Green's Grand Slam Spurs Sweep of Adams State
COLORADO SPRINGS - Sierra Green's grand slam highlighted a six-run fifth inning as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs scored a come-from-behind 11-7 win in Saturday's opener and went on to take the nightcap 4-1 for a doubleheader sweep the Adams State Grizzlies at Mountain Lion Field.
It was the first career home run for Green, a freshman slap hitter. Instead of fighting off the inside fastball from Adams State starter Bethany Hamar (7-6), though, Green rotated and turned on the ball, driving it over the right field fence.
Not only was it the first long ball of Green's college career, it was her first at any level - including practice.
I've hit in-the-park home runs but never over the fence, said Green. "I just wanted to get it in the gap. I didn't expect that at all."
Green may not have expected the power shot, but UCCS coach Scott Peterson did. He's been touting Green's power potential since the day he recruited her from Longmont High School.
"She's not the typical slap hitter," said Peterson. "She's a kid who can hit for power."
The Mountain Lions (24-9, 14-6 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) trailed 5-1 going into the fourth inning, managing just a solo home run by Stacy Haney. Designated hitter Sarah Brisky belted a three-run homer in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-4.
Adams State (13-16, 8-13 RMAC) had a tremendous opportunity in the top of the fifth, greeting UCCS relief pitcher Stacy Ortiz (11-6) with a double and two walks to load the bases with no outs. Ortiz, though, coaxed pop ups from Jacquie Rhomberg and Kira Zeiter before getting a ground ball to third base from Heather Ebert to escape the inning unharmed.
The Grizzlies would not be so lucky in the bottom half of the inning. Brianna Workman led off with a single, stole second and scored on Haney's RBI double. The next batter, Lindsay Shandera, drilled a single to right that scored Haney. Four batters later, UCCS had loaded the bases with two outs when Green delivered the decisive blow.
Adams State had 14 hits and five walks in the game but could not consistently deliver in the clutch like UCCS did. The Grizzlies stranded 12 runners in the opener.
"That was one of those games we had a feeling we could get into with them with the score back and forth and a high run count," said Peterson. "We came out on top, which was good."
UCCS starter Libby White struggled before giving way to Ortiz. But White showed no ill effects when the UCCS coaching staff called upon her to start Game 2 as well. The freshman from Niwot allowed just one run on eight hits in the nightcap to improve her season record to 13-3.
"I was very tentative (in Game 1), I don't know why," said White. "Right before the second game, Stacy Haney told me 'Hey, go get them. Play with confidence. You've got to be a little cocky.'
"I came out much stronger and much more confident in the second game."
After being retired in order the first two innings, the Mountain Lions took advantage of their first baserunner. After Katie Johnston walked to open the inning, Rachel Hancock belted a two-out, two-run homer to center field.
The Mountain Lions added two more in the fourth inning. UCCS loaded the bases with one out and got the first home when Adams State starter Megan Roberts (4-8) uncorked a wild pitch. Green followed with an RBI single.
The same two teams will complete their series with a doubleheader on Sunday. Game times are 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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