Fortune finds Lions in finals

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 8, 2004

Fortune frowned, then smiled, on the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Saturday afternoon. In the end, though, the Mountain Lions were all smiles on their way to an 8-6 victory over the St. Mary's Lady Rattlers and a shot at the championship game of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Softball Tournament.

With the scored tied at six in the seventh inning, Brenna Pool drilled a double down the left field line that easily scored Charlene Berg. The ball, however, got stuck in the fence and Berg was forced to return to third on the ground-rule double. It seemed as if the fates were against CU-Colorado Springs (39-12) when the next two batters were retired.

Then, fortune changed its mind.

Sonia Reyes hit a bloop single that barely reached the grass beyond first base. The ball then corkscrewed and dribbled to the fence behind first base. By the time St. Mary's (46-12) could recover the ball both Berg and Pool had scored.

Amber Colton (20-7) mowed down the Lady Rattlers in the bottom half of the inning, earning her fourth victory of the tournament and sending the Mountain Lions to face Angelo State in the finals. Since the Mountain Lions came through the loser's bracket, they must beat Angelo State twice without losing to take the title and the berth to nationals that goes with it.

For a while, it looked like CU-Colorado Springs was going to get Kling wrapped.

Kym Kling drove in three runs, giving her eight in two games against CU-Colorado Springs.

She and St. Mary's rallied for four runs in the bottom of the third. Teri Moreno walked, went to second on an infield single by Pam Salinas, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tiffani Craft. She scored on Kristin Simmons' suicide squeeze. Salinas followed her home on an infield single by Veronica Garcia. The bases were loaded on throwing error by Jennifer Dykstra, bringing up Kling, who had two home runs, including a grand slam, in Thursday's game. Kling added to the Mountain Lions' misery with a two-run single up the middle to make it 4-0.

CU-Colorado Springs not only climbed back into the game, but into the lead, in the fifth inning. Charlene Berg battled back from an 0-2 count to draw an inning-opening walk off of St. Mary's starter Brittny Ernst (7-2), then advanced to third on a double by Pool. One out later, both scored on a double by Kara Rainey. Consecutive walks by Reyes and Brittni Carlson loaded the bases, but Crystal Krebs' fly out wasn't deep enough to score Rainey from third.

Rainey did score, though, when Lindsay Shandera was hit by a pitch. Two more runs scored on Jennifer Dykstra's single.

Kling delivered again in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single to tie the game. She scored the go-ahead run later in the inning when Salinas' vicious line drive nearly tore the glove off of third baseman Reyes' hand.

But the Mountain Lions wouldn't fold. Rainey reached on a fielder's choice in the sixth, then Reyes singled. Carlson tied the game with a single to center field.

An inning later, fortune made its appearance.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFSo.
Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFJr.
Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFSr.
Amber ColtonAmber Colton2PSo.
Amber ColtonAmber Colton2PJr.
Amber ColtonAmber Colton2PSr.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSSo.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSJr.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSSr.
Kara RaineyKara Rainey21IFSo.
Kara RaineyKara Rainey21IFJr.
Kara RaineyKara Rainey212BSr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32IFFr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson321BSo.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFJr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFSR.
Crystal KrebsCrystal Krebs22IFJr.
Crystal KrebsCrystal Krebs22CSr.
Brenna PoolBrenna Pool9IF/PJr.
Brenna PoolBrenna Pool9P/OFSr.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BJr.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes13IFSo.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BSR
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