UCCS Drops First Game in RMAC Tournament
GRAND JUNCTION -- Despite a grand slam by Sarah Cleland, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs dropped an 8-7 decision in eight innings to the Regis Rangers in the first game of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament Friday at Bergman Field.
The Mountain Lions will face the loser of the Western New Mexico/Nebraska-Kearney matchup in an elimination game at approximately 2:30 p.m.
Stacy Ortiz (18-11), who has been UCCS' only starting pitcher over the past three weeks because of an injury to Libby White, kept the Mountain Lions in the game but was the victim of four UCCS errors.
"Stacy pitched a great ballgame, no doubt about it, one of the better games she's pitched," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "In this tournament, you have to make the plays. We didn't make them and they did."
The Mountain Lions did begin the game by making a very big play. After a single and two walks loaded the bases, Cleland belted her UCCS-record fifth grand slam and third this season.
Two UCCS errors helped the Rangers score three in the third inning and a solo homer by Anna Schaffer in the fifth tied the game.
UCCS freshman Tasha Pagdilao answered in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run homer to put the Mountain Lions up 6-4.
Another error helped put two Regis runners on base in the sixth, setting up a three-run blast by Christina Gardella that gave Regis its first lead of the game at 7-6.
A Sierra Green RBI single in the seventh drew UCCS even again, but the Mountain Lions squandered a bases-loaded opportunity for the third time in the game.
"A couple of balls here or there (would have made the difference)," said Peterson. "Even though that happened, we still had the opportunities and just didn't get it done."
Gardella's sacrifice fly in the eighth gave Regis the lead. Pitcher Kaitlyn Gentert (17-6) retired UCCS in order in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.
UCCS now goes to the losers bracket in the double-elimination format.
"Somebody's got to come out of that mess down below," said Peterson referring to the loser's bracket. "Hopefully it's us. We have to forget about this and go get the next one."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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