Ritchie Snaps Strikeout Record in Sweep

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 4, 2006

Amanda Ritchie struck out a school-record 14 batters to help the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs improve to 6-0 with a 7-5, 12-4 sweep of the Fort Hays State Tigers Saturday at Hays, Kan.

Ritchie broke the previous UCCS record of 12 strikeouts held jointly by Amber Colton (twice) and Kelly Wagner.

The Mountain Lions also continued their dizzying hit-and-run show. UCCS had 10 hits and 10 stolen bases in the opener and 13 hits and six stolen bases in the nightcap. For the season, the Mountain Lions are hitting .435 with 38 stolen bases.

“Weâ€TMre going to keep running,” said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. “We have a lot of speed and that puts a lot of pressure on the other team. Weâ€TMre not going to hit as many home runs as last year so weâ€TMve got to generate offense in other ways.”

Brittni Carlson went 4-for-7 and added three RBIs, bringing her RMAC-leading total to 22. Janine Ota, Sarah Cleland, Lindsay Shandera, Sonia Reyes and Savannah Ledford each had three hits. Ledford had six RBIs and Ota four.

Ritchie threw five shutout innings before three hits, two errors and a botched fielderâ€TMs choice helped the Tigers score five times, four of which were earned. The big inning tied the game as the Mountain Lions scored in the first inning on a Carlson RBI single, added two more in the third when Ota hit an RBI double then scored on an error, and two in the fifth on sacrifice flies by Ota and Carlson.

UCCS snapped the tie in the top of the seventh inning. After a Reyes double put runners on second and third with one out, freshman shortstop Ledford belted a two-run single to right field.

Ritchie (4-0) struck out two more batters in the seventh to preserve the win. The senior from Machesney Park, Ill., earned the win despite struggling with wildness in the 40-mph wind in which the game was played. Ritchie allowed eight hits, walked three and hit four batters with pitches, yet stayed composed enough to get the outs when it mattered most.

“We had some tough conditions today,” said Peterson of the wind, which gusted from right field to left field unrelentingly.

Kelsey Roberts (2-4) took the loss for Fort Hays State.

Pitching also highlighted the Mountain Lionsâ€TM win in the nightcap, with Angie Heronema (2-0) battling through six innings and Kym Cade finishing with a strong seventh.

“All three pitched really well,” said Peterson of his pitchers. “It was great to see the two freshmen come in and pitch so well.”

After Saturdayâ€TMs games, five teams (UCCS, Regis, Nebraska-Kearney, Colorado State-Pueblo and Mesa State) are 6-0 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. The conferenceâ€TMs other five teams are all 0-6.

“Some teams are playing real well and taking advantage of their opportunities,” said Peterson. “But everybodyâ€TMs got a long way to go.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Amber ColtonAmber Colton2PSo.
Amber ColtonAmber Colton2PJr.
Amber ColtonAmber Colton2PSr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32IFFr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson321BSo.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFJr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFSR.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes13IFSo.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BJr.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BSR
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Kym CadeKym Cade9P
Angie HeronemaAngie Heronema1P
Savannah LedfordSavannah Ledford24SS
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