Pool No-Hitter Highlights UCCS Sweep
For much of the past two seasons, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs pitchers Brenna Pool and Amber Colton have played a friendly game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do. On Sunday, Colton upped the ante by throwing a no-hitter at Nebraska-Kearney.
Friday, Pool had her answer.
Pool threw the fourth no-hitter in UCCS history â€" and the second in less than a week â€" as the Mountain Lions swept the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers 9-1 and 10-0.
Pool walked three and struck out two in notching a five-inning no-hitter that was halted because of the NCAAâ€TMs eight-run mercy rule.
â€œI wasnâ€TMt aware of (the no-hitter) until there were two outs (in the fifth inning),â€ said Pool. â€œThen I thought to myself, â€˜I donâ€TMt think they have any hits.â€TMâ€
Everybody else was intently aware of how close Pool was to one of softballâ€TMs most prized milestones. When Brittany McKenzie popped a foul towards the UCCS dugout, Mountain Lion Field went silent with the collective breath being held. Catcher Crystal Krebs got under it and, with third baseman Amanda Ritchie holding her glove near ground level just in case the ball slipped away, Krebs squeezed the ball with both hands for the final out.
â€œHonestly, I didnâ€TMt feel like this was my best game,â€ said Pool, â€œbut I must have been doing something right. My defense helped me out a lot.â€
Indeed they did. Lindsay Shandera snared a line drive in the first inning then stepped on first base for a double play. Jennifer Dykstra and Ritchie each nabbed a difficult liner.
The most impressive play, however, was turned in by Krebs in the fourth inning. Speedy Melissa Stratton nubbed a ball in front of the plate and got a good jump towards first. Krebs pounced on the ball and threw a laser that would have decapitated Kara Rainey, who was covering first on the play, had she not caught it. Stratton was out by half a step while players, coaches and fans looked at each other in disbelief.
The Mountain Lions hit four doubles in a four-run first inning to give Pool (4-4) a cushion in the second game of Fridayâ€TMs doubleheader. They added six runs in a four-home run third inning to put the game on ice.
â€œI donâ€TMt know how you explain all those home runs in one inning, holy cow,â€ said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. â€œWeâ€TMre hitting the ball very, very hard now. We work on it every day in practice.â€
Pool did the rest, using a mix of inside fastballs and change-ups away to keep the Orediggers (17-15, 6-10 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) off balance.
Colton (9-2) scattered five hits and struck out eight as UCCS (16-12, 10-7 RMAC) cruised on the opener.
Dykstra belted a two-run home run in the second inning to open the scoring. After a solo homer by Mines sophomore Brianne Brennan in the third, the Mountain Lions answered with a three-run shot by Krebs, her nation-leading 15th of the year, in the bottom half of the inning. Dykstra added a two-run single in the fifth.
â€œEverything we hit was hard today,â€ said Peterson.
One of those hitting hard was left fielder Brittni Carlson, who went 4-for-5 with a home run, four runs scored and two RBIs.
â€œI was feeling really good at the plate today,â€ said Carlson. â€œWhen weâ€TMre up by so much, I get in the box and feel more confident.â€
What made the Game 1 explosion even more impressive was that it came against Mines starter Melanie Mahoney (11-8), who came into the game sporting an RMAC-best 1.88 ERA. Mahoney, a transfer from Division I Colorado State, is the sister of former UCCS star Jennifer Mahoney.
â€œMelanieâ€TMs a great pitcher,â€ said Peterson. â€œWe know her fairly well. Our kids know her, they know what to expect.â€
Kim Kilmer (4-6) took the loss for Mines in Game 2.
Dykstra was another hitting star for UCCS, going 4-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. Rainey (4-for-6, HR, 3 RBI), Shandera (4-for-6, HR, 3 RBI) and Krebs (3-for-6, HR, 3 RBI) all hit well as the Mountain Lions accumulated 23 hits in only 10 innings.
â€œIt seemed like everybody was on today,â€ said Carlson. â€œIt sparks you to want to be on too.â€
Anything you can do â€¦
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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