Haney, Cleland Come Up Big but Loss Streak Still Reaches Eight
ALAMOSA -- Sarah Cleland went a combined 4-for-6 with five RBIs and Stacy Haney was a single away from hitting for the cycle, but the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs nonetheless saw its losing streak reach eight games after dropping 12-8 and 14-11 decisions to the Adams State Grizzlies Friday afternoon at ASC Softball Field.
Cleland had a hit and three walks in the opener, and then went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run in the nightcap.
In Game 1, Haney had already belted a home run in the first inning, a triple in the third and a double in the fourth when she stepped to the plate to lead off the sixth. Instead of getting the single necessary to reach the cycle, though, the senior from Littleton belted her second home run of the game.
But, despite the offensive output, ineffective pitching kept the Mountain Lions chasing their tails all day. After scoring two in the top of the first inning of the opener, UCCS gave up four in the bottom half of the inning, three in the second and three more in the third. In the second game, the Mountain Lions spotted Adams State four runs in the first. UCCS got two back in the third, but yielded five more in the bottom half of the inning.
"It seems like just when we'd come back, they'd hit a home run or something," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "The hitting's there. Now we've got to get the pitching going."
Falling far behind early has been indicative of the Mountain Lions' losing streak, during which they have been outscored 19-4 in the first inning, 11-6 in the second and 16-7 in the third. Over the past eight games, UCCS pitching has been rocked to the tune of a .377 opponent batting average and a 9.83 ERA.
The winless streak is the longest by a UCCS softball team since 2003.
Heather Ebert was a combined 5-for-6 with six RBIs Friday for Adams State (28-11, 17-9 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). Courtney Davis was 5-for-6 with four RBIs, while Kymber Keith was 6-for-8 with seven RBIs.
The Mountain Lions had the look of streak breakers with a huge comeback in Game 2. Trailing 12-2 in the fifth inning, UCCS rallied for eight runs highlighted by a two-run double by Sarah Brisky and a two-run homer by Tasha Pagdilao.
"We were three outs way from being eliminated by the run rule and then we put up an eight spot in the fifth," said Peterson. "We're seeing some good things. The hitting's coming around."
Cleland's solo homer to lead off the sixth closed the gap to one, but UCCS (18-21, 11-19 RMAC) was unable to score the tying run despite loading the bases.
Keith's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth halted the comeback.
"(Keith's home run) took a lot of the air out of us," said Peterson. "We came back but it just seems like we're falling that one hit short or that one pitch too many."
Adams State's leadoff hitter reached base in eight of the 12 innings Friday. Not coincidentally, the Grizzlies scored in all eight of those innings. They did not score in any of the four innings in which they did not get the leadoff batter on base.
Sierra Green went a combined 4-for-6 for UCCS, while Haney and Brisky were each 4-for-8.
The Mountain Lions will have a chance to snap the losing streak -- or extend it -- when they face Colorado State-Pueblo on Saturday. Under the RMAC's new pod system for interdivisional games, the two teams will be playing in neutral Alamosa.
Peterson feels his team is very close to curing what ails it.
"We just need to get back on track," he said. "We feel like when we get that one win, we'll get it going again. We had a great opportunity here. We hope it comes tomorrow against Pueblo."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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