UCCS Recovers from Mesa State Comeback, Win in Seventh to Salvage Split
GRAND JUNCTION - An RBI single by Lara Mathewson and a sacrifice fly by Jessica Belsterling proved to be the difference as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs won Sunday's second game 8-6 and salvaged a split of their doubleheader against the Mesa State Mavericks at Bergman Field.
The Mountain Lions (6-11, 3-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) dropped the first game 15-7 in five innings.
A four-run sixth inning erased a big UCCS lead in Game 2, allowing the Mavericks to pull into a 6-6 tie going into the final frame.
With one out, Tahnea Leeling was hit by a pitch after being hit four times in Saturday's doubleheader. Marissa Wallace and Landry Davis each dropped bunt singles as the Mountain Lions loaded the bases. Mathewson took advantage of the opportunity by drilling a single up the middle, scoring Leeling. Belsterling followed with a deep fly ball to center field, allowing Wallace to tag up and score.
Becca Smith (2-2) put the Mavericks' Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters down in order, erasing the memory of the six-hit sixth inning and giving UCCS the win.
Belsterling, Blanton and Amanda Hathaway each hit .500 on the day with Belsterling going 4-for-8 and Blanton and Hathaway going 3-for-6. Caitlin Connelly had a team-best four RBIs and Mathewson had three.
A three-run third inning gave UCCS the lead in the nightcap as Mathewson had an RBI single and Blanton followed with a two-out, two-run single up the middle. Mathewson drove home another run in the fourth to make it 4-2.
In the fifth, Connelly's run-scoring single and a Mesa State error helped make it 6-2.
Mesa State (7-6, 5-3 RMAC) had 32 hits in the doubleheader.
Game 1 was promising early for the Mountain Lions. They loaded the bases with one out and plated the first run when Hathaway reached on s fielder's choice and the throw to the plate to get the lead runner was too late. With two outs, Connelly ripped a two-run single to left to put UCCS up by three.
That lead evaporated quickly as a two-run double by Lauren Cross was followed by a three-run homer by Megan Smith in the bottom of the inning. UCCS starter Jenna Mott (0-4) was chased after surrendering six runs and retiring just one batter.
Gabrielle Parra hit a solo homer in the third and a sacrifice fly in the fourth, which was added to an RBI single by Sara Jordan to make it 9-3. A four-run fourth started by a solo shot by Smith, her second of the game, made it 13-3.
The Mountain Lions staved off the NCAA's run rule, at least for the moment, with a four-run fifth. Bases-loaded walks drawn by Davis and Connelly and run-scoring singles by Erin Milburn and Wallace accounted for the scores.
But UCCS surrendered two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth as three errors doomed the Mountain Lions' comeback hopes.
Lita Romero had four of the Mavericks' 20 hits in the game, while Smith, Lisa Pille and Parra had three each.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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