First Inning Blues Lead to Fourth Straight Loss
DENVER â€" The first inning as been very unkind to the Mountain Lions lately.
Regis scored seven runs in the opening inning, four in the first game and three in the second, as the Rangers swept the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs 7-1 and 9-0 Saturday at Regis Field.
The Mountain Lions have now lost four straight games. In those games, they have been tagged for a combined 18 runs in the first frame.
UCCS second baseman Rachel Hancock went 3-for-6, with Savannah Ledford the only Mountain Lion hitters to have more than one hit on the day. Hancockâ€TMs sharp single in Game 1 ended Ali Davenportâ€TMs no-hit bid.
â€œI didnâ€TMt know (she broke up the no-hitter) but yeah, now it feels good,â€ said Hancock. â€œI want to be the one who steps up and helps (my teammates) out.â€
Hancock had been in a mini-slump recently, getting hits in only five of her previous 28 at bats. The freshman said that she narrowed her batting stance Saturday in order to help her get through pitches.
â€œI used to be really open with my hips,â€ said Hancock. â€œIâ€TMve been concentrating on getting my hips through and working on it a lot in practice. Itâ€TMs really been helping.â€
A four-run first inning off UCCS starter Angie Heronema (6-6) proved to be all the offense Regis would need in the opener. Heronema was inserted as the starter just moments prior to game time after UCCS ace Amanda Ritchie was unable to get loose because of extremely sore ribs.
Davenport, a freshman, improved to 13-0, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning and holding the Mountain Lions to just three hits on the game. Sarah Brisky provided UCCS with its only run on an RBI single in the sixth.
There were bright spots.
Freshman Kym Cade pitched her best collegiate game in the opener. Entering the game with one out in the second inning, Cade allowed a single run on five hits and no walks in 4 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.
â€œI was really in the zone that game; everything else was just gone,â€ said Cade. â€œI was focusing on making the ball move more and making them hit my best pitch compared to just giving them a good pitch to hit.â€
Lindsay Shandera reached base four times, three by walk. The juniorâ€TMs game was an illustration of two things: 1) Shanderaâ€TMs legendary pickiness at the plate which has her among the national leaders in walks and 2) The rest of the Mountain Lionsâ€TM impatience. Despite drawing five walks, UCCS was content with swinging at balls out of the strike zone, resulting in numerous pop-ups.
Regis caught up to Cade (4-2) in Game 2, scoring six times in 2 1/3 innings.
UCCSâ€TM batters, meanwhile, continued to struggle. Regis starter Kaitlyn Gentert (22-9) pitched a five-inning shutout on four hits with 13 of the 15 outs never leaving the infield.
With the Mountain Lionsâ€TM coaching staff likely to shut Ritchie down for a week or two to let her heal, the freshman pitchers, Cade and Heronema, as well as sophomore Kaleigh Beekman will be thrust into a more demanding role. Cade smiled at the thought.
â€œItâ€TMs going to put a lot of pressure on us but we have to just step it up,â€ said Cade. â€œWe have to get ground ball out and keep it close so our offense can come through.
â€œIâ€TMm ready to step it up.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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