White's No Hitter Sparks Sweep
COLORADO SPRINGS - Libby White threw a five-inning no hitter in the opener and her University of Colorado at Colorado Springs teammates belted five home runs in the nightcap as the Mountain Lions swept the Adams State Grizzlies 8-0 and 9-8 Sunday at Mountain Lion Field.
White (14-3), a freshman from Niwot, walked four and struck out two. She kept Adams State hitters guessing all game, recording seven ground outs and three foul pop-ups.
"My ball was moving a lot better today than it was yesterday," said White. "I relied more on my mechanics today than on speed."
The Mountain Lion batters were doing no such guessing. Stacy Haney drilled a two-run triple in the first and then scored on Sarah Cleland's single to put UCCS up 3-0. The lead grew to 7-0 in the second inning on a Brianna Workman RBI single and a three-run homer by Haney.
After a scoreless third, the Mountain Lions put the run-rule into play when Cleland's solo homer made it 8-0. For the game, UCCS had 11 hits and 12 outs.
Bethany Hamar (7-7) took the loss for Adams State (13-18, 8-15 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference).
But while fans spent Game 1 sweating each out of White's no hitter, they spent Game 2 dodging fast-moving flying objects as the teams combined for eight home runs. And just like they did on Saturday, the Mountain Lions fell behind 5-1 on Sunday as the Grizzlies scored one in the first, two in the second and two more in the fourth. Through their first three at bats, UCCS managed only freshman Katie Johnston's first career home run.
It would seem the Mountain Lions had the Grizzlies exactly where they wanted them.
"They don't quit, do they?" UCCS coach Scott Peterson asked rhetorically. "I don't even know what to say. It's unbelievable what they're doing."
What the Mountain Lions are doing is late comebacks, and Sunday was their fourth in the past eight games.
UCCS tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run homer by Tasha Pagdilao and an Adams State run-scoring error.
The Grizzlies responded with three runs on two home runs in the sixth and seemed to have put an end to the UCCS comeback.
"Give them credit," said Adams State coach Cari Boe of the Mountain Lions. "Every time we put something together, they responded."
And UCCS' response in the bottom half of the inning bumped NORAD to Defcon 2. After Sierra Green flied out to the warning track, Brianna Workman singled and was brought home by Haney's two-run shot to left center. Lindsay Shandera made it back-to-back homers, tying the score. Two batters later, Pagdilao hit the go-ahead shot, her second of the game, off reliever Summer Adams (0-2).
"It's amazing," said Peterson. "We don't coach home runs; they just hit them."
And according to Pagdilao, hitting is all about the though process; or rather the LACK of thought process.
"When I think a lot, I tend to do really bad, so I just try to keep it simple," said Pagdilao. "I'm just thinking 'see ball, hit ball.'"
Then she fessed up and admitted another factor was at work. Her father was in town all the way from Hawaii to see her play.
"My dad was here, so I owe him something," she said.
UCCS held on in the seventh as Johnston and Haney snagged line drives and Johnston handled a grounder for the final out. Stacy Ortiz, 12-6, earned the win.
Peterson was impressed with Johnston's play in particular.
"I don't know how she even made that play," said Peterson.
Johnston, who boasts a spectacular .976 fielding percentage at third base, sends the credit right back at Peterson and assistant coach Tanya Ramsay.
"The coaches have a lot to do with it," said Johnston. "They've taught me to be a really good defensive player."
UCCS improved to 26-9, 16-6 in the RMAC, and has now won 11 of its past 12 games. The Mountain Lions moved into third place in the RMAC and have a shot to move up again when they face the second-place Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves in a doubleheader on Wednesday at Mountain Lion Field.
For his part, Peterson's not ruling out anything.
"These kids are really stepping up and surprising us," he said.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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