The UCCS Softball Team dropped four games to the seventh-ranked Chadron State University (CSU) Eagles for the final home series of the season.
In both games on day one, UCCS started strong, holding the Eagles to a combined four runs in the first four innings. But CSU found a rhythm, collecting seven home runs for the day and putting enough runs on the board that UCCS couldn’t catch up. Game one ended with a final score of 7-2 Eagles, and game two ended with a score of 8-2 in favor of CSU.
The sun set and rose, bringing with it the final two games at Mountain Lion Field and the UCCS senior’s final home matches. A crowd decked in white, black and gold showed up to support those graduating, bringing electricity to the game as they flaunted homemade poster boards and started a stadium wave to cheer on the team.
That spirit bled into the Mountain Lions as they fought tooth and nail with CSU during the first game, neither team managing to tack on another run. That changed in the sixth inning when the Eagles scored another six runs, which was too much for the Mountain Lions to catch up to before the end of the game. The final score ended 8-1.
Game two followed a similar pattern to the first. CSU jumped onto the scoreboard with three quick runs in the top of the first. Another home run followed in the top of the second, extending the Eagles’ lead 4-0. UCCS got on the scoreboard when senior Solana Martinez drove a double into center field, bringing in one run.
The Eagles were relentless, however, extending their 4-1 lead to 8-1 going into the bottom of the fourth. UCCS retaliated when sophomore Kelsey Bell recorded a hit, bringing one Mountain Lion home — but a three-run homer from CSU quickly doused the flame that had kindled, ending the game with a final of 11-3.
Following the two games, UCCS honored the graduating seniors and those stepping up to fill the soon-to-be vacant spots.
Sophomore Lexi Wagner shared some thoughts on the departing seniors. “If I could tell the seniors one thing, it would be that they have not only taught me how to be a better softball player, but also how to be a better human being through their compassion and positive outlook no matter what is thrown their way,” she said.
With only four games left in the regular season, the future looks bright for the softball program.
The Mountain Lions will travel to Spearfish, South Dakota, to finish the season against the Yellow Jackets in a four-game series.
13. Infielder #13 Kelsey Bell in the batter’s box against Chadron State. Photo by Taylor Villalpando.