Sunday Split Gives UCCS Three Out of Four in Series vs. Mustangs

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 9, 2008

COLORADO SPRINGS -- A nine-run third inning lifted the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to an 11-2 win over the Western New Mexico Mustangs and a split of the doubleheader played between the teams Sunday at Mountain Lion Field.

Western New Mexico (6-13, 2-6 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) won Sunday's opener 8-6. UCCS (13-6, 6-2 RMAC) won three of the four games in the weekend series.

All five of the Mountain Lions' home runs Sunday were hit by players who had not previously gone deep this season. Holly Jordan, Lindsay Zastrow, Katie Johnston, Sierra Green and Amanda Hathaway all hit their first home runs of the season.

"All five of us did our job," said Hathaway. "We stepped it up."

Green hit for the double-header cycle, swatting a single, a triple and a homer on Game 1 and a double in Game 2. She finished the day 4-for-6 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Brianna Workman was a combined 3-for-5 with a walk and Jordan, hitting out of the leadoff spot for the incapacitated Rachel Hancock, went 4-for-8 with three RBIs.

The Mustangs scored twice in the first three innings of Game 2 but also left six runners stranded. They would regret that in the bottom of the third as UCCS strung together eight hits, including homers by Hathaway and Jordan, and three walks to take a 9-3 lead.

"It's an adrenaline rush; it's so much fun," said Hathaway of the season-best rally. "You don't stop yelling and you lose your voice, like me. Everything's moving so fast -- it's awesome."

A two-run shot by Johnston in the fourth brought the NCAA's run rule into play when Western New Mexico failed to score.

Jordan (4-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to earn the win. Sarah McCauley started but could not get the victory because she did not pitch the required four innings.

"Sarah threw well but she just didn't feel that her ball was moving," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "Holly came in and threw really, really well."

Jordan attributed some of that to the team's offensive explosion.

"I was really pumped up from the inning before," said Jordan. "It made me step up my game a little more; and it made me have more movement on my pitches."

Priscilla Garcia (3-7) took the loss for the Mustangs.

Western New Mexico came out hitting and hitting hard in the opener. Four of the Mustangs' first five hits were home runs and six of the first seven went for extra bases.

At the same time, UCCS squandered opportunities. The Mountain Lions left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings, managing just a bases-loaded walk by Tasha Pagdilao and an RBI single by Jordan.

Two-run home runs by Zastrow and Green in the third helped UCCS tie the game at six, but Western New Mexico added two more in the fourth to take an 8-6 lead.

At that point, the complexion of the game changed. Western New Mexico starter Brianne Grommon (3-6) seemed, unbelievably, to find a second wind after reaching the 100-pitch mark in the third inning. The senior held UCCS scoreless over the final four innings as she reached 172 total pitches for the game.

But the Mountain Lions had no shortage of chances, leaving 13 runners stranded. In the seventh inning, Jordan blasted a long line out to left that was just a couple of feet away from tying the game. After the Mountain Lions loaded the bases, Sarah Cleland, who has a school-record six career grand slams, came up a few feet short of No. 7 with a long fly out to right that ended the game.

"We were definitely in a situation to win the first one," said Peterson. "We gave up too many runs and we left all of those runners on base but we were still in it to win it.

"(Cleland) got a great swing on the ball but it just wasn't there."

Libby White (0-2) was charged with the loss in relief.

While the near miss for a four-game sweep was disappointing, the Mountain Lions stayed on pace for the season.

"Every week, that's what we go for; win three out of four at home and split on the road," said Peterson. "The math adds up. That's what you're going to need to do to put yourself in a good situation come May."

Nine-run innings will put you in a good situation as well.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BSo.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BSo.
Rachel HancockRachel Hancock42BJr.
Katie JohnstonKatie Johnston9IFFr.
Kaite JohnstonKaite Johnston93BSo.
Sierra GreenSierra Green15OFFr.
Sierra GreenSierra Green15OFSo.
Tasha PagdilaoTasha Pagdilao2C/IFFr.
Tasha PagdilaoTasha Pagdilao3CJr.
Tasha PagdilaoTasha Pagdilao3CSo.
Holly JordanHolly Jordan14P/OF
Holly JordanHolly Jordan14P/OF
Lindsay ZastrowLindsay Zastrow441BFr.
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Brianna WorkmanBrianna Workman4OFFr.
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
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