Colton No-Hitter, Slam Lead to Sweep
Amber Colton pitched the third no-hitter in University of Colorado at Colorado Springs history and belted a grand slam to spur the Mountain Lions to a 9-0 victory over the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers in the first game of Sundayâ€TMs doubleheader. UCCS won the second game 5-3 to complete the Sunday sweep and finish the four-game set with a 3-1 record.
Colton (8-2) came within one batter of throwing the first perfect game in school history. She hit Sarah Raymond with a pitch in the fifth inning, the Lopersâ€TM only baserunner.
Colton said she relied heavily on her drop ball and changeup, but a pitch that that was less sharp may have caused Nebraska-Kearney 7-20, 7-15 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) even more trouble.
â€œMy curveballs were rising today and (the Lopers) were swinging at the high pitches,â€ said Colton, who struck out eight in her six innings. â€œIâ€TMd rather have (pitches) do that than be flat.â€
Making Coltonâ€TMs accomplishment all the more impressive was that she was physically below 100 percent. The senior from Loveland had scoliosis as a child and has struggled with chronic back problems ever since.
â€œHonestly, I wasnâ€TMt feeling very good today. My back was a little sore,â€ said Colton. â€œBut I had so much adrenaline because of how we were hitting and how we were playing.â€
And hit they did.
After being held to one hit over the first three innings by UNK starter Kristy Roethemeyer (3-9), the Mountain Lions (14-12, 8-7 RMAC) broke loose in the fourth. Brianna Workman and Lindsay Shandera singled before Crystal Krebs walked to load the bases. Brittni Carlson singled home UCCSâ€TM first run and, one out later, Sarah Cleland singled home another. Colton followed with her grand slam to center field.
Colton came through despite it being only her seventh at bat of the season â€" another limitation of her back problems.
â€œThe twisting hurts it,â€ said Colton. â€œItâ€TMs just something Iâ€TMve had to learn to deal with.â€
Sarah Wodniak scored on a wild pitch, Amanda Ritchie hit am RBI ground out and Krebs belted a solo home run in the sixth to put UCCS above the eight-run lead required by the NCAAâ€TMs mercy rule. Nebraska-Kearney went down in order in the bottom half of the inning to end the game.
Brenna Pool (3-4) threw a six hitter in the second game to complete the sweep.
The Mountain Lions took the lead in the second inning on a Ritchie RBI ground out, but Nebraska-Kearney answered with two runs on four hits in the bottom half of the inning.
In the third, Carlson hit an RBI double and Krebs followed with a two-run homer to put UCCS back into the lead. The Lopers cut that lead to 4-3 on an Amanda Hitt home run in the sixth, but Carlsonâ€TMs RBI single in the top of the seventh provided the answer for the Mountain Lions.
Megan Cushman went 2-for-3 for UCCS. Dykstra, Carlson and Krebs each also had two hits as the four accounted for all eight of the Mountain Lionsâ€TM hits in Game 2.
Coming off Saturdayâ€TMs disappointing split with the Lopers, UCCS coach Scott Peterson was uncharacteristically hard on his team prior to Sundayâ€TMs games.
â€œI let them have it,â€ said Peterson, who is exuberantly optimistic by nature. â€œWe told them it was time to turn up the intensity. No more just going through the motions just expecting things to happen.
â€œWe have the talent, but we canâ€TMt expect to get by on the talent alone. We had 100 percent focus today.â€
The Mountain Lions hope that Sunday was a big step towards getting them back to the dominance they expect of themselves.
â€œIt was kind of a big weekend for us,â€ said Krebs, who now has a .464 batting average with 14 home runs. â€œWeâ€TMre just looking to step it up a notch.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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