Belsterling Blasts Two Home Runs in the Series Finale
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Belsterling blasts two home runs and allows just two hits in the series finale as The University of Colorado Colorado Springs softball team (19-11-1 / 14-7 RMAC) splits day two with Colorado Mesa (15-10-1 / 13-6-1 RMAC).
Game 1 Recap
UCCS started game two with two base hits as Payton Kornfeind and Jessica Belsterling each had a single to shortstop. That would be the only offense that the Mountain Lions mounted in the first inning though, as they went scoreless in the first.
Colorado Mesa had two hits in the bottom of the first and scored one run on a UCCS error to take a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The Mountain Lions went down one-two-three in the second inning. The Mavericks recorded a hit with two outs, but a precise throw by UCCS catcher Erin Milburn to catch Tawnee Woosley stealing concluded the inning with the Mavericks still leading 1-0.
Kornfeind scored her second single of the game as she bunted to get on base in the third inning. She advanced to second with a single through the right side by Jourdan Hitchings. Both runners advanced with a groundout by Lara Mathewson.
With first base open, Belsterling didn't see any pitches near the strike zone, and took first base with a walk to load the bases. Emily Jennings tried to drive the first pitch in her at bat, but lined out to second base to end the top half of the inning.
The third inning was a flashback of the first as the Mavericks had two hits and scored one run off one UCCS error. As both teams entered the fourth inning, Colorado Mesa remained ahead by a score of 2-0.
TJ Flodman fouled out behind the plate to begin the fourth, but the Mountain Lions were finally able to get on the board in the next at bat as Allie Corids crushed the ball to straightaway center field for a solo homerun (3). That would be the only score of the inning as UCCS trailed by one run at the start of the fifth.
For the first time in three attempts, Kornfeind was unable to get a lead off hit as she grounded out to second base. Hitchings was able to reach for her second time with a single through the left side and advanced to second with a groundout by Mathewson.
Severinsen seemed to lose some control over her pitches in the inning, as she threw a wild pitch which allowed Hitchings to advance to third, and then hit Belsterling and Jennings to load the bases. This was the second time that the Mountain Lions had the bases loaded with two outs and for the second time, they were unable to capitalize as TJ Flodman grounded out to third base to end the inning.
The Mavericks went down in order in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the Mountain Lions followed suite to start the sixth. Colorado Mesa had another quiet inning in the sixth, with just one hit and one walk, but continued to lead 2-1 as the teams headed into the final inning of regulation.
Kornfeind started the seventh inning with a single to center field and advanced to second with a groundout by Hitchings to put the tie runner in scoring position. Mathewson was unable to advance the runner with a fly out to left field for the second out of the inning. Belsterling singled to first base to put runners on the corners, but Jennings flied out to center field to end the inning and the game.
Becca Smith's record drops to 12-6 with the 2-1 loss. She allowed just six hits and zero earned runs in her six innings pitched.
Game 2 Recap
Neither team recorded a hit in the first inning, but the Mavericks put a runner on with an error at third base. The runner was thrown out in a steal attempt as Jessica Belsterling recorded her first strikeout of the game and Becca Needler threw down to second to complete the double-play.
Pitcher Jessica Belsterling helped out her own cause to start off the second inning with a solo homerun (9) to right center field for her third bomb of the series. Allie Corids also drew a walk in the inning, but the side was retired on three outs to short stop as UCCS headed to the bottom of the second inning with its first lead of the day.
The Mavericks got a lead off runner with a walk by Belsterling, but hit into a double play on the next at bat and finished the inning with a grounder to third base.
Both teams were quite in the third inning, which allowed UCCS to take its 1-0 lead into the fourth.
The fourth inning began just as the second inning did with Belsterling going deep for another solo homerun (10). This time, however, the Mountain Lions did not stop there. Emily Jennings kept things going as she doubled to right center field, and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Jennings scored in the next at bat on a sacrifice fly to left field by TJ Flodman. Allie Cords kept the pressure on pitcher Courtney Shreves with a single to left center, which forced the Mavericks to bring back the starter from game one.
Brittney Hoppe's patience allowed her to take first base on a walk and she quickly advanced to second with a successful bunt by Becca Needler. The bunt single by Needler loaded the bases for UCCS with just one out, but Severinsen showed why she is the Maverick's ace by getting out of the jam and minimizing the damage to two runs.
The Mavericks got one hit in the bottom of the fourth, but the Mountain Lion defense kept the shut out in tact as both teams headed to the fifth inning.
Both teams had a batter reach first base on a walk in the fifth, but neither team was able to capitalize on having a runner on as they both were hitless in the inning.
UCCS did get two more hits in the sixth inning with singles from Hoppe and Kornfeind, but the Mavericks kept the Mountain Lions from adding any more runs to the board. The Mavericks were unable to put any runs either though as they continued to trail 3-0 into the final inning of regulation.
The Mountain Lions did not settle in the seventh innings as they added another run to insure the win. Mathewson started the inning with a single to second base. Landry Davis pinch ran for her, but was out at second when Belsterling hit into a fielder's choice.
Belsterling advanced to second with a pop up by Jennings, and scored on a double down the left field line by TJ Flodman. That would be the final run scored as UCCS shut down Colorado Mesa in the bottom of the seventh and finished the series split with a 4-0 shutout win.
The dominating game of Jessica Belsterling was not just at the plate, as she also earns the win to improve to 5-5 this season. She allowed just two hits in the shutout win.
Up Next: UCCS will be back in action next weekend as the team defends its 9-0 undefeated home record in a four game series Regis University (5-20 / 4-12 RMAC). The Rangers are coming off a three game losing streak to Colorado Christian.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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