Mountain Lions Sharp While Winning Three at Mile High Invite
DENVER -- University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball coach Scott Peterson showed little concern when his team, picked to win the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in the preseason coaches' poll, opened the season with a lackluster 3-3 record.
"It's really early in the season," said Peterson at the time. "We'll be OK."
The Mountain Lions were more than OK Saturday.
UCCS was sharp, hitting a combined .416 and committing just one error, in sweeping three games during the first day of the Mile High Invite. The Mountain Lions beat the Colorado school of Mines Orediggers 4-3 and the Mary Marauders 10-8 at Hidden Lakes Softball Complex before taking the short drive to Regis where they beat the Rangers 12-4 in five innings.
Much of the crispness can be attributed to having the luxury of practicing outside this past week. UCCS had not faced live pitching, pitched to live hitters or fielded grounders on dirt prior to playing its first six games.
"It's huge," said Peterson of the week of practice. "Our kids are finally outside so we can actually see some live pitching."
Sierra Green, Stacy Haney, Tasha Pagdilao, Lindsay Zastrow and Rachel Hancock each had four hits Saturday for UCCS (6-3). Haney had three of the Mountain Lions' 10 stolen bases.
UCCS 4, Colorado Mines 3
Holly Jordan pitched seven strong innings and the UCCS offense put together a sixth-inning rally to win the opener.
Jordan (2-0) had a perfect game through three innings and got the first two itters of the fourth before surrendering a walk to Sarah Van Lingen. She lost the no-hitter -- and her 1-0 lead -- one hitter later when Stacie LaRocque hit one over the center field fence.
Mines made it 3-1 in the fifth by stringing together three singles. With two on and one out, Jordan induced a popup, followed by Pagdiloa's pick off at third base.
That looked to be enough as Liz Kramer did an outstanding job of keeping the UCCS bats quiet. Through five innings, she had allowed just three balls to leave the infield. Three of UCCS' five hits to that point had been of the infield variety.
That changed -- dramatically -- in the sixth. Pagdilao led off the inning with a 275-foot home run to left center that nearly hit a house across the street. Zastrow followed with a double off the fence in right center. Hancock capped the inning with a clutch two-run, two-out homer to nearly the same spot as Pagdilao's blast.
Jordan retired the side in order in the seventh to seal the win.
UCCS 8, Mary 6
UCCS scored in all but one inning to outlast the Marauders.
After surrendering two runs in the top of the first, the Mountain Lions answered with Sarah Cleland's two-run single in the bottom half of the inning. Pagdilao doubled and later scored on a wild pitch in the third before Sarah Brisky drilled a two-run single in the third to make it 5-2.
The Marauders got a run in the fourth only to see UCCS extend its lead again in the bottom of the inning. Amanda Hathaway scored on a delayed double steal and Hancock belted an RBI double down the left-field line.
After another Marauder run, Haney answered in the sixth with an RBI single.
Down 8-4, Mary's Dre Brunskill hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to two in the top of the seventh. Peterson called upon Jordan to get the final three outs and her first save of the season. Stacy Ortiz (2-2) got the win.
UCCS 12, Regis 4 (5 innings)
Freshman Sarah McCauley allowed just one earned run and Haney and Cleland each had three RBIs as the Mountain Lions avenged a loss earlier this season with a run-rule victory.
Regis, which had beaten UCCS 7-2 on Feb. 9, was tagged for 13 hits Saturday led by Haney's three. Cleland, Brisky and Zastrow each had two hits.
McCauley (2-1) allowed five hits and walked none to earn the win.
Haney drove a double off the center-field wall to score Brianna Workman and Cleland followed with a two-run homer to give UCCS a lead in the first. Regis quickly answered with two unearned runs on the Mountain Lions' lone error of the day.
The Mountain Lions scored five in the third, all with two outs. Brisky hit a two-run single, Zastrow had an RBI single and Hathaway hit a two-run single.
UCCS added four more in the fourth, starting with Haney's two-run single. Cleland and Zastrow each added RBIs.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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|October 6, 2008||Mountain Lions Named an All-Academic Team||The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball team was named an all-academic team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.|
|May 22, 2008||All-American Anastos Transfers to UCCS from Fort Hays State||Under ordinary circumstances, a coach brings in a player and hopes to develop her into an All-American.|
|May 8, 2008||Haney Adds Two More Awards to Her Growing Collection||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs center fielder Stacy Haney added two more awards to her impressive collection Thursday when she was named first-team academic All-District VII (College Division) and first-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-South Central Region.|
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