Quinns Clutch Hit Salvages Split
COLORADO SPRINGS - Kelly Quinn hit a walk-off RBI double to lift the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 9-8 victory in Saturday's opener and help salvage a doubleheader split with the University of Mary Marauders at Mountain Lion Field.
Both teams had the benefit of seventh-inning heroics. After Quinn came through for the Mountain Lions in Game 1, UM's Danelle Lunn hit a grand slam in the final frame of Game 2 to lift the Marauders to a 6-2 win.
It's appropriate that on St. Patrick's Day, it would be someone named Quinn that would deliver. With two outs, Sierra Green singled and Rachel Hancock was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive. Quinn, a freshman from Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, fouled off four two-strike pitches before drilling the ball over the left fielder's head.
"I'm not very nervous with two strikes," said Quinn, who admitted she was very nervous when she stepped to the plate. "When I got two strikes, I could just let loose a little and just keep fouling them off until I got one right down the middle.
"It feels really good, especially as a freshman, to know that I can step up like."
But stepping up is what the Mountain Lions failed to do in the nightcap. Despite ample opportunities, UCCS went into the seventh inning tied at two. After single, an error and a wild pitch put Marauder runners on second and third with no outs, UCCS starter Stacy Ortiz (7-5) sandwiched a walk around a foul out and a strikeout to load the bases with two outs.
Ortiz tried to tickle the edges of the strike zone but couldn't get the calls before Lunn's blast put UM in the lead.
Ortiz had successfully pitched out of trouble much of the game, scattering seven hits and five walks. Peterson thought she deserved a better fate.
"Stacy pitched a great ballgame, probably one of the best games she's pitched all year," said Peterson.
Ortiz also pitched in relief of Libby White in the first game, earning the win. UM's Sarah Moder (3-5), who struck out 13 in just 5 1/3 innings of work, was the tough-luck loser. Jessica Olson (4-0) threw a complete game to earn the win in the second game.
That Olson allowed just two runs despite 10 UCCS hits and two walks was a source of consternation for Peterson.
"We're going to go on a scavenger hunt tonight and there's only one thing on that list," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "We've got to find our bats."
Peterson had good reason to send the Mountain Lions searching, particularly in the clutch. UCCS had runners on base all day by way of a combined 19 hits and nine walks, but the Mountain Lions left 21 runners stranded.
"Hopefully, we'll find (our bats) somewhere and come back tomorrow," said Peterson. "We're a much better hitting team than we're showing and we're leaving too many kids on base."
One player who doesn't need to look is center fielder Stacy Haney. The junior from Littleton went 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in the opener and hit a solo homer in the second game.
"I've been struggling lately with my mental game so I just went up to the plate just thinking hit, hit, hit and it just came through for me," said Haney. "I was really seeing the ball today."
And what advice would Haney offer to her teammates?
"I'd tell everybody to stop thinking so much and just go out there and swing," said Haney. "We've all got the talent; we just need to show it now."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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