Mountain Lions Grab Two More RMAC Wins

By Chris Spomer published March 3, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS: The University of Colorado Colorado Springs got two more Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference wins Saturday as they defeated the Western New Mexico Mustangs 10-2 and 8-7 at Mountain Lion Field.

Lara Mathewson had a big day for the Mountain Lions (7-3, 5-1 RMAC) as she went 4-7 with a double and a clutch 3-run homer in the in the second game. Jessica Belsterling, the reigning RMAC Offensive Player of the Week,  continued her hot start as she went 4-8 on the day and completely shut down the Mustangs (9-10, 4-2 RMAC) from the pitcher's circle in game one as she produced a complete game (six innings) without allowing an earned run.

The Mountain Lions got off to a fast start in the first game as they turned two singles, two walks and a double into five first inning runs. That's all Belsterling would need as she went on to complete the rout  allowing a measly six hits and one walk while compiling nine strikeouts to earn her fourth win of the season. Her teammates sprinkled in two runs in the second, one in the fourth and two more on a walk-off single by Landry Davis in the 6th.

Game two was a bit more dramatic as the Mustang's Arriel Smith held the UCCS offense in check for the better part of six innings. Freshman Korey Kulpins did her part to match Smith's effort as she'd only gave up three runs through six innings. Emily Jennings hit a two-out, two-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth to draw the Mountain Lions to within one heading into the final inning. However, Western New Mexico did their best to slam the door in the top of the seventh as they tacked on four more runs extending the lead to 7-2.

With one out and one run already across, Mathewson stepped to the plate with two runners on and jacked a 3-run blast into the wind over the center field fence. Belsterling was up next and a sharp single that was mishandled by the center fielder allowed the sophomore from Glendale, Ariz. move into scoring position.  A pop-out by Jennings kept Belsterling at second and brought the UCCS' lone senior, Christina Blanton, to the plate with the game on the line. Four years of pressure-filled at-bats paid off as she roped a double to tie the game at seven. Comeback complete.

Belsterling came back in to pitch in the eighth and gave up two hits, but got out of the inning with no real threats. The Mountain Lions couldn't threaten in the inning either as they went 1-2-3 in the bottom half.

Back-to-back singles and an advancement on an overthrow had the Mountain Lions on the ropes as the Mustangs had runners on second and third with no outs in the ninth. The next batter was Jessica Jayo who, coming into this at-bat, was 3-4 with two homeruns. She drove a deep fly ball down the right field line that was ran down by Landry Davis. With the runner on third tagging, Davis hurled the ball towards home plate and on two hops nailed the potential go-ahead run. A quick two outs put confidence back in Belsterling and she immediately struck out the next batter. Threat over.

A leadoff double by Jourdan Hitchings in the bottom half had the Mountain Lions in prime position to send the Mustangs home broken hearted. With Mathewson batting (and probably her 3-run blast in Smith's head), a passed ball allowed Hitchings to move to third. Later in the at-bat, Hitchings showed off her speed as she scored standing up on a wild pitch to seal the victory.

The Mountain Lions will look to complete the four-game sweep of the Mustangs tomorrow when the teams meet at 11 and 1.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lara MathewsonLara Mathewson44IFSr
Lara MathewsonLara Mathewson44IFFr
Lara MathewsonLara Mathewson44IFFr
Lara MathewsonLara Mathewson44IFFr
Jessica BelsterlingJessica Belsterling4PJr.
Jessica BelsterlingJessica Belsterling4PJr.
Jessica BelsterlingJessica Belsterling4PJr.
Jourdan HitchingsJourdan Hitchings14OFJr
Jourdan HitchingsJourdan Hitchings14OFSo
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