Jordan, Hathaway Show Big Power as UCCS Splits with Mesa State
COLORADO SPRINGS - Holly Jordan tied a UCCS single-game record with three doubles and drove in four runs to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to an 11-7 victory in the opener and a doubleheader split with the Mesa State Mavericks on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Mountain Lion Field.
Amanda Hathaway hit two of the Mountain Lions' five home runs in Game 2 as UCCS came most, but not quite all, of the way back from an 8-1 deficit only to lose 8-7.
Jordan was underutilized in her one season at Division I Iowa State. Jordan, who transferred to UCCS over the summer, acknowledged that she had built up a little rust.
"The more repetitions I'm getting now -- it's getting me back to where I used to be so I'm really excited," she said. "It feels so good; I feel so confident."
Stacy Haney went a combined 5-for-7 with three RBIs for UCCS (16-11, 9-7 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Jordan was 4-for-7 with four RBIs, while Hathaway, Sarah Brisky and Katie Johnston each went 3-for-7. Hathaway had a team-best five RBIs.
The UCCS dugout looked like a M*A*S*H* unit. Three starters, second baseman Rachel Hancock, first baseman Lindsay Zastrow and right fielder Brianna Workman were all sidelined with injuries. That's a lot of firepower on the bench, as that trio is hitting a combined .358 with 37 RBIs and 29 stolen bases.
"We're missing a lot of starters," said Peterson. "I'm very proud of the kids who stepped in today."
The remaining Mountain Lions showed they could also steal bases as UCCS swiped six in Game 1 and one in Game 2. Sierra Green had four of those steals.
Libby White (1-2) was dominant in relief for the second straight day, throwing two scoreless, no-hit innings while striking out four to earn the win in the opener. The sophomore pitched five scoreless innings in relief on Friday.
"Libby right now is just looking sensational," said Peterson.
White, who missed last weekend's series against Fort Lewis because of an illness, said she did some soul searching during the layoff.
"It gave me a lot of time to think about just why I'm playing the game," said White, who cut her ERA by 2.42 runs this weekend. "I feel a lot more confident and stronger, mostly mentally."
Mesa State (12-8, 10-6 RMAC) scored two in the first inning Saturday and another in the second with the Mountain Lions matching run-for-run. UCCS was unable to answer Mesa State's two-run third, however, and saw the deficit grow to 6-3 after the top of the fifth.
That's when the bottom third of the UCCS batting order, which had been a combined 0-for-6 up to that point, came to life. Sarah McCauley, Brisky and Johnston all singled, with Johnston's hit driving home a run. Two batters later, Jordan cut the gap to 6-5 with a sacrifice fly.
Mesa State added another run, a solo homer by Leslie Reed, in the sixth before McCauley, the UCCS starter, yielded to White. White quickly retired the side and the momentum carried over to the bottom half of the inning.
Sarah Cleland led off with a homer to left. The Mountain Lions later got an RBI single by Brisky, a two-run double by Jordan, and then an RBI single by Haney. In all, UCCS scored six times on five hits.
While it was UCCS with the big rally in Game 1, Mesa State looked to have the nightcap put away. An RBI triple by Kristen Silva and a two-run homer by Reed in the top of the third put the Mavericks up 3-0. They registered five more in the fifth thanks to a three-run homer by Meagan Hennessey, a solo shot by Alissa Zoelle and an RBI triple by Jamie Prather.
Meanwhile, UCCS managed just three hits through the first four innings, one of which was a solo homer by Hathaway.
Brisky and Johnston belted back-to-back, two-out homers to left in the bottom of the fifth to start the comeback. Hathaway added a three-run blast in the sixth to make it 8-6.
The Mountain Lions loaded the bases with one out in the seventh before Haney's sacrifice fly cut the gap to one but also registered the second out. After Cleland walked, Hathaway hit a sharp shot to the right side that was flagged down by Mesa State second baseman Nicole Zuniga.
Stacy Ortiz (5-5) took the loss for UCCS, allowing seven runs over 4 2/3 innings before giving way to Jordan. Nine of the Mavericks' 10 hits went for extra bases.
Jessica Rayman (7-4) took the loss in Game 1 for Mesa State, while Alicia Neuschwanger (5-4) got the win in the nightcap.
In both losses over the weekend, UCCS had the tying runner in scoring position when the final out was recorded. The disappointment of the near misses made it difficult to feel good even though Mesa State came into the weekend tied for first place in the RMAC.
"It's not what we wanted," said Peterson immediately after Saturday's games. "We also had a great shot yesterday. This series could have gone a little bit differently."
And then, after a few seconds of reflection, he added:
"We've got sensational players who aren't even playing right now. A split against a team that was tied for first; we'll take it."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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