Carlson'a 13 RBIs Complete Sweep
COLORADO SPRINGS â€" A memo for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference coaches who opted to leave University of Colorado at Colorado Springs senior Brittni Carlson off the preseason all-conference team: Big mistake. Monumental.
Carlson again put up cartoonishly huge numbers as the Mountain Lions completed their four-game sweep of the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls by taking a 12-2, 18-10 doubleheader Sunday at Mountain Lions Field.
The senior from Erie, Colo., went 6-for-7 Sunday with three doubles, two home runs and an astonishing 13 RBIs. For the weekend, Carlson went 11-for-13 with five doubles, three home runs and 19 RBIs, easily breaking the school record for most RBIs in a four-game series. Charlene Berg held the previous record with 11 against Adams State in 2004. Carlson also established a new record for RBIs in any four consecutive games.
â€œRight now Iâ€TMm seeing the ball pretty well,â€ said Carlson while testing the physical limits of understatement. â€œOne of my goals (this season) is to keep it consistent for my team and continue to drive in runs.â€
To put Carlsonâ€TMs weekend in perspective, last year she was third on the team with 34 RBIs. That took 48 games to accomplish.
â€œLast year, I batted behind Crystal Krebs so I didnâ€TMt have many chances to pick up RBIs,â€ laughed Carlson.
Sheâ€TMs right about one thing â€" she had plenty of RBI opportunities this weekend. Leadoff hitter Brianna Workman reached base eight times and had four sacrifice bunts in 15 plate appearances this weekend. No. 2 hitter Rachel Hancock hit .615 with four doubles and a .667 on base percentage. No. 3 hitter Lindsay Shandera drew seven walks and was twice hit by a pitch, allowing her to forge a .800 on base percentage.
Amanda Ritchie (3-0) pitched a five-inning complete game in Sundayâ€TMs opener and three innings of relief in the nightcap to get both wins. The senior from Machesney Park, Ill., allowed just eight hits and a walk while striking out 10.
â€œAmandaâ€TMs on fire,â€ said UCCS sophomore catcher Sarah Cleland. â€œSheâ€TMs out here to kick some butt. Itâ€TMs her last year and sheâ€TMs going to give it everything.â€
Game 1 was an old-fashioned blowout. The Mountain Lions scored three runs in the first thanks to doubles by Workman, Hancock and Carlson. They added three more in the second on a wild pitch and a two-run double by Carlson.
After a Megan Cushman RBI single in the third, UCCS exploded for five runs in the fourth on a two-run Carlson double, an RBI single by Cleland and a two-run homer by Janine Ota.
In the meantime, Ritchie was carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
Game 2 looked to be more of the same as Carlson hits two home runs, a three-run shot in the first inning and a two-run blast in the second, to help stake the Mountain Lions to an 8-2 lead after two innings.
But the first seven Cowgirls batters of the third inning got hits, including four home runs, as New Mexico Highlands stunned UCCS by taking a 9-8 lead. Ritchie came in to put out the fire and UCCS hitters did the rest.
A Cleland grand slam highlighted a five-run fourth inning and Carlson drilled a two-run single in the fifth as UCCS added four more to force the eight-run mercy rule into effect.
â€œI knew I had to come up to bat and get a good hit because Iâ€TMve been striking out and popping up (too much),â€ said Cleland.
As a team, UCCS batted .495 for the weekend and posted a .590 on base percentage and a .969 slugging percentage. How much of those numbers must be attributed to Highlands pitching wonâ€TMt be know until later in the season but, for now, the Mountain Lions are enjoying the moment.
â€œWe couldnâ€TMt be happier,â€ said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. â€œTheyâ€TMve done a great job. Itâ€TMs fun to watch these young kids.â€
Then, as all good coaches know, came the cautionary tale.
â€œItâ€TMs early. This is very nice, but letâ€TMs not get all caught up in it,â€ said Peterson. â€œItâ€TMs only four games and weâ€TMve got a long way to go and a lot of things could happen between now and the end of the year.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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