Softball wins school-record 10th straight
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team set a new team record by winning its 10th straight game after a two-game sweep of the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves Wednesday night at Pueblo.
The Mountain Lions (12-5, 11-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) won the opener 2-0, then took the nightcap 9-0 in five innings. CU-Colorado Springs has now had three of its past four games halted early because of the NCAA's eight-run mercy rule.
In Game 1, the Mountain Lions continued their happy tendency of getting big hits from unexpected sources. With Crystal Krebs on third and Jennifer Dykstra on second and one out, Lindsay Shandera ripped a two run single up the middle.
"I just knew that I had to get it done," said Shandera. "(Dykstra's) a quick baserunner and I knew that she would score if I got a hit."
Shandera, who was hitting .171 without an RBI less than a week ago, has gone 5-for-18 with four RBI over the past six games.
"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable at the plate," said Shandera. "The coaches have been working with me and I'm feeling like I'm hitting the ball a lot harder."
Amber Colton (7-2) made sure that Shandera's hit would be enough. After surrendering two hits in each of the first two innings, the junior from Loveland retired 15 of the next 17 CSU-Pueblo batters. The shutout lowered Colton's ERA to 1.92.
Brenna Pool (5-3) matched Colton's feat in Game 2. Pool allowed only four hits and didn't walk a batter in earning her second consecutive shutout. It was the Mountain Lions' third shutout in their past four games.
"I decided not to get ahead of myself and work on hitting my spots and keeping the ball low," said Pool. "I want to make (opposing batters) try to hit it instead of trying to overpower them. If I do my job, we get ground balls and the defense takes care of the rest."
She was right to trust her defense. CU-Colorado Springs committed only a single error Wednesday, and is fielding an outstanding .946 on the season.
While the defense was superb, it was the RMAC's top offense that really put on a show in the nightcap. The Mountain Lions, who are hitting a conference-best .326, scored three times in the first inning.
Kara Rainey and Sarah Wodniak opened the inning with singles. Krebs and Dykstra each hit one-out RBI singles. Krebs scored the third run of the inning when CSU-Pueblo (6-14, 3-9) shortstop Savanah Byers was unable to handle the ball during a Dykstra steal of second.
CU-Colorado Springs added two more runs in the second inning. Sonia Reyes, who went 3-for-3, doubled with one out and scored on a single by Rainey, who took second when catcher Maggie Livreri was unable to handle the throw home. An RBI single by Wodniak brought Rainey home.
Krebs added the exclamation point by leading off the fifth inning with a 265-foot home run to center. The Mountain Lions added three more runs in the inning on an RBI double by Pool and a two-run error by Byers.
Thunderwolves' pitcher Amy Renaldi (6-8) was saddled with both losses.
For assistant coaches Tanya Ramsay and Sarah Hirsch, who both starred for CSU-Pueblo (then known as Southern Colorado), Wednesday's sweep was particularly sweet.
"It's awesome," said Ramsay. "I have great memories here and to come back and get two strong wins is unbelievable. I'm so proud of the girls."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|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.|
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