Two Grand Slams, Mott's Pitching Give Mountain Lions Two Wins at Adams State

By Doug Fitzgerald published March 22, 2010

ALAMOSA - The best way to end a losing streak is by starting a winning streak.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs hit two grand slams and got an outstanding pitching performance by Jenna Mott to win the final two games of Monday's tripleheader against the Adams State Grizzlies at ASC Softball Field.

The Mountain Lions (6-16, 3-10 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) dropped Game 1 16-7 before coming back to win Game 2 14-11 and Game 3 7-0. The wins ended UCCS' nine-game losing streak, which was tied for the sixth longest in school history. It matched the streak endured from April 5-12, 2008. Those two are the only streaks of eight or more games by a UCCS softball team since 2003.

The tripleheader was scheduled when last week's spring snowstorm forced the cancellation of the doubleheaders that were originally to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Christina Blanton hit a grand slam, one of two home runs on the day for the sophomore, while freshman Lara Mathewson repeated the feat in Game 2. It was the first time a UCCS team has hit two grand slams on the same day. Blanton's blast was only the fourth hit by a UCCS player in a losing effort.

It was Blanton's second career grand slam, tying her with Crystal Krebs, Charlene Berg, Brittni Carlson and Katie Johnston for second on the UCCS career list. The school record holder for grand slams in Sarah Cleland, who belted six from 2005-08.

Mott (1-1) shut out the Grizzlies in the third game, scattering 10 hits and walking none. In two career starts, the freshman has allowed just two earned runs (five total) on 19 hits and no walks over 14 innings.

In the three games, the Mountain Lions hit seven home runs that accounted for 13 of their runs. Top hitters on the day were: Jessika Anastos (6-for-10, five RBIs), Mathewson (5-9, five RBIs), Blanton (4-9, eight RBIs) and Traci Everett (5-11, two RBIs).

Amanda Hathaway, who is starting in center field this season after spending her first two seasons at UCCS as the No. 1 third baseman (2008) and shortstop (2009), validated coach Scott Peterson's decision to move her to the outfield. The junior had three assists, throwing out baserunners at third (once) and home (twice).

Game 1
Adams State 13, UCCS 7

The Mountain Lions were unable to make a seven-run lead stand as they fell to the Grizzlies in the opener.

Landry Davis and Mathewson each singled to lead off the game and Anastos, the reigning NCAA home run champion, brought both home with a three-run shot inside the left field foul pole. UCCS made it 7-0 as Blanton blasted her second career grand slam in the second frame.

Adams State answered quickly and decisively. Katelyn Lovato's two-run double keyed a four-run second inning for the home team. The Grizzlies hung eight more runs in the third on eight hits, including a two-run homer by Jaycee Lovato.

Sarah McCauley (2-8) struggled, allowing nine runs, six earned, in 2.1 innings for UCCS. Adams State starter Sarah Lindquist (2-2) recovered from her shaky start to limit UCCS to just one hit over the final four innings.

Game 2
UCCS 14, Adams State 11

The Mountain Lions overcame a 4-0 deficit by hitting four home runs, including Mathewson's grand slam, to end their nine-game losing streak.

Blanton and Hathaway each hit three-run shots, while freshman Caitlyn Connelly added a two-run blast for her first career hit.

Stacy Ortiz (3-7) surrendered 11 runs through 4.2 innings but earned the win. McCauley earned her second career save, stranding seven Adams State baserunners over her 2.1 innings.

Selina Pacheco's grand slam in the second inning game Adams State a 4-0 lead. UCCS answered with RBI hits by Mathewson and Jessica Anastos followed by Blanton's three-run shot.

After the Grizzlies tied it at five, UCCS broke the game open with seven runs in the fifth, all with two outs. Hathaway started the rally with a three run shot that brought home Everett and Blanton. Walks to Erin Milburn and Davis sandwiched around Kailey Hernandez reaching on an error loaded the bases for Mathewson, who drove a 2-1 pitch for UCCS' second granny of the day.

Adams State quickly closed the gap, though, scoring six times in the bottom half of the inning on five hits, including two-run singles by Pacheco (her fifth and sixth RBIs of the game) and Rebecca Lindquist.

Up 12-11, the Mountain Lions got insurance runs thanks to Connelly's first collegiate hit - and home run - a two run drive to center.

The win was the first time in 12 tries that UCCS had won a game when allowing seven or more runs.

Game 3,
UCCS 7, Adams State 0

Mott recorded UCCS' first shutout of the season and the Mountain Lions scored seven despite hitting into three double plays.

Blanton opened the scoring with a first-inning sacrifice fly and Everett followed with an RBI double to give the Mountain Lions a 2-0 lead. Julie Jenkins made it 3-0 with a solo home run in the second, continuing an odd trend for the senior. Three of her four career hits have now left the park.

UCCS added three more in the fifth as Everett hit an RBI single, Connelly drew a bases-loaded walk and Blanton came home on a passed ball. The final run cam by way of an Anastos single in the sixth.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFSo.
Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFJr.
Charlene BergCharlene Berg1OFSr.
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Sarah McCauleySarah McCauley7P/IF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Jessika AnastosJessika Anastos41BJr.
Jessika AnastosJessika Anastos41BJr.
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