Carlson'a 13 RBIs Complete Sweep

By Doug Fitzgerald published February 26, 2006

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.

“Right now Iâ€TMm seeing the ball pretty well,” said Carlson while testing the physical limits of understatement. “One of my goals (this season) is to keep it consistent for my team and continue to drive in runs.”

To put Carlsonâ€TMs weekend in perspective, last year she was third on the team with 34 RBIs. That took 48 games to accomplish.

“Last year, I batted behind Crystal Krebs so I didnâ€TMt have many chances to pick up RBIs,” 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.

“Amandaâ€TMs on fire,” said UCCS sophomore catcher Sarah Cleland. “Sheâ€TMs out here to kick some butt. Itâ€TMs her last year and sheâ€TMs going to give it everything.”

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.

“I knew I had to come up to bat and get a good hit because Iâ€TMve been striking out and popping up (too much),” 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.

“We couldnâ€TMt be happier,” said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. “Theyâ€TMve done a great job. Itâ€TMs fun to watch these young kids.”

Then, as all good coaches know, came the cautionary tale.

“Itâ€TMs early. This is very nice, but letâ€TMs not get all caught up in it,” said Peterson. “Itâ€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.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFSo.
Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFJr.
Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFSr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32IFFr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson321BSo.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFJr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFSR.
Megan CushmanMegan Cushman5OF/CFr.
Megan CushmanMegan Cushman5OF/CSo.
Megan CushmanMegan Cushman5OF/CSo.
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BSo.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BSo.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BJr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
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