Cleland Slam Helps UCCS Avoid Sweep

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 6, 2005

Freshman Sarah Cleland hit a walk-off grand slam to give the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs a 10-9 victory in the first game of Sundayâ€TMs doubleheader and avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Fort Hays State Tigers.

Clelandâ€TMs slam capped a six-run seventh inning and ended a four-game losing streak for the Mountain Lions.

“I didnâ€TMt even know (the homer) won the game,” said Cleland. “I was just so excited.”

Fort Hays State (10-4, 7-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) came back to win the nightcap 8-4 as the Tigers took three of the four games played this weekend against No. 7 UCCS.

A three-run homer by Trista Leiker and two-run shots by Emily Askins and Lindsey Boyer helped stake the Tigers to a 9-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 1.

Sarah Wodniak singled and Kara Rainey and Brittni Carlson walked to load the bases. Lindsey Shandera hit a two-run single to cut the deficit to 9-6. After Crystal Krebs was intentionally walked, Tigersâ€TM pitcher Kelsey Roberts (1-2) induced an infield popup from Jennifer Dykstra for the inningâ€TMs first out. With the count 1-2, Cleland fouled off a couple of pitches before finding one she liked, a fastball at the knees, and deposited it well beyond the left field fence.

“I was up there shaking,” said Cleland. “I kept fouling them off until I finally got my pitch.”

Sandra Reyes (1-0) pitched one inning of scoreless relief to get the win in her first appearance at UCCS (2-5, 1-3 RMAC).

Boyer and Ashley McClellan both homered in Game 2 as Fort Hays State roughed up UCCS freshman pitcher Kaliegh Beekman (0-2) for six runs (three earned) and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings. For the series, the Tigers scored 31 runs against Mountain Lion pitchers.

“Three weeks ago, the pitching seemed to be way ahead of the hitting,” said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. “Then we had a scrimmage where the hitting tore up the pitching and the pitching hasnâ€TMt come back since.

“We have good pitching. They have good hitters.”

Thatâ€TMs for sure. Askins went 6-for-14 with three home runs and seven RBIs, while leadoff batter Heather Hitschmann went 9-for-18.

“Thatâ€TMs a good team, holy smokes,” said Peterson. “The leadoff hitter killed us all weekend.”

Krebs hit her third homer of the series in Game 2, a two-run shot in the first inning off Tigers starter Brittany Parker (4-2).

“The series) showed us what we need to work on still and what we need to do to come together as a team,” said Krebs. “I would hate for us to peak this early.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSSo.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSJr.
Jennifer DykstraJennifer Dykstra10SSSr.
Sarah WodniakSarah Wodniak24OFJr.
Sarah WodniakSarah Wodniak24OFSo.
Sarah WodniakSarah Wodniak24OFSr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32IFFr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson321BSo.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFJr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFSR.
Sandra ReyesSandra Reyes11PJr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14CJr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
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