Krebs' Memorable Blasts Complete Mines Sweep
At Halloween, children are frightened by the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference pitchers are kept sleepless for fear of the Legend of Crystal Krebs.
The legend grew on Saturday.
Krebs hit a pair of memorable home runs â€" her nation-leading 16th and 17th of the season â€" and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs got two more strong pitching performances as the Mountain Lions defeated Colorado School of Mines 3-0 and 9-1 to complete a four-game sweep of the Orediggers.
â€œSheâ€TMs the most feared hitter in Division II,â€ said UCCS coach Scott Peterson of Krebs. â€œIf you give her anything she can hit, itâ€TMs gonna go.â€
Both of Krebsâ€TM shots came in the second game. The first was a two-run, fourth-inning bomb to left center that cleared not only the regulation fence, but also the slow-pitch fence beyond it. The 325-foot homer was the longest ever hit by a UCCS player.
â€œI was so focused â€" I was in a zone. I donâ€TMt think Iâ€TMve never been so focused when (Iâ€TMve been) up to bat,â€ said Krebs. â€œIt was right there and I swung as hard as I could.â€
"That was the longest home run I've ever seen," added Peterson.
The second came during a seven-run fifth inning. With two runs already in and two runners on, Mines coach Mark Roberts called for starting pitcher Melanie Mahoney to intentionally walk Krebs. Mahoneyâ€TMs first pitch was a little too close to the plate, though, and Krebs reached out and belted it beyond the center field fence.
â€œAnytime that anyoneâ€TMs intentionally walking me, if (the pitch) gets anywhere close, Iâ€TMm going to make them pay for it,â€ said Krebs. â€œIt was up and out and I just took it.â€
Charlene Berg led off the inning with solo homer to right. Two batters after Krebsâ€TM intentional-walk blast, Jennifer Dykstra forced the NCAAâ€TMs eight-run mercy rule into effect with a two-run shot.
â€œThe count was 3-0 and I was hoping that (Peterson) wasnâ€TMt going to give me the â€˜takeâ€TM sign,â€ said Dykstra. â€œI really wanted to hit it. I was hungry to get hits and get RBIs.â€
Brenna Pool (5-4) allowed two hits and no walks to get the win, a strong follow-up to her no-hitter on Friday.
But Saturday it was Amber Coltonâ€TMs turn to steal the pitching spotlight. The senior from Loveland threw a two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts in the opener to improve her season record to 10-2.
Itâ€TMs been the resurgence of the Mountain Lionsâ€TM pitching more than anything else thatâ€TMs spurred them to win their sixth straight game and 12th of their past 13. In her past five appearances, Pool has a 3-1 record with a 1.48 ERA. Colton is 4-0 with a 0.81 ERA in her past four starts.
â€œPhysically, neither one of them is at 100 percent right now, but theyâ€TMre gutting it out,â€ said Peterson. â€œTheyâ€TMre keeping the ball down and theyâ€TMre both really hitting their spots.â€
Both Peterson and assistant coach Tanya Ramsay said that there had been no change in approach for Pool and Colton.
â€œBrenna and Amber are both gamers,â€ said Ramsay. â€œTheyâ€TMre stepping up their game.â€
Lindsay Shandera homered in the first inning of the opener to give Colton the comfort of an early lead. UCCS added an unusual run in the second when, with Jodi Berghorn on first and Dykstra on third, Anna Berngard hit a foul ball towards the Ordiggersâ€TM dugout on the first-base side. First baseman Rissa Laubhan and catcher Andi Eickelman both gave chase, with Laubhan making a sprawling catch. In the confusion, however, nobody covered home, allowing Dykstra to alertly tag up and outrun Laubhan to the plate.
Brittni Carlson added an RBI single in the third inning.
For one weekend at least, the Mountain Lions looked like the team that earned a No. 7 national ranking in the preseason poll.
â€œAs a staff, weâ€TMve put pressure on them, saying â€˜you are this good and we expect you to be this goodâ€TM and theyâ€TMre stepping up,â€ said Ramsay. â€œTheyâ€TMre rising to the challenge.â€
All facets of UCCSâ€TM game were at their peak against Mines.
Mahoney (11-10) started both games Saturday and took both losses. The senior transfer from Division I Colorado State came into the weekend with an RMAC-best 1.88 ERA. She left Colorado Springs with it swollen to 2.53. The Mountain Lions hit .441 with 11 home runs for the series.
The Orediggers, who came into the weekend hitting .311, managed only nine hits in four games against UCCS pitching. Their only two runs came by way of two solo homers, both of which barely cleared the fence.
Defensively, the Mountain Lions were crisp. In the fourth inning of Saturdayâ€TMs opener, UCCS second baseman Kara Rainey robbed Mines of two hits with diving stops, on the second of which she nailed the runner at first with a 50-foot throw from her knees. The Mountain Lions committed only a single error the entire weekend.
â€œWe know that itâ€TMs the time of year when it can come down to one game and it can come down to one out,â€ said Dykstra. â€œWith our pitchers doing so good, we have to back them up.â€
And thatâ€TMs causing the rest of the RMAC to lose some sleep.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|May 19, 2005||Krebs signed by pro team||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs All-American catcher Crystal Krebs signed a contract Thursday with the Texas Thunder of National Pro Fastpitch.|
|May 12, 2005||Krebs named academic All-District||To the growing collection of awards and honors in Crystal Krebs' overstuffed trophy case, another was added Thursday. This one, though, was just a little different.|
|May 9, 2005||Krebs, Colton named RMAC Player and Pitcher of the year||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs seniors Crystal Krebs and Amber Colton were named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference's Player and Pitcher of the Year, the conference announced Tuesday.|
|May 7, 2005||Loss in RMAC title game ends season||A season of promise ended Saturday as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team was eliminated from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament.|
|May 6, 2005||Berg's clutch hit lifts Lions||Charlene Berg belted a two-run, game-winning double to left center in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the lethargic University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions to a 4-3 victory over Nebraska-Kearney in the second round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Friday.|