Softball earns split with No. 5-ranked Bakersfield
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball coach Scott Peterson summed it up best following his team's 6-2 victory over the No. 5-ranked Cal State-Bakersfield Roadrunners.
"This one proves we belong," said Peterson.
And belonging is a mighty good feeling for the Mountain Lions (17-8). The win secured a split of Wednesday's doubleheader against Cal State-Bakersfield (29-8) and gave voters something to ponder when they formulate next week's regional and national rankings.
"This is the biggest nonconference win we've had since I've been here," said Peterson, who is in his fourth season at CU-Colorado Springs.
But even that's an understatement. Wednesday's victory was the biggest nonconference win ever for CU-Colorado Springs softball - period.
Crystal Krebs belted two two-run homers and Charlene Berg added a third as the Mountain Lions roughed up Bakersfield starter Megan McDonough (4-1). CU-Colorado Springs starter Brenna Pool (8-4), meanwhile, worked out of several jams, allowing only two unearned runs against a team that entered the day hitting .331 despite competing in the very tough California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Krebs gave the Mountain Lions the early lead when she belted a mammoth shot to right field that also scored Kara Rainey.
Bakersfield answered with two runs of its own in the third inning. Pool retired the first two batters, but the small-ball Roadrunners got two runners on base by way of infield singles. The first scored on an error by Rainey, and the second came home on a single by Allison Amecuza.
The tie would be short-lived. Just three batters into the fourth inning, Berg homered to left center, which also brought home Lindsay Shandera.
Krebs added two more runs in the fifth, homering after a Jennifer Dykstra walk.
Pool took care of the rest. The junior allowed only two hits after the third inning, keeping the Roadrunners off balance by changing speeds and location.
What made the victory even more unlikely was how easily Bakersfield had handled CU-Colorado Springs in Game 1, which the Roadrunners won 9-0.
With starting pitcher Amber Colton (9-4) still suffering the effects of a foot injury sustained a day earlier, the Mountain Lions were forced to dodge enough bullets in the first three innings that they looked like Neo in another Matrix sequel. Still, Bakersfield could manage only a single run.
Even the special effects wizards couldn't save Colton and the Mountain Lions in the fourth inning, though.
The first six Roadrunners got hits and Bakersfield scored six times on eight hits. While Bakerfield didn't exactly tattoo the ball against the still-limping Colton, every chopper was an inch too high and every dribbler managed to find a hole.
The Roadrunners added two more runs in the top of the sixth. Pitcher Christie Hill held CU-Colorado Springs scoreless on six hits and a walk, and also put an end to Krebs' 14-game hitting streak.
But Game 1 was a faint memory in the afterglow of the Game 2 win.
"This one feels really good," said Peterson. "This is a very, very good team we beat."
And it was a very, very good team that beat them.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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