Sweep of Panhandle State Builds Upon Best-Ever UCCS Start

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 11, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team built upon the best start in school history Saturday with an 11-2, 9-4 sweep of the Oklahoma Panhandle State Lady Aggies at Mountain Lion Field.

The Mountain Lions improved to 11-1 on the season. The two previous best starts after 12 games ever at UCCS were 9-3 in 2003 and 8-4 in 1994.

The wins were also important because they came against a South Central Region opponent.

“We need those (regional) points,” said shortstop Savannah Ledford. “If we donâ€TMt win the RMAC (tournament), winning these today will help us in the long run.”

Ledford has been one of the Mountain Lionsâ€TM pleasant surprises so far. The freshman from Loveland is hitting .314 and is becoming more and more consistent defensively.

“Iâ€TMm just excited to be out there because, being a freshman, you usually donâ€TMt get to start in college at a really good school,” said Ledford.

Amanda Ritchie (5-1) took a shutout into the fifth inning in the opener before a two-out home run put Panhandle State (0-17) on the board. Ritchie allowed six hits and one walk while striking out six in the five-inning, run-rule shortened game.

Lindsay Shandera, UCCSâ€TM third batter of the game, drilled a two-run single in the first inning to score Brianna Workman and Rachael Hancock. Three batters later, Ledford added an RBI single at the Mountain Lions started the contest with a five-run inning against Aggies starter Rachael Hughes (0-9).

After scoring single runs in the second and third innings, Janine Ota and Sarah Cleland hit back-to-back home runs to spark a four-run fourth. For Ota, it was her seventh home run in seven games at Mountain Lion Field.

UCCS fell behind 3-0 in the nightcap as the Lady Aggies scored three runs on four hits in the top of the second inning against UCCS starter Angie Heronema (4-0). After the third run scored, though, the freshman from Berthoud, Colo., became nearly unhittable. Heronema retired 14 of the next 15 batters she faced. Fellow freshman Kym Cade pitched the seventh inning.

“Angie settled down and Kym came in and closed the door,” said UCCS coach Scott Peterson.

The Mountain Lions answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning on sacrifice flies by Cleland and Sonia Reyes.

In the fourth inning, UCCS finally caught up with Panhandle State starter Adrianne Sandall (0-6). Hancock drilled a two-run single to center field to give the Mountain Lions their first lead of the game. Two Batters later, Brittni Carlson brought Hancock home with a single, after which Ota scored Carlson and Shandera with a double to the right-center field wall.

UCCS extended its lead to 9-3 in the sixth as Ledford hit an RBI ground out and Ota scored on an error.

Carlson went 4-for-6 with two RBIs on the day, keeping her .667 season batting average intact, while Ota went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Reyes, Workman, Hancock and Shandera each added two hits for UCCS, which is hitting .417 as a team this season.

Freshman Nicole Link started in Game 2 and went 2-for-3.

“Iâ€TMm really excited to get in (the game),” said Link. “When I get my opportunities, I try to make the most of them.”

After the game, Peterson seemed happier with the closer nightcap than he was the blowout opener.

“Weâ€TMre really happy with the way we came back,” said Peterson. “We were down three and I think some teams would have panicked. We didnâ€TMt panic.

“We really havenâ€TMt been tested (being) down and we came back and strung some hits together.”

Apparently, thatâ€TMs something 11-1 teams do.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson321BSo.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32IFFr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFJr.
Brittni CarlsonBrittni Carlson32OFSR.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes13IFSo.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BJr.
Sonia ReyesSonia Reyes133BSR
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera20IF/OFFr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSo.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BJr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSr.
Janine OtaJanine Ota10OF
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Kym CadeKym Cade9P
Angie HeronemaAngie Heronema1P
Savannah LedfordSavannah Ledford24SS
Nicole LinkNicole Link00C/IFSo.
Nicole LinkNicole Link00C/IFSo.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
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