Rams softball team looking to build on championship season

In her first season of college softball, Destiny Snipes made NCAA Division II All-Region and she was also a CIAA All-Rookie pick.

Rams softball team looking to build on championship season
May 26
06:30 2016

Photo by Craig T. Greenlee



Just because Winston-Salem State’s softball team has no departing seniors, it doesn’t mean recruiting is at a standstill. On the contrary, coach LaTaya Hilliard-Gray will continue to add new people to the fold, and for good reason.

The Rams, who have won two CIAA tournament titles over the last three years, will suffer heavy losses at the end of the 2017 season. The college careers of five seniors – which include a couple of All-CIAA players – will come to a close at that time.

“We’re always in recruiting mode,” said Gray. “And we’re looking to strengthen ourselves at all positions. We’ll bring in players to get them acclimated to our system. They will get some seasoning and benefit from what they learn from the seniors we have on board.”

Winston-Salem State (30-23) recently finished what proved to be a stellar season in which it advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Over the course of the season, the Rams struggled to maintain consistency. Coming down the final stretch of games, however, they peaked and played their best ball of the season.

“I was very pleased with our effort towards the end of the season,” said Gray. “Everyone embraced their roles and played to their individual strengths. During CIAA championship, they finally realized how successful they could be.”

The Rams’ marquee player, Mercedes Hargett, will return for her senior season. Hargett tossed a no-hitter in the conference tournament and finished the season with a 20-11 pitching record, 2.69 ERA and 6.4 strike-outs per game. At the plate, she was equally dominant with a .314 batting average, 29 RBIs and 7 home runs. Hargett is a two-time All-CIAA pick and was voted conference tournament MVP for this past season.

Hargett won’t have to carry this team on her shoulders. She has ample help from a veteran crew which features Chyna Riley, Rebecca Demko, Melissa Carillo, Katherine Zimmer and Idaysha Quinones (17 stolen bases).

Among the Rams’ new-comers, Destiny Snipes and Tiarra Delaney delivered in grand fashion. Snipes, (hit .297, 31 RBIs, 4 home runs, 10 stolen bases), made Division II All-Region and was a CIAA All-Rookie selection.

“I knew what Destiny was capable of when we recruited her,” said Gray. “Not only does she hit the long ball, but she has the kind of speed that really helps us on the base paths and in the outfield. We need to do more to help us take full advantage of her speed. Now it’s only a matter of her continuing to build on what she has already accomplished.”

Delaney turned out to be a major surprise for WSSU in her first season. The sophomore who transferred from South Carolina State finished strong with a .378 batting average and 21 RBIs.

“Tiarra was a big surprise,” said Gray. “She didn’t get much playing time at South Carolina State. But at the conference tournament, she was our designated player and she came through with some timely hits. As a hitter she’s developed the ability to move base runners and she’s able to get on base and make things happen.”

About Author

Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors