UCCS Falls in Tournament Title Game
PUEBLO - A three run lead in the seventh inning proved insufficient Sunday as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was beaten 11-8 in the championship game of the CSU-Pueblo Icebreaker Tournament at Rawlings Sports Complex.
The Mountain Lions (5-2) topped host Colorado State-Pueblo 9-1 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game.
An RBI single by Stacy Haney and a two-run single by Sarah Cleland broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Mountain Lions nearly broke the game wide open but Lindsay Shandera's sizzling line drive was stabbed by Fort Hays State's Alex Eaton for the first out and Katie Johnston's line shot with the bases loaded was nabbed by third baseman Hallie McMillen for an inning ending double play.
"They made two great plays in the bottom of the sixth that kept them in it," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "They made the great players when they needed them."
UCCS proved unable to retain the lead, however, as the Tigers strung together five hits, two walks and an error to log six runs in the top of the final frame.
After going 0-3 and being outscored 24-5 in the round-robin portion of the tournament, Fort Hays State pulled off the surprise victory by beating Regis 14-8 in the semifinals and UCCS in the finals.
"Give them credit, they kept fighting," said Peterson. "They bounce back after getting hammered yesterday."
While the title game loss was disappointing, the win over CSU-Pueblo that got them there showed a resilience that will serve the Mountain Lions well as the season progresses. UCCS was lambasted 14-2 by Regis in the final game of the round-robin Sunday morning but did not fold. Much of the credit belongs to coaches Peterson, Tanya Ramsay and Don Pettrow, who handled their freshman-laden roster with an even, steady hand.
"The coaches really helped us out," said freshman left fielder Sierra Green, who went on to go 3-for-3 against CSU-Pueblo. "You have to know that you have to come back and play harder than they're playing."
UCCS did just that against the Thunderwolves. With CSU-Pueblo leading 1-0, the Mountain Lions put together a nine-run, eight-hit fifth inning. Eight consecutive hitters reached base after the second out was recorded.
Two of those hits, including a two-run triple down the right field line, belonged to reserve Jamey Acton, who also drove in the first run of the inning with a pinch-hit single.
"I knew she was going to go outside because she'd been doing that with two strikes all game," said Acton of her hits. "I just went with the pitch."
The Mountain Lions will travel to New Mexico Highlands next weekend for a four-game set against the Cowgirls that will begin Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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