and perhaps their biggest win in program history, but Crowder wouldn't quit. They answered with 3 runs of their own to squeak out the win. Sunny Strait pitched another tremendous game but was snake bitten again in defeat.
The final game of the day saw the Golden Rams face another outstanding pitcher. The team fell behind early 0-2, but managed to pitch out of jams and make huge defensive plays when needed. Then in the top of the 5th inning with runners on first and second with no one out, Strait hit her first collegiate bomb over the left field fence to give the team a 3-2 lead. However, this lead was short lived as Lewis and Clark scored five more times the next two innings to secure the win.
"Overall, I am quite pleased with how we played", said Head Coach Dave Alto. "The team got better every day against a very tough schedule. We made some mistakes but we learned from them and improved. I am excited to see where we go from here".
The Golden Rams finished their spring trip winless, 0-8, but this team has a promising next two months ahead. The team next returns to action on Friday, March 29, when they play three games in the Irish Dome against Hibbing, Riverland and MN West.