Cleveland has been waiting for a few hits to string themselves together all season. The Rams and their hits finally got themselves together in a big way Wednesday night.
Cleveland had a pair of four-run frames and downed non-conference rival Garner 11-1 to get to 2-2 on the season.
“It’s the first time we’ve gotten all of our bats going at the same time,” said Cleveland coach Samantha Coats. “Now the challenge is to keep it going. Hiting can be contagious and that’s what we’re looking for.”
Senior captain Alliyah Sands got the Rams’ first big hit of the night, a bases-loaded two-run single in the top of the third. Marua Mangum followed with a slicing single into right field to bring home two more Cleveland base runners for a 4-0 lead.
An inning later, the Rams loaded the bases again on singles by Jodi Morgan and Becca Straka sandwiched around Alexis Ivey’s walk. Julia Wiggs followed with a two-RBI single to up the lead to six runs. Run-scoring singles from Mangum and Ali Papworth ran the Ram advantage to 8-0.
Garner (0-3) got its run in the fifth when Cheyenne Champion laced an RBI double.
Cleveland junior pitcher Taylor Drayton worked the first five innings before giving way to Wiggs. Drayton is continuing to make her comeback from a knee injury. She gave up three hits in her five innings of work and the earned run.
“There’s no question Tayor adds a different dymanic when she’s on the field,” Coats said. “And we like having Julia as that other option to give teams something else to get used to from the mound.”
Cleveland completed its scoring on a RBI double from Morgan in the sixth and the RBI double from Sands and a RBI single from Mangum in the top of the seventh.
Mangum was 3-for-4 with four RBIs on the night.