UCCS Bounces Back to Salvage Split
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Libby White bounced back from a poor first game to throw a two-hitter in Game 2 and help the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs salvage a doubleheader split Saturday against the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers at Mountain Lion Field.
After dropping the first game 11-6, the Mountain Lions (32-12, 20-9 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) came back to win the second 9-1 in five innings.
UCCS coach Scott Peterson was disappointed about his team's effort in the first game. The Mountain Lions spotted the Orediggers and eight-run, first-inning lead, committed four errors and left seven runners stranded in scoring position. Throughout, the effort was spotty at best.
"We've got a young team and I don't think they all realize how special this all is," said Peterson of his team's prominent position in the conference playoff race. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"Sometimes young players think this is going the happen year-in and year-out, but this may be their one shot and we want them to take advantage of this opportunity and realize just how good we can be."
Junior shortstop Sarah Cleland and the rest of the team's upperclassmen understand all too well how special this season's edition of the Mountain Lions could be and how far they could advance.
"It's time not to be nice," said Cleland of the occasionally lackadaisical attitude and inconsistent effort that has kept the Mountain Lions entrenched as a good team but has denied them their full potential. "It's time to get on people's butts and start pushing everybody. We can make it pretty far and people have to start realizing that."
White was tagged for eight runs, four earned, in less than an inning in Game 1, but bounced back to shut down the Orediggers (18-18, 9-15 RMAC) in the second game. White got both decisions and is now 17-6 on the season.
"Young pitchers!" said Peterson much in the way a parent says Ã¢â‚¬Ëœteenagers!' "She's a great pitcher and a great kid and we've seen she do some great things here. I don't know what happened in the first game with her. I can't explain it. She threw great the second game."
Stacy Haney went 2-for-3 in the first game and 1-for-3 in the second to extend her hitting streak to 19 games, one short of the UCCS school record. She also broke the school record for runs scored, recording her 57th and 58th of the season.
Cleland went a combined 4-for-6 for UCCS, while Sierra Green went 3-for-5.
The Mountain Lions took a 4-0 lead in the second inning of Game 2 when Tasha Pagdilao smacked a two-run home run and Rachel Hancock followed with a two-run double four batters later.
UCCS made it 7-0 an inning later on a Pagdilao sacrifice fly followed by a two-run homer by Katie Johnston.
After a Katie Kocman homer put Mines on the scoreboard, the Mountain Lions put the run rule into play in the bottom of the fifth with Sarah Brisky's two-run, bases-loaded single.
The Mountain Lion spotted Mines an eight-run cushion in the first inning Game 1 and never fully recovered. A big part of that failed recovery, though, was due to missed opportunities. UCCS stranded eight baserunners, seven of whom were in scoring position.
After the harbinger of all things bad in softball, a leadoff walk, the Orediggers put up five runs before recording an out in the first inning. When the dust cleared, Mines had scored eight on seven hits, including two doubles and a home run by Melissa Stratton.
Stacy Ortiz threw 6 1/3 innings of effective relief for the Mountain Lions.
UCCS managed three runs in the second on a Green RBI groundout, a run-scoring single by Hancock and a double steal. The Mountain Lions added two more in the fifth on an error and an RBI single by Cleland. Haney added an RBI double in the sixth.
Taylor Cayou (7-7) earned the win for Mines, while Kocman (10-9) took the loss in the second game.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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