UCCS Manages Split with Mines; Honors Krebs, Fight Against Leukemia

By Alex Cramer published April 19, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS - A weeknight doubleheader is an odd enough occurrence in itself, but couple that with a jersey retirement and a moment of silence for Brett Smith, who recently passed away of leukemia, the sibling of player Becca Smith and you get a peculiar mix.

When the festivities at the beginning of the game were all said and done, Krystal Kreb's number 22 jersey hung in left field, never to be worn again, and the bases were painted orange in support of leukemia research.

At the end of the day, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs managed to split their doubleheader with the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers by scores of 2-1 and 5-11 Wednesday night at Mountain Lion Field.  

The Mountain Lions (19-22 overall, 17-19 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) got off on the right foot after the somber beginnings going ahead 1-0 on a Jessica Belsterling RBI single in the first. Molly Thiebaut (pronounced Te-bow, yes Tebow) put the Orediggers on the board in the bottom half of the first with a solo home run off Belsterling. Thiebaut even celebrated with a ceremonial Tebowing at the plate after Thiebaut rounded the bases.

Belsterling (15-10) helped herself out when she doubled to open the fourth inning and later scored on a Rheana Trujilo double to recapture the lead for UCCS 2-1.

Jourdan Hitchings had arguably the best catch of the season when she made a shoestring catch in center field for the second out of the seventh. Fittingly, Belsterling record a strikeout looking for the final out of the game.   

In the end, Belsterling did most of the heavy lifting in game one. Seven innings of one-run softball by the junior out of Glendale, Ariz, won the day as the Mountain Lions grabbed their fifth one-run win of the season. UCCS is 5-2 in such games now.

Kelly Unkrich (14-13) was saddled with the loss for Colorado Mines (26-21 overall, 23-13 RMAC).

The second game had a similar feel to it with Belsterling on the mound for the second game of the doubleheader with the same lineup behind her.

Unfortunately, Thiebaut (or Tebow if you will) had the same result she had in the first game when she went deep to left field for the second straight game.

The bottom of the second the Mountain Lions made a move of their own.

Trujilo hit a two-run home run that was hit so far it almost went over the second fence in the outfield and once again it was 2-1 UCCS.

A series of ill-fated events saw the lead short-lived though, as Erin Milburn had a tough time with a wild pitch and later made an errant throw to third that allowed a run to come in and tie the score at 2-2.

Sarah Lustgraaf hit a no doubt home run of her own in what was a big fourth for Colorado Mines. Paige Coufal hit a two-run homer in the inning to make it 5-2.

Milburn earned some retribution in the fourth when she hit her first home run of the season to bring the Mountain Lions within one at 5-4.

It was all down hill from there on out however as Colorado Mines tacked on three runs in the fourth and fifth inning to make the score 11-5 and put the game out of reach for UCCS.

Belsterling ended the night 4-for-7 while Trujilo finished 3-for-7.

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