Cross’ return bolsters Mavs’ offense

Lauren Cross was talked into coming back for one more year by Colorado Mesa coach Kris Mort. Cross and the Mavs have their home opener Saturday.



CMU at NCAA West Regional, all day, Sat.-Sun., Hays, Kan.

Notes: Four wrestlers in each weight class qualify for nationals. CMU coach Chuck Pipher expects to have at least four wrestlers seeded in the top five. The seeding meeting is tonight. Jon Gappmaier (157 pounds) has only lost to one wrestler in the RMAC and will likely be a two seed. Tyler Nelson (133) and Dylan Granard (165) qualified for nationals last year. Jordan Passehl (197) will wrestle after missing the past three weeks with an injury. “Our energy is good,” Pipher said. “We’re as healthy as we can be. We’ve wrestled some of the best kids in the country this year. There should be nothing new. If we can get three to qualify, that would be good. Five would be awesome.”

Men’s Lacrosse

Adams State (0-0) at CMU (0-0), 1 p.m., Saturday, Walker Field

Notes: The Mavericks officially open their season with Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association rival Adams State. Mesa played the University of Colorado club team in a scrimmage last weekend. The Grizzlies split a pair of exhibitions against club teams earlier this season. They are led by Kevin Bertrand, who scored eight of the team’s 18 goals. Adams was 1-10 last year.

Women’s Lacrosse

CMU (0-1) at Lindenwood (1-1), 3 p.m., Friday; CMU vs. Lake Erie (0-0), 11 a.m., Saturday, St. Charles, Mo.

Notes: Mesa looks to bounce back from a 22-9 loss last weekend to Regis against a Lindenwood (Mo.) program in its first year in the WILA. The Lions opened their season with a 23-5 victory over Saint Leo (Fla.), then lost 18-16 to Florida Southern. The Mavericks play a Lake Erie program in its third year in a non-league game. The Storm were 3-13 last season.

Lauren Cross had plans to graduate and start a new chapter in her life, but those plans changed.

The Colorado Mesa University senior was going to put softball behind her and focus on graduating this spring.

“I think I was really excited to (finish softball) with the class last year because I came in with that class,” Cross said.

Softball coach Kris Mort talked to the third baseman over the break and asked her to return.

“I didn’t want to look back and regret not playing,” Cross said. “I got an opportunity and had to take it.

“I try to memorize every moment and take every moment into account. I’m ready to be done when it’s over, but I’m always going to miss it.”

The Mavericks (2-2) have their home opening series and RMAC opening series this weekend against CSU-Pueblo (2-2) at the renovated Bergman Softball Field. The teams play doubleheaders on noon Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

The dugouts were dropped part of the way below field level for protection, the bleachers were elevated, turf was installed behind home plate around to the dugouts and there is a new sign with the new CMU logo on the scoreboard and the backstop padding.

“We’re excited,” Mort said. “I love playing (the ThunderWolves). It’s always hard-fought softball. It’s always pretty clean, hard-fought softball. I always know we’re going to get a respectable game.”

Cross, who is a career .374 hitter with 24 home runs and 89 RBI, is looking forward to proving the Mavericks can do better than the fourth-place finish the RMAC coaches predicted in the preseason poll a month ago.

“I’m excited,” Cross said. “There’s a little bit of pressure too. It’s our first weekend at home and we do have something to prove. Hopefully we can do that.”

Both teams opened the season last weekend in the Northern Sun-RMAC crossover tournament in Pueblo.

The Mavericks defeated No. 13 Minnesota State-Mankato and Black Hills State (S.D.), but lost to Winona State (Minn.) and Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.). Mesa committed 10 errors in the four games.

“Our pitchers have to be on top more to where the defense sees more consistent action,” Mort said. “You can’t walk, walk, walk, ball, ball, foul ball then all of a sudden give up a shot in play and the defense is like, ‘Oh, crap! They hit it.’ It kind of lulls your defense to sleep.”

CSU-Pueblo defeated Black Hills State and Concordia-St. Paul, but lost to Minn. State-Mankato and Winona State.


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