Split vs. CSU-Pueblo Keeps Steel and Silver Lead at Eight

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 29, 2006


PUEBLO â€" Lindsay Shanderaâ€TMs three-run home run keyed a four-run fifth inning as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs took a 5-1 decision from the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves in Wednesdayâ€TMs opener at Rawlings Sports Complex. CSU-Pueblo came back to salvage a split with a 9-5 win in the nightcap.

The split kept UCCSâ€TM lead in the Steel and Silver Series at eight points. The Mountain Lions lead the rivalry series between the schools 19-11.

Amanda Ritchie threw a three-hitter to earn the win. She took the loss in relief in the nightcap to put her season record at 12-2.

“That was a great pitching performance,” said UCCS coach Scott Peterson of Ritcieâ€TMs Game 1 performance. “Thatâ€TMs as hard as sheâ€TMs thrown since sheâ€TMs been here.”

CSU-Pueblo starter Breanna Hestrom (8-4) held the Mountain Lions scoreless on just one hit through four innings. Megan Cushman hit a one-out triple in the fifth inning that ignited the UCCS offense. Rachel Hancock followed with an RBI single.

“It was big to score first,” said Hancock. “I was up there saying ‘Iâ€TMm swinging, Iâ€TMm putting the ball in play and Iâ€TMm getting Megan in.â€TM”

After a Savannah Ledford single, Shandera drilled a shot over the left field fence.

“The bomb was at a key time,” said Ritchie of Shanderaâ€TMs homer. “Sheâ€TMs got a new superstition and Iâ€TMm not going to give it up, but it seems to be working.”

Hancock added a solo homer in the seventh.

Game 2 was a ragged affair. CSU-Pueblo (14-9, 11-3 RMAC) scored twice in the first inning before UCCS answered with a two-un double by Janine Ota and a Sarah Cleland RBI groundout. Hancock scored on a dropped fly ball in the fourth to give UCCS a 4-2 lead.

Then the wheels fell off.

The Thunderwolves scored seven runs over the next three innings on five hits, two errors, three hit batters, three walks, two passed balls and two wild pitches.

“They hit the ball on us, no question,” said Peterson. “But we didnâ€TMt play real smart this game.”

At the plate, the Mountain Lions missed opportunity after opportunity.

“We werenâ€TMt real disciplined at the plate,” said Peterson. “We left 12 runners on base and with those runners on base we had some very undisciplined plate appearances. We were swinging at balls way out of the strike zone and we havenâ€TMt done that all year.”

Despite the poor Game 2 performance, the Mountain Lions did exactly what they needed to do: They got a split on the road against a very good team.

“Weâ€TMll take the one win,” said Peterson.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera20IF/OFFr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSo.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BJr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSr.
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.
Savannah LedfordSavannah Ledford24SS
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