Lady Panthers Split Season Series With Talladega
Talladega, Ala.—For the second time in just under two weeks the Clark Atlanta University Lady Panthers took the field with the Talladega College Tornadoes, and much like in their first meeting, split the doubleheader with their regional foes. The Lady Panthers dropped the first game of the day by an 8-4 score, but rebounded with a big 9-5 in the series finale, giving both teams a 2-2 record for the season series.
Clark Atlanta started out the offense for the day with the first run of game one in the top of the first inning, thanks to a Tamera Green run off of an error. However, the tide would quickly change for the Lady Panthers as Talladega would score the next eight runs over the first four innings, including seven in the first two, to put CAU in a big hole early.
The Lady Panthers would not surrender though, plating one run in the top of the fifth inning, and another two in the top of the seventh, but it would not be enough to complete the comeback as they fell in the opening contest. Freshman Veranae Woods pitched a complete game in addition to getting two RBIs for CAU in the loss, with Green scoring two runs.
This was familiar circumstances for the Lady Panthers who dropped the first game of the previous series between the two, only to come back and win the second. Sharnitra Woods would give CAU an early 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run homerun in the top of the first inning, driving in Jessica Vason in the process. Those two would not be done, as they would go on to play a part in eight of the nine runs the team would score on the day.
Vason would later add a two-run homerun in the sixth inning to give her three hits and five RBIs in the game. S. Woods would add two hits and three RBIs and KaShaira Givens would pitch a complete game as the Lady Panthers never trailed in the contest.
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Softball Takes Series From Claflin
Atlanta, Ga.—Going into the weekend home series against Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) foe Claflin University, the Clark Atlanta University Panthers (8-27, 4-11 SIAC) softball team knew that they needed to win at least two games to keep their postseason hopes alive. The team wouldn't wait for all three games to get those two wins, as they won the first two games of the series on Saturday, 7-3 and 17-16, before dropping Sunday's contest 13-4.
Saturday, April 11th games seemed like they would never start, as the two teams watched as the start time kept getting pushed back due to wet field conditions, before finally getting started around 6 pm. The delays didn't seem to faze the Lady Panthers as they would jump on the visitors early, despite a home run from the first Claflin batter of the game, and a solid pitching performance from freshman Veranae Woods would shut CU's offense down in route to the victory. Five different players would record an RBI in the game, including Jessica Vason who added three this and two runs. V. Woods pitched a complete game for CAU in the victory.
Game two would see the two teams erupt for a combined 33 runs and 34 hits in a three-hour affair in which the home squad came away with the victory, thanks to Jolene Nazaire's walk off run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a V. Woods single. Claflin held a commanding lead for most of the game, before a nine run inning in the bottom of the sixth would catapult the Lady Panthers right back into the lead at 16-12, going into the final inning.
The top of the seventh inning would see the visiting team tie the game up once again at 16 as the clock approached midnight. After a KaShaira Givens single, Nazaire entered into the game to run for her and quickly advanced around the bases, before V. Woods would end the game for the home squad, while getting the win on the mound in relief as well. Givens would blast two home runs in the contest, finishing the day with five RBIs.
Sunday, April 12th game, which had originally been scheduled for Friday before the rains came, was Clark Atlanta's chance to send a message to the rest of the teams in the SIAC, but those plans did not work out how they hoped as they dropped the final contest. The Lady Panthers led the contest after the first inning, 4-3, thanks to a Sharnitra Woods three-run home run. V. Woods once again took the mound and pitched a complete game in the run-shortened affair, with sister S. Woods finishing with three RBI.
For more information, please log on to claratlantasports.com.
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Baseball Celebrates Seniors, Falls To Benedict
Atlanta, Ga.—The Clark Atlanta University Panthers baseball team took to Bill Evans Field for the last time this season this weekend, as they played host to Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) opponent Benedict College in a three-game series. Despite playing some of their best baseball of the season, the Panthers were unable to get a win as they dropped the three games, 9-4, 3-0, and 13-8.
The first game of the series was quite a bit closer than the 9-4 score might indicate, as the Panthers stuck right with the visiting Tigers. After three innings, CAU trailed just 2-1, and looked as though they might soon breakthrough. The fourth inning would be their downfall however, as BC plated four runs in the frame. Arias Smith would have an answer for the home squad in the bottom half of the inning, belting the team's first home run of the season over the left field wall, driving in Johnny Surry in the process. Despite the blast, the Tigers would use solid pitching and a few more runs over the final three innings to fend off the Panthers.
Game two featured a pitching duel with starter Jezreel Moore matching everything his counterpart did, only giving up five hits over the course of the game. The visitors would score the winning run in the second inning off of an error, before adding two more in the fifth, as the Panthers offense was only able to manage four hits in the game. Moore struck out three of the 28 batters he faced, while giving up just two walks.
The Panthers celebrated senior day on Sunday before the third and final game of the series, honoring seniors Derrick Lott, Deance' Wyatt and Marcus McDaniel for their contributions over the past four seasons. Unfortunately for the team, it looked like senior day would be a blowout as the visitors opened up a 12-0 lead after just four innings.
The seniors wanted no part of this in their final home game as they led the team on a furious comeback over the final five innings, including five runs in the eighth, but ultimately fell short in their attempt. Joseph Holmes pitched eight innings in the loss, with Malcolm Seabrooks driving in three runs. Wyatt went 4-for-4 in his final home game, scoring a run in addition to an RBI. Fellow senior McDaniel scored a run, with Lott getting two hits and pitching one shut-out inning in the contest.
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Track Teams Sprint Towards Conference Championships
Atlanta, Ga.—The Clark Atlanta University Panthers and Lady Panthers track and field teams shared a common goal with every other school in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) at the beginning of the year; win the SIAC championship.
The women's track and field squad enters into the conference meet as arguably the favorites, having won the Lion/Jaguar Track and Field Invitation earlier this season, co-hosted by fellow SIAC member Paine College. In addition to the overall team success, the squad boasts multiple student-athletes who rank in the top ten in the SIAC in their events, including some who rank nationally.
Of note for the Lady Panthers, senior Tabia Wade will be looking to defend her back-to-back heptathlon titles, and fellow senior Jerriyuana Jarboe will be looking to improve upon her second place finish in the 400m event from last season. Freshman Shahara Mitchell will look to control the throwing events for CAU, coming off an impressive first season which saw her shatter the Clark Atlanta school record in the shot put.
The men's track and field team has had a good year in their own right, and will look to make it a clean sweep for Clark Atlanta. The team, which has finished in the top ten on three occasions this season, will look to carry their momentum through the conference meet and right on into nationals.
One of the strongest performances this year has come from junior Collin Smith, who set a personal best in the long jump, a distance that almost has him qualified for nationals. Competing in the decathlon, Smith has also set personal bests in the 100m, high jump, shot put, discus and javelin events this season, while holding the team best score in six events. Tracy Ham, a junior from McDonough, Georgia, has controlled the distance runs for the Panthers, leading the team in four events.
It has been a busy week for the Panthers as they are preparing for the upcoming conference championships, as they also recognized their seniors on Sunday at the baseball game. Juan Cartledge, Patrick Pinson, Jr., Rita-Ashley Cunningham, Jerriyuana Jarboe, De'Aarianna Jones, Tabia Wade and Sydnie Williams were all honored for their years of service to Clark Atlanta University. These seniors will certainly be looking to end their CAU careers on a good note this weekend.
For updates on how the Panthers are doing, please log on to clarkatlatnasports.com.