Krebs Breaks Record in Sweep of Regis
COLORADO SPRINGS â€" Crystal Krebs hit three home runs to break the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs single-season school record and lead the Mountain Lions to a 10-2, 6-5 sweep of the Regis Rangers in Saturdayâ€TMs doubleheader at Mountain Lion Field.
Krebs now has 20 homers this season, breaking her own record of 19 set last season. UCCS (22-12, 17-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) has a minimum of 14 games remaining, weather permitting, for Krebs to make her run at the NCAA Division II national record of 26, set by Wisconsin-Parksideâ€TMs Jackie Aiken in 1995. Krebs is also hitting 0.58 home runs per game, well ahead of the national record of 0.47 held by Megan Trimble of the University of Sciences in Philadelphia.
â€œItâ€TMs great that I (broke the record), but I try not to think about it,â€ said Krebs. â€œI just try to hit everything hard. If it goes, it goes. If not, it could be a base hit.â€
All three home runs were hit despite Regis pitchers making every attempt to keep the ball out of the strike zone. Krebs, though, has become so adept at hitting pitches out of the zone that sheâ€TMs very difficult to pitch around.
â€œIt doesnâ€TMt matter (where the pitch is),â€ said Krebs. â€œI try to see the ball and take my hands to the ball wherever itâ€TMs at.â€
But donâ€TMt let the senior from Loveland, Colo., fool you. Krebs has become the most feared hitter in all of NCAA Division II as much through hard work as talent.
â€œI try to work on my weaknesses,â€ said Krebs.
And an improved Krebs is a frightening thought for opposing pitchers.
â€œI feel like Iâ€TMm a lot stronger this season, both mentally and physically,â€ said Krebs. â€œI still have the possibility of getting more (home runs).â€
But it was an RBI single, not a home run, that Krebs opened the scoring with in the first inning of the first game Saturday. After the Mountain Lions added an unearned run in the second, Lindsay Shandera and Krebs hit back-to-back bombs and Sarah Cleland added a sacrifice fly in the third inning to give UCCS a 5-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Krebs added a three-run homer to give the Mountain Lions an 8-1 advantage. After Regis (25-8, 21-4 RMAC) made the score 8-2, Shandera belted a two-run double in the sixth to end the game by way of the NCAAâ€TMs eight-run mercy rule.
Amber Colton (13-2) allowed only two balls to leave the infield in tossing a complete-game six hitter. The senior from Loveland, Colo., struck out ten.
Kaitlyn Gentert (13-5) took the loss. Eight of the Mountain Lionsâ€TM 12 hits went for extra bases.
Game 2 was a much closer affair, however. Amy Tarnoff gave the Rangers an early lead with a two-run single in the first inning. UCCS answered with another 3-run dinger by Krebs in the bottom half of the inning.
Regis grabbed a 5-3 lead in the third inning when Michelle Johnston belted a two-run homer and Tarnoff added a solo shot. Again, UCCS was able to answer in the bottom half of the inning when Jennifer Dykstra belted a two-run homer after Regis starter Nicole Breeding (12-3) intentionally walked Krebs.
From that point, Breeding was outstanding, mowing down nine straight batters. Again, though, the Mountain Lions were able to answer as Amanda Ritchie (2-3) relieved starter Brenna Pool and threw 4 1/3 scoreless, albeit adventuresome, innings. Ritchie, one of the hardest throwers in the RMAC, allowed three hits and four walks but left all of the runners stranded.
Despite striking out six batters, Ritchieâ€TMs goal was simply to get the ball over the plate and let her teammates take care of the rest.
â€œI want them to swing,â€ said Ritchie. â€œI have all the confidence in the world in our defense. I know theyâ€TMll get the job done if I put the ball over the plate. I think every infielder made a play today.â€
It was the best outing of the season for the junior from Machesney Park, Ill., who transferred to UCCS from Division I Illinois-Chicago.
â€œMy mechanics were all there, my mental game was there,â€ said Ritchie. â€œI just all-around felt smooth.â€
Smooth is a good way to explain the Mountain Lions in the bottom of the seventh inning. After relying on the long ball all day, UCCS manufactured the game-winner.
Anna Berngard singled, went to second on Sarah Wodniakâ€TMs hit-and-run ground out, then to third on Kara Raineyâ€TMs single. Charlene Berg delivered a pinch-hit sacrifice fly.
â€œI was ready to do what I needed to do for the team,â€ said Berg, who also belted a double in the first game. â€œI couldnâ€TMt have done it if (my teammates) hadnâ€TMt gotten their jobs done.â€
Breeding got ahead 0-2 in the count, then called on her bread-and-butter, the RMACâ€TMs nastiest changeup, looking for the strikeout. Berg was ready.
â€œIt was pretty much right down the middle,â€ said Berg. â€œI was looking for the changeup. Itâ€TMs my favorite pitch.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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