Softball win's regional opener
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs infielders have a drill they do prior to each game. Assistant coach Tanya Ramsay hits imaginary balls that the Mountain Lions snag with an assortment of brilliant dives and lunges. It's a particularly appropriate exercise for a team that has been living a fantasy season in 2004.
But there was nothing imaginary about what the Mountain Lions did Thursday morning.
No. 4 seed CU-Colorado Springs pounded 16 hits to run-rule the No. 5 seed Midwestern State Lady Indians 9-1 in six innings in the opening game of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Softball Tournament. The Mountain Lions will face top-seed St. Mary's Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," said junior Sarah Wodniak, who arrived at CU-Colorado Springs with coach Scott Peterson's first recruiting class in 2002. "We went from where we started with 11 freshmen and now we're a very strong team. It feels amazing."
The Mountain Lions (36-11) opened the scoring with two outs in the first inning. Brittni Carlson, Crystal Krebs, Jennifer Dykstra and Lindsay Shandera hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back singles to put CU-Colorado Springs up 2-0.
Four more singles scored two more runs in the second inning as Brenna Pool, Wodniak, Kara Rainey and Carlson all got hits to chase Midwestern State (31-15) starter Brittany Willson (18-8).
"We came out the way we wanted to," said Peterson. "It seems like the last couple of games we've been waiting until the third or fourth inning to get going.
"Last night, we said "˜let's not wait around; let's score some runs right away.' We know we're a great hitting team. We scored four runs in the first two innings. That's what we wanted to do."
CU-Colorado Springs pitcher Amber Colton (18-6) didn't need much support. The junior from Fort Collins allowed one unearned run on six hits. She struck out 11 while not walking a better.
"With the humidity here, the ball's supposed to move a little more," said Colton, who also said her chronically aching back felt much better in the Texas heat. "I think my ball was breaking pretty good. I just felt good. I feel real loose."
Krebs added a two-out RBI single in the fourth against reliever Jenna Deweber. Sonia Reyes drew a walk, advanced to second when third baseman Aimee Duke couldn't handle a hard shot by Carlson, then scored on Krebs' rocket shot down the left field line.
Yet another two-out rally put the game out of reach. Pool singled, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. She went to third on a beautiful drag-bunt single by Wodniak. After Wodniak stole second, Rainey drilled a double to the fence in left center that scored both Pool and Wodniak.
The Mountain Lions ended the game in the sixth. Krebs and Dykstra singled before Shandera dove home Krebs. Two batters later, Pool doubled to score Dykstra.
Carlson and Krebs each went 3-for-4. Rainey, Shandera, Dykstra, Pool and Wodniak each had two hits.
Among the Mountain Lions only Krebs, who played in the Division I NCAA Tournament with Texas-Arlington, and Pool, who played in the Junior College World Series with Otero JC, had played in a game of this magnitude.
"For me, this means so much more," said Pool. "It's incredible to think that (CU-Colorado Springs) is one of the top teams in the nation."
It's beyond imagining.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|October 18, 2004||Renovation of softball field begins||The first step of what promises to be a major upgrade of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball facility began Monday when team members began painting the bleachers at what used to be Four-Diamonds Sports Complex's Red Field.|
|September 30, 2004||Fall ball shows that Lions are loaded||Collegiate softball's fall season operates much like pro football's preseason. The games don't count in the standings, so the primary goal is to evaluate talent for the upcoming spring season. After 17 games of evaluation, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs can be assured of one thing concerning its 2005 softball team.|
|June 2, 2004||Softball finishes 10th nationally||To the long string of firsts attained by the 2004 University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team, add one more.A Top-10 national ranking.The Mountain Lions finished the season ranked 10th in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II poll, which was released Wednesday. The NFCA is responsible for the official softball rankings of the NCAA.CU-Colorado Springs was unranked until the final poll. The Mountain Lions, however, gained national notice by knocking off three nationally ranked teams at the South Central regional tournament on their way to a second-place finish. That the South Central regional winner, Angelo State, went on to win the national championship also helped CU-Colorado Springs in the voting.|
|May 17, 2004||Powerful recruiting class bolsters Mountain Lions||If the coaches in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the Southwest Region thought the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' run to the RMAC title and the regional championship game was a one-time fluke, they'll need to reevaluate that assessment. Not only did the Mountain Lions graduate no seniors, but they also will get back a star pitcher and have signed one of the strongest recruiting classes in school history.|