Mountain Lions End Season with Split, Anastos on Pace for Home Run Record

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 26, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jessika Anastos, the NCAA Division II national leader for home runs, hit two more on the final day of the season as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs split its doubleheader against the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers Sunday at Mountain Lion Field.

The Mountain Lions (15-27, 12-22 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) lost the opener 11-1 before coming back to win the nightcap 8-5.

Anastos' blasts were Nos. 23 and 24 on the season, giving her a nation-leading 0.57 home runs per game. Should nobody pass her, Anastos will set a new NCAA record, surpassing the previous mark of 0.52 per game set by UCCS' own Crustal Krebs in 2005.

Christina Blanton also went deep for UCCS. Her 11 home runs on the season is a new UCCS record for freshmen. She finished the season with six home runs in her final seven games.

UCCS came into the day still nursing a slim hope for qualifying for the RMAC playoffs. The Mountain Lions needed to sweep the Lopers and hope that Metro State did the same to Chadron State.

That hope ended quickly. Cassie Keck hit a three-run homer and Austin Wilson added a two-run shot to give the Lopers a 5-0 lead after one inning. Wilson added a bases-loaded triple in the second more than offsetting Jessika Anastos' solo homer in the bottom of the first to make it 8-1.

Nebraska-Kearney starter Ashley Guyle did the rest. After Anastos' blast, Guyle held UCCS to just one more hit, a Christina Blanton single, while striking out eight in the five-inning, rule-run-shortened contest.

The Lopers added three more runs in the top of the fifth on homers by Guyle and Kelsey Smith, the latter a two-run shot, to extend the lead to 10.

Wilson, who came into the game hitting .161 (10-for-62) with one home run and six RBIs, went 2-for-3 with five RBIs.

All 13 runs scored in Game 2 came home by way of the home run. Smith gave UNK the lead with a solo shot in the third. UCCS answered with four runs â€" a three-run blast by Sarah McCauley and a solo homer by Anastos.

A two-run homer in the fourth by Dani Mowinkel cut the lead to 4-3, but UCCS added four more in the fifth with two-run shots by Blanton and Julie Jenkins.

Back-to-back solo homers in the sixth by Wilson and Laura Gormley made it 8-5, but that's as close as the Lopers would get.

Sarah McCauley got both decisions for UCCS, finishing her season with an 8-11 record.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Jessika AnastosJessika Anastos41BJr.
Jessika AnastosJessika Anastos41BJr.
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton83BFr.
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton83BFr.
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton83BFr.
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