Cade's Gem Leads to Split

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 29, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS â€" Something most peculiar happened Saturday at Mountain Lion Field; there was a pitcherâ€TMs duel.

And then there was another.

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs freshman Kym Cade and Fort Lewis sophomore Monica Chavez swapped shutouts as the Mountain Lions and the Skyhawks split Saturdayâ€TMs doubleheader.

Cade and the Mountain Lions (31-14, 20-14 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) ended their six-game losing streak by winning the opener 4-0, while Fort Lewis (24-22, 14-20 RMAC) won the second game 1-0.

The series has huge playoff ramifications for Fort Lewis, which entered the weekend tied with Adams State for the sixth and final spot in the RMAC tournament. Adams State, which did not play because Fridayâ€TMs snow that left ASC Softball Field unplayable, will face Nebraska-Kearney in a tripleheader on Sunday. Fort Hays State, which entered the weekend lurking one game behind Fort Lewis and Adams State, lost its opening game Saturday to the Mesa State Mavericks.

The games had little impact on UCCSâ€TM playoff picture since the Mountain Lions have already clinched a playoff spot and will be the third, fourth or fifth seed. Instead, UCCS is looking to regroup from the losses of ace pitcher Amanda Ritchie and catcher Sarah Cleland. Without the two stars, UCCS had lost six straight.

The Mountain Lions offense has been sluggish since the loss of Cleland, who was suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules. UCCS is averaging just 2.1 runs per game since the suspension and has been shut out in three of its past five games. Ritchie, who has very sore ribs, is expected to be back for the RMAC tournament.

The games were only the third and fourth shutouts in the nearly two-year history of Mountain Lion Field.

Cade (5-3) pitched her best game as a collegian, limiting the Skyhawks to just two hits while walking none. No Skyhawk advanced past first base until the seventh inning, when Liz Tarnowski reached on an error and advanced to second on a passed ball.

“Weâ€TMve been really preparing as pitchers â€" mostly mentally,” said Cade. “Weâ€TMve done a lot of hard work and it really paid off.”

Fort Lewis starter Lauren Bails (1-2), meanwhile, was able to work her way out of jams. UCCS left runners stranded in scoring position in each of the first four innings without denting the scoreboard.

That ended in the fifth. Nicole Link, who replaced Cleland at catcher, led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second. Rachel Hancockâ€TMs double brought Link home and ended the scoreless tie.

“It was good when Nic led off the inning with a hit because it (generated) momentum,” said first baseman Lindsay Shandera. “Rachel stepped up and hit her in and that got everyone going.”

It certainly got Shandera going. The junior followed with a two-run home run to left center. Three batters later, Sarah Brisky hit an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-0.

Chavez (13-8) was nearly unhittable in the nightcap, striking out 15 UCCS batters. The Mountain Lions managed three hits and four walks but were unable to turn any of those into runs.

“She pitched a good game,” said Shandera.

The Skyhawks scored the gameâ€TMs only run in the first inning. Temple Levings drew a leadoff walk off starter Angie Heronema (6-8) and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. She took third on a ground out, and then scored on Cassidy Maineâ€TMs single.

The teams will play again Sunday with games scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera20IF/OFFr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSo.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BJr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSr.
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Amanda RitchieAmanda Ritchie17PJr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14CJr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Sarah ClelandSarah Cleland14IFFr.
Kym CadeKym Cade9P
Angie HeronemaAngie Heronema1P
Nicole LinkNicole Link00C/IFSo.
Nicole LinkNicole Link00C/IFSo.
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