Softball Swept by Western New Mexico
COLORADO SPRINGS -- The pitching-depleted University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team watched its hopes of hosting the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament -- and likely its chance at the No. 2 seed as well -- come close to dissolving Sunday after being swept 17-9 and 10-8 by the Western New Mexico Mustangs at Mountain Lion Field.
The top two seeds in the RMAC tournament draw a first-round bye. With Libby White, the ace of the pitching staff, questionable the rest of the season with an assortment of injuries, the Mountain Lions are left with Stacy Ortiz and little-used Brenna Wells. The first-round bye would give UCCS a fighting chance.
In order host the conference tournament, the Mountain Lions (34-16, 22-13 RMAC) would have to sweep conference-leader Mesa State this weekend while Western New Mexico wins no more than one of its four games at home against CSU-Pueblo. To take the second seed, UCCS would have to win 3-of-4 while Western New Mexico loses all four.
Neither scenario is very likely.
Stacy Haney went a combined 4-for-6 with two home runs, seven RBIs and four runs scored. The junior from Littleton is now 6-for-8 since her 21-game hitting streak was snapped in Saturday's first game.
Between Games 1 and 2, the Mountain Lions held an emotional Senior Day presentation for Lindsay Shandera. They also auditioned pitchers as center fielder Haney, infielder Kelly Quinn and others each vied for the dubious honor of replacing White in the pitcher's circle.
In the end, perhaps more by default than anything else, UCCS coach Scott Peterson elected to pitch Stacy Ortiz (16-9), who was bombed in Game 1, again in the nightcap. The freshman showed grit but gave up a combined 27 runs, 22 earned, on 36 hits in just 12 innings.
Despite two home runs and six RBIs by Haney, the Mountain Lions were blasted 17-9 in Game 1.
The Mustangs' Nos. 1-3 hitters (Cory Usher, Meredith Drahota and Antionette Estrella) went a combined 11-for-13 with three doubles and two home runs off UCCS starter Stacy Ortiz (16-8), who has struggled on the second day of back-to-back doubleheaders all season.
Usher went 4-for-4 with two home runs and a double in the opener for Western New Mexico (34-16, 22-13 RMAC). She subsequently scored all four times she batted.
Haney belted a two-run homer in the first inning, brought in another on a fielder's choice in the third and hit a three-run bomb in the fourth.
After falling behind 3-0 in the nightcap, UCCS hung seven on the board in the fourth behind a two-run homer by Sarah Brisky and a three-run shot by Lindsay Shandera. The Mountain Lions couldn't maintain the lead for long, though, as the Mustangs scored four in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.
UCCS had its chance in the seventh. With two outs, Katie Johnston hit a solo homer followed by singles by Brisky and Sierra Green. After an error loaded the bases, Kelly Quinn bounced into a 1-2-3 doubly play to end the game. Agonizingly, Haney was in the on deck circle.
Brianne Grommon (16-8) got the win in Game 1 for the Mustangs and Erica Beltran (10-3) was the winner in Game 2.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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