UCCS softball loses in extra innings against top-ranked Colorado Mesa

     The UCCS Mountain Lion softball team finished out four losses last weekend with two close games in a doubleheader on April 16 against the top RMAC ranked Colorado Mesa Mavericks, only losing the second game in extra innings after back-to-back Colorado Mesa home runs. 

     Following two losses on April 15, the first game of April 16 began with an early UCCS lead after freshman Paige White scored off a CMU error, which CMU answered with a solo home run in the top of the third inning to tie the game 1-1. 

     CMU took their first lead in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run double, followed by another run in the top of the sixth, leading to a 4-1 Mavericks victory. 

     The second game started strong with a leadoff home run by CMU and a diving catch by UCCS sophomore Mia Perez to close out the top of the first inning. UCCS took the lead in the bottom of the first with two hits and a two-run home run from redshirt junior infielder Sawyer Brewster, giving UCCS a 2-1 lead. 

     CMU opened the fourth inning with a solo shot by Myah Arrieta to tie the game at two apiece. Mesa continued to gain ground with a double into deep centerfield and a wild pitch from freshman pitcher Mackenzie Rutkoff, further advancing the Mesa runner to third base. With one out and runners on first and third, UCCS came back and quickly caught two flyballs to end the fourth inning, stranding the Mesa runners on base. 

     The Mountain Lions held off CMU’s scoring attempts over the next three innings and crushed the hopes of CMU baserunners with an impressive double play at the end of the fifth and another sliding catch to end the sixth.   

#3 Morgan Hernandez-Belew bats against Colorado Mesa on April 16. Photo by Lillian Davis. 

     UCCS nearly secured the victory in the bottom of the seventh inning when CMU walked two batters, and UCCS substituted pinch runners on first and second base. However, CMU made quick work of the base runners with a double play at first and second, leaving one runner on third base. UCCS freshman Cassidy Hubner hit the final ball of the regular innings with a fly-out in center field, pushing the game into extra innings 

     In the extended eighth, CMU pulled ahead with back-to-back home runs with two outs that UCCS couldn’t answer in the bottom of the inning, ending the game with a 5-2 Mavericks victory. 

     Regardless of the losses, White remained optimistic about her team. “I think we did a good job answering back. That team was incredibly disrespectful, and yesterday they kind of walked all over us, and today I think we were in both games and competed really well,” she said. 

     White said the games this weekend showed her “that we are still in every game, and that we do a good job competing back, and we can compete with everybody.” 

     The Mountain Lions will face off against the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls in two doubleheaders on April 23-24 at Mountain Lion Field. UCCS hopes to break their five-game losing skid in these games.