Homerfest at Mountain Lion Field Leaves UCCS, Chadron with Split
COLORADO SPRINGS -- Stacy Haney hit two home runs and Katie Johnston added a grand slam on her birthday as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs defeated the Chadron State Eagles 16-8 in Sunday's nightcap and a doubleheader split at Mountain Lion Field.
Amanda Hathaway hit two home runs and drove in five but her effort was wasted as Chadron State outslugged UCCS in the opener 10-7.
Haney went 6-for-7 with six RBIs and five runs scored on the day. Brianna Workman did her job as the table setter, going 3-for-4 with three walks while scoring four times. Rachel Hancock went 4-for-7 and Hathaway was 3-for-8 with six RBIs.
Chadron State came into the series hitting .277 with 13 home runs in 21 games. In the four games against UCCS, the Eagles hit .403 with 11 home runs.
"We're getting everybody's best game," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "The Olympic team lost to Virginia yesterday -- they're getting everybody's best game. We're not the Olympic team, but we're going to be getting everybody's best game."
Sunday produced the kind of numbers that can only happen at Mountain Lion Field when the wind is blowing out. The teams combined for 13 home runs among their 47 hits.
"We told them after the first game that if the offense was going to have to win it, then the offense was going to have to win it," said Peterson.
Casey Williams (10-7) started both games for the Eagles. The junior from Sydney, Australia, struck out nine in a 127-pitch effort to earn the win in the opener. She was pressed into an unexpected second start when Cassie Humphrey pulled up lame. Throwing another 102 pitches, she was tagged for 12 runs in just four innings in Game 2.
"The offense hit the ball against a kid that struck out a ton in the first game," said Peterson. "We made some adjustments and hit her pretty well."
Despite a noticeable limp, Humphrey's injury didn't hinder her at the plate. After an 0-for-4 start, she belted homers in consecutive at bats after getting hurt.
Haney's first-inning homer gave UCCS a 2-0 lead in the second game, but the Eagles scored once in the third and four times in the fourth to make a Chadron State sweep look probable.
The bottom of the fourth changed that outlook -- with emphasis. Tasha Pagdilao dropped an RBI double into right field to start the barrage, and Hancock followed with a two-run single. After Workman dropped a bunt single, Haney blasted the first pitch she saw for a three-run, two-out homer to left center estimated at 265 feet.
"We just lit a fire inside and we came around," said Haney. "It all came together because we knew it had to."
And UCCS wasn't done. A single by Hathaway and walks by Sarah Cleland and Holly Jordan loaded the bases, setting up Johnston's birthday gift to herself -- her second career grand slam, which gave the Mountain Lions a 12-5 lead.
"It was awesome," laughed Johnston. "I just had all of the confidence in the world because I was hitting (Williams) before. I thought she was going to go outside, but she came inside and I just crushed it."
The scrappy Eagles rallied for three runs in the fifth before UCCS answered with Sierra Green's two-run triple in the bottom half of the inning. After Haney was intentionally walked and stole second, Hathaway followed with a groundout that scored Green. Haney also scored on the play, thanks to a throwing error, to bring the eight-run rule into effect.
Libby White (3-2) survived the Eagles hitting, and the wind, to earn her second win in as many days.
Hathaway and Sarah Cleland hit back-to-back homers in the first to help the Mountain Lions get out to a 5-2 lead in the opener. Chadron State countered with single runs in the second and fourth innings before taking an 8-5 lead with a four-run sixth.
Hathaway's homer in the bottom half of the inning cut the deficit to one, but solo homers by Cassie Humphrey and Blair McEndaffer put Chadron State up 10-7.
The Mountain Lions loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning and looked to have something cooking. Williams, though, stabbed two hard-hit comebackers before striking out Cleland to end the game.
Sarah McCauley (5-4) took the loss for UCCS.
The Mountain Lions have been Murphy's team over the past three weeks, going 5-7, as everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. The coaches and players believe that there will be a payoff to all of the adversity.
"We're working hard; it's just the way it's going right now," said Peterson. "This is all going to help us down the road; that's what we think. We'll take the split."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
|Additional News Stories|
|November 24, 2008||Peterson Announces 2009-10 Softball Recruiting Class||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs softball coach Scott Peterson announced Monday the signing of nine players, including two all-Colorado selections, for the 2009-10 season.|
|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.|
|May 7, 2008||Haney Named to Daktronics All-South Central Region First Team||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs senior center fielder Stacy Haney was named first-team all-South Central Region by Daktronics, it was announced Wednesday.|