UCCS Drops Two, Ends Up with Series Split at Fort lewis

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 11, 2007

DURANGO - Sunday was no fun day for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team.

After sweeping Fort Lewis on Saturday, the Mountain Lions were swept themselves on Sunday, dropping 7-5 and 10-2 decisions to the Skyhawks at Aspen Field.

"We're seeing a different team on Sundays than what we see on Saturdays," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "I think that has a little to do with our youth; we're starting four freshmen."

Despite the losses, the Mountain Lions nevertheless achieved their primary goal of splitting on the road.

"Our goals every year are to split on the road and win three out of four at home," said Peterson. "We've done the math and if you do that, you end up with conference 25 wins. That will give you a one or a two seed (in the conference tournament)."

But they very nearly got more than that.

UCCS (14-7, 9-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) mounted a spirited comeback in seventh inning of the opener the fell painfully short. UCCS had the go-ahead run at bat when a hard-luck double play helped end the threat.

Rachel Hancock's two-run home run in the fifth inning supplied all of the Mountain Lions' offense through six innings as Fort Lewis starter Cassidy Maine used an assortment of changeups and riseballs to keep UCCS off balance.

Sierra Green opened the seventh inning with a single and took second on an error by Fort Lewis left fielder Leslie Reed. After second baseman Dayna Martin dropped Hancock's pop up to put runners on the corners, Brianna Workman scored Green with a single to left. After a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, Stacy Haney ripped a two-run single to right.

Lindsay Shandera singled to center field, but Sarah Cleland's hard shot down the line was speared by third baseman Barb Duran who stepped on third and threw to first for the double play. Tasha Pagdilao struck out to end the game.

But had UCCS shown any resemblance of the team they have been up to this point in the season, no seventh-inning heroics would have been necessary. The Skyhawks' leadoff hitter reached base in five of the six innings with three of those runners scoring. UCCS, meanwhile, saw a leadoff hitter reach only in the final inning. Additionally, the Mountain Lions' No. 4-8 batters wasted some good table setting by the top of the order, going a combined 2-for-17 with six strikeouts and no RBIs. Add to that UCCS' three errors and the recipe for disaster was complete.

And the thought of disaster brings us to Game 2.

Fort Lewis didn't need leadoff runners reaching base in this one. After retiring the first two hitters of the game, UCCS starter Stacy Ortiz (6-4) allowed seven consecutive batters to reach base, accounting for six runs.

In the second inning, Fort Lewis' Jenna Peters belted her second home run of the game and third of the day to increase the lead to 8-0. Three more hits in the third made it 10-0 and closed the book on Ortiz.

With hard-throwing ace Monica Chavez pitching, chances for another comeback were remote but UCCS made the attempt in the fourth. After Haney led off the inning with a homer, the Mountain Lions loaded the bases with no outs. Katie Johnston drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk but a comebacker by Green and a long fly out by Hancock erased the threat.

"Give credit to Monica and Cassidy they threw well," said Peterson of the Fort Lewis pitching tandem. "(Fort Lewis) had some kids hit today that did not hit yesterday so they made some adjustments.”

Libby White (8-3) allowed seven runs, five earned, on 12 hits to take the loss in the opener.

UCCS will play a nonconference series at home against the University of Mary next weekend.

While the Mountain Lions achieved the primary goal of a split, Saturday's sweep inevitably had them looking at getting more.

"We came in here saying 'let's get two' and we did," said Peterson. "We're not going to make any excuses; we wanted to get another one today, (but) we'll take the two."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera20IF/OFFr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSo.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BJr.
Lindsay ShanderaLindsay Shandera201BSr.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BSo.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BSo.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BJr.
Stacy HaneyStacy Haney21OFSr.
Stacy HaneyStacy Haney21OFJr.
Kaite JohnstonKaite Johnston93BSo.
Katie JohnstonKatie Johnston9IFFr.
Sierra GreenSierra Green15OFFr.
Sierra GreenSierra Green15OFSo.
Tasha PagdilaoTasha Pagdilao2C/IFFr.
Tasha PagdilaoTasha Pagdilao3CSo.
Tasha PagdilaoTasha Pagdilao3CJr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
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