Mountain Lions Win Season Opener

By MJ Arjomandi published February 7, 2014

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The University of Colorado Colorado Springs softball team (1-0) opened the 2014 season today with a win against Northwest Nazarene (3-1) in the first game of the Desert Stinger Tournament.

An error in the first inning allowed Northwest Nazarene to take a 1-0 lead to begin the game.  In the bottom of the first, the Mountain Lions started off slowly, with consecutive strikeouts by the first two batters.

An error by Northwest Nazarene allowed a similar result as in the top of the inning when Jen Schellenberg reached 1st base after striking out, by an error by the Crusaders catcher. Emily Jennings hit a single to second base two batters later to sent Schellenberg home to tie the game 1-1. Jennings stole second base soon thereafter, but the inning ended with a pop up to right field, which kept the game even at the end of the first inning.

The teams traded three scoreless innings, before the Crusaders ended the scoring drought by adding another run in the fifth inning. They scored another single run in the sixth inning and took a 3-1 lead into the seventh.

With their backs against the wall, the offense for the Mountain Lions woke in the bottom of the final inning. Nikki Hoffman started things off with a double to right-center field to give UCCS a runner in scoring position. Becca Needler and Claire Nibbe picked up two quick outs which left the Mountain Lions clinging to their final one.

Sami Meyer drew a walk in her at bat, and was followed by a single by Jordan Hitchings to load the bases and put the game-winning score on first base. Schellenberg reached first on another Crusader error which advanced all the runners and brought the tie score to third base. Jessica Belsterling brought that tie run in on the next at bat as she hit by a pitch.

With the bases still loaded and two outs, the game concluded much like it started, with an error. Jennings hit a ground ball to shortstop, which was not handled properly, and as a result, Jennings hit her second RBI of the game as she brought the game-winning run home.

Korey Kulpins earned the win as she pitched a complete game and gave up just five hits with three runs.

Up Next: UCCS will be back in action Friday night as the team plays Central Washington starting at 8 p.m. 

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Korey KulpinsKorey Kulpins23PJr.
Jessica BelsterlingJessica Belsterling4PSr.
Nikki HoffmanNikki Hoffman21P/IFFr.
Sami MeyerSami Meyer44IFFr.
Becca NeedlerBecca Needler9CSr.
Emily JenningsEmily Jennings24IFJr.
Jennifer SchellenbergJennifer Schellenberg3OFSr.
Jourdan HitchingsJourdan Hitchings5OFSr.
Claire NibbeClaire Nibbe13IFFr.
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