Ota, Cleland Each Go Deep Twice in Sweep of Colorado College
COLORADO SPRINGS â€" The Colorado College Tigers are still 0-for-UCCS.
Janine Ota and Sarah Cleland each hit two home runs and Kym Cade threw a five-inning, two-hit shutout as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions swept the Tigers Thursday evening at Mountain Lion Field.
The sweep helped UCCS (9-0) continue its mastery of its intra-city rival as the Mountain Lions improved to 28-0 all-time against Colorado College.
Cade (1-0) struck out seven and did not allow a walk in shutting down the Tigers in the opener. Only one Colorado College baserunner advanced past first base.
Cadeâ€TMs performance bodes well for UCCS. After struggling in the season-opening series against New Mexico Highlands, the freshman from Lakewood, Colo., was crisp throughout and dominant at times.
â€œI felt a lot more like I was in control,â€ said Cade. â€œMy curveball was working a lot better and my screwball was working really good. I felt a lot more relaxed than before.â€
Offensively, Ota went 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs, while Savannah Ledford went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Leadoff hitter Brianna Workman also went 3-for-3 and had one of UCCSâ€TM five steals.
The Mountain Lions found the going more difficult in the nightcap. One thing they found difficult was slowing their bats to the pace of Division III pitching after playing and practicing exclusively against harder throwing Division II pitchers.
â€œIt took us awhile to adjust to their pitching,â€ said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. â€œThat was probably the biggest problem we had.â€
Kaleigh Beekman (1-0) threw two shutout innings before the Tigersâ€TM bats finally started to catch up with the hard-throwing UCCS pitchers. Beekman allowed one run in the third and two more in the fourth before settling down for a scoreless fifth. For the game, the sophomore from Thornton, Colo., allowed three runs, two earned, over five innings.
â€œKaleigh threw well,â€ said Peterson.
But with Colorado College starting to find a rhythm at the plate, Peterson went into overdrive in the person of senior Amanda Ritchie and her 69-mph fastball. Ritchie overmatched the Tigers, striking out three of the four batters she faced.
â€œWe wanted Amanda to just get an inning in,â€ said Peterson. â€œWe were going to put Angie (Heronema) in first, but with the score at 8-3, we went straight to Amanda.â€
That turned out to be a wise decision. Cleland and Ota hit back-to-back homers and Heronema added an RBI double in the bottom half of the inning as the Mountain Lions forced the NCAAâ€TMs eight-run rule into effect.
Cleland, who sat out Game 1, went 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs in the nightcap.
â€œI sat out the first game so I was anxious to hit,â€ said Cleland. â€œI needed to get my average up so I was ready to hit the ball.â€
On the evening, Ota was 5-for-7 with five RBIs and Workman was 4-for-4 with two walks and two stolen bases. Sophomore Sarah Brisky had her best career day hitting, going 3-for-4 with two walks and two RBIs.
Sara Robinson (1-3) took the loss in Game 1, while Sirina Milsap (2-4) got the L in Game 2.
Valerie Rivera went 2-for-4 with a walk for Colorado College (3-9).
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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