Top, bottom of order shine in sweep of Fort Lewis
DURANGO - Kara Rainey and Brianna Workman had six hits each and Charlene Berg belted two home runs to lift the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a doubleheader sweep of the Fort Lewis Skyhawks Saturday at Aspen Field. The Mountain Lions were pushed to extra innings in the opener, taking nine innings to win 4-2. They won the nightcap 8-1.
That Rainey and Workman, who hit Nos. 1 and 2 in the lineup, and Berg, who hits in the nine hole, came up big was an exciting development for a team that has often leaned heavily this season on its 3-6 hitters, Lindsey Shandera, Crystal Krebs, Brittni Carlson and Jennifer Dykstra.
"It's great to see different players step up and do it," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson.
It was particularly great in Saturday's first game, which was a classic pitcher's duel between UCCS' Amber Colton (15-3) and Fort Lewis' Cassidy Maine (10-12).
Through six innings, Fort Lewis held a 1-0 lead on a Liz Tarnowski sacrifice fly. The Mountain Lions had managed only three hits against Maine, who came into the game ranked fourth in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in ERA.
"(Maine) threw a great game; I think we know why her ERA is so low," said Peterson. "We were waiting for the big hit to blow it open and we didn't get it. We didn't adjust."
And they didn't adjust until the seventh inning, when Dykstra belted a one-out homer to tie the game.
The Mountain Lions had the perfect situation in the eighth inning, loading the bases with no outs and the heart of the order due up. But Krebs popped up, and Carlson and Dykstra struck out to end the threat. It was difficult for Peterson to watch a golden opportunity wasted.
"(The feeling) was more frustration than anything," said Peterson. "It wasn't panic because Amber was throwing great. When Amber gets like that she refuses to lose."
Undaunted, Colton retired the Skyhawks in order in the bottom half of the inning. The senior from Loveland scattered five hits and struck out eight to keep UCCS in the game. Her tenacity would be rewarded in the ninth inning.
Anna Berngard led off with a walk and went to second on Jodi Berghorn's sacrifice bunt. Berg stepped up and belted an 0-2 pitch over left fielder Cortney Kayl's head for an RBI double. Rainey and Workman added doubles to make the score 4-1.
"It was great to have the bottom of the order do something today," said Peterson. "We had kids who hadn't been in that situation get it done today. That was very comforting."
Carlson's 20-game hitting streak was ended as the junior from Erie, Colo., went 0-for-4.
Game 2 was a much different story. UCCS pounded 18 hits, including two home runs by Berg and another by Krebs, and tied a school record with six stolen bases to complete the sweep.
"I didn't know we had a record," said Peterson. "We were just trying to get runners in scoring position. Everybody knows we're not a big bunting team, so to get runners in scoring position we steal bases."
UCCS starting pitcher Brenna Pool (7-4) was outstanding, allowing only one unearned run on four hits.
Every UCCS starter had at least one hit and seven of them had two or more. One of those was Berg, who went 2-for-4. One of the streakier hitters on the Mountain Lions, Berg said the game looks different when she's on a roll.
"Everything is gone; it's just you and the pitcher and the ball and nothing else matters," said Berg. "The ball comes in looking like a watermelon and that's all you see."
Workman's big day was another pleasant development.
"We're really hoping that now she's turned the corner," said Peterson. "Now she's starting to see where the field's playing her and she's putting the ball in the gaps. That's one more offensive weapon if she gets going."
Workman, a super-speedy freshman, raised her batting average to .298 and stole her team-high 12th base. She credited her teammates for her improvement.
"The other girls give me a lot of confidence in myself," said Workman. "I know I can get on."
And with Workman, Berngard, Berg and Berghorn all adding to the hit parade, Peterson's got to be feeling pretty confident too.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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