Hathaway's Two Homers Help UCCS Split with Adams State

By Doug Fitzgerald published April 22, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS - Amanda Hathaway hit two home runs , the first of which proved to be the game winner in the opener, as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs split its Friday doubleheader against the Adams State Grizzlies at Mountain Lion Field. UCCS won the first game 4-3 and Adams State took the second 8-5.

"Amanda had a good day," said UCCS coach Scott Peterson. "She hit the ball hard today; harder than she's hit in a while."

Becca Smith struck out 10 in the complete-game effort in the opener for UCCS (18-24, 15-18 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference). The junior allowed just five hits and two walks in evening her record to 9-9. Her walk to Lizzy Schossow in the second inning ended a remarkable streak of 33 consecutive innings without a walk.

Also ending was a 16-game hitting streak by Adams State's Katelyn Lovato, who last went hitless against Mesa State on March 26. Lovato, who came into Friday second in the NCAA with a .531 batting average, owns the NCAA's longest hitting streak - 41 games - which ended on Feb. 12 against Augustana.

The Grizzlies score first in the opener, getting back-to-back solo homers by Rebecca Lindquist and Jaycee Lovato to open the fourth inning after Smith held the Grizzlies hitless through three.

Hathaway's three-run, two-out shot in the bottom half of the inning gave the Mountain Lions a 3-2 lead.

UCCS added a fourth run an inning later on a sacrifice fly by Christina Blanton that scored Marissa Wallace.

Adams State started what could have been the go-ahead rally but for a remarkable defensive play by Blanton, the UCCS third baseman. A leadoff walk, a double and a single left the Grizzlies with one run scored and runners on the corners with none out. After Smith struck out Jennie Archambault, Tayler Else hit a rocket down the third base line. The right-handed Blanton reached far across her body to snag to ball, tagged the runner at third who had strayed a step off the bag, and then fired across the diamond to nail Else and end the inning.

Blanton made another slick play to open the seventh, fielding a slow roller and throwing on the run to retire Alexis Garcia.

"That was huge," said Peterson. "The play she made on that double-play was sensational. The lead out in the seventh inning was great, too."

Rachel Lovato was forced to pitch both games for Adams State (26-21, 18-16 RMAC) since Sarah Lindquist ws out with an injury. Lindquist is expected to be available for Saturday's doubleheader.

The Mountain Lions fell behind early in Friday's second games and never fully recovered. Two UCCS errors combined with three Adams State errors as the Grizzlies put up three runs in the first. An RBI single by Rebecca Lindquist in the second made it 4-0.

"The second game, I think we lost it in the first inning," said Peterson. "I don't think in that first inning we were ready. We've got to get a little more prepared for that second game and not be content with one win."

The Mountain Lions halved the deficit in the fourth as Christina Blanton opened the inning with a double and scored in a single by Erin Milburn, who went 4-for-7 on the day). With two outs, pinch hitter Tahnea Leeling drew a bases-loaded walk on an epic, 12-pitch at bat.

A muffed fly ball in the fifth became a three-base error that scored the fifth Adams State run. UCCS answered in the sixth with Hathaway's second homer of the day, a solo shot to left, to make it 5-3.

A three-run, pinch-hit homer by Archambault homer in the top of the seventh added to the Grizzlies' advantage. UCCS got a two-run shot by Jessica Belsterling in the bottom of the frame but could get no more.

Belsterling threw five innings of six-hit ball with just one error from innings two through six. Those were sandwiched by three-run first and seventh innings that dropped Belsterling to 9-10 on the season. 

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Amanda HathawayAmanda Hathaway17OF
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton83BFr.
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton83BFr.
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton83BFr.
Christina BlantonChristina Blanton
Tahnea LeelingTahnea Leeling14C/UT
Tahnea LeelingTahnea Leeling14C/UT
Tahnea LeelingTahnea Leeling14C/UT
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