Lions face bad odds in Vegas

By Doug Fitzgerald published February 7, 2004

HENDERSON, Nev. - A very cold evening and a very hot pitcher combined to make for a very long Saturday for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as the Mountain Lions dropped a pair of games at the Las Vegas RMAC/Lone Star Classic.

What had been a temperate week turned cold, windy and very uncomfortable midday Saturday, a situation exasperated by several tournament games running long. By the time CU-Colorado Springs took the field, it was nearly two hours past the scheduled 4 p.m. start time. By the time the game started, the Mountain Lions had spent nearly four hours outdoors simply trying to stay warm.

"We were just sitting around here for a long time," said CU-Colorado Springs coach Scott Peterson. "We can't make excuses. We played horribly in the first game."

A lot of the "horrible" could be attributed to Incarnate Word pitcher Jennifer Reed, who did a masterful job of locating her pitches and changing speeds. Reed limited CU-Colorado Springs to only three baserunners (a hit, a walk and a hit batsman) while striking out 10 in a 4-0 Incarnate Word victory.

"(Reed) did a good job hitting her spots," said Peterson. "But we just didn't play real well. We were just flat."

Megan Cushman got the Mountain Lions only hit in the first game, then went 2-for-4 in the nightcap, a 4-2 loss to regional powerhouse Texas Woman's University. She also filled in admirably at catcher with starter Crystal Krebs out with an ankle injury. The freshman from Anchorage, Alaska, is emerging as one of the more pleasant surprises of the young season.

"We're totally shocked with Megan Cushman," said Peterson, who pointed out that in her native Alaska, Cushman got in far fewer games than players in other states. "She's been a very big surprise. For a kid who's inexperienced, she's done a very good job."

Brenna Pool was also outstanding, allowing only four runs (three earned) and eight hits against one of Division II's best hitting teams.

"Brenna did a nice job," said Peterson. "That's a good hitting club and we hung with them."

The Mountain Lions took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Cushman singled, advanced to second on a ground out, and scored on a Jennifer Dykstra single.

TWU tied the game in the bottom half of the inning, but CU-Colorado Springs regained the lead in the second when Sonia Reyes came home on a Cushman single. During the inning, the Pioneers lifted starting pitcher Crustal Hankel, replacing her with Lindsay Russ-Keller. CU-Colorado Springs would manage only three more hits the rest of the game.

TWU, meanwhile, again tied the game in the bottom of the second. The Pioneers added runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

"We played much better this game," said Peterson. "If we continue to play like that, we can go a long way."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSSo.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSJr.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSSr.
Crystal KrebsCrystal Krebs22IFJr.
Crystal KrebsCrystal Krebs22CSr.
Brenna PoolBrenna Pool9IF/PJr.
Brenna PoolBrenna Pool9P/OFSr.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes13IFSo.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BJr.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BSR
Megan CushmanMegan Cushman5OF/CFr.
Megan CushmanMegan Cushman5OF/CSo.
Megan CushmanMegan Cushman5OF/CSo.
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