A walk-off winner
Severinsen's HR forges split with UCCS
Colorado Mesa had lost the first game and was trailing in its last at-bat in the second game.
Junior Jessica Severinsen wasn’t going to let the Mavericks lose again — not in an important Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference series with rival University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
When Makayla Kovac walked before her, Severinsen was determined to make the Mountain Lions pay.
“I knew they were trying to walk Makayla,” Severinsen said. “I took that as, ‘All right, if you want to pitch to me, you’ll see what I’ve got. You’ll see what’s going to happen.’ I’m not going to let them get me out.”
The Mavericks’ cleanup hitter hit a walk-off home run to give the Mavericks a 7-5 victory in the second game Friday afternoon at Bergman Field. The Mountain Lions won the first game 4-1.
“We’re the cardiac Mavs right now,” CMU coach Candace Abrams said with a little laugh.
The Mavericks (14-9-1, 12-5-1 RMAC) move back ahead of UCCS (18-10-1, 13-6 RMAC) for fourth place in the conference by percentage points.
“This means we have to come back and take two and win the series,” Severinsen said.
Mesa hosts the Mountain Lions in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. today at Bergman Field.
Severinsen hit a two-run home run in the first inning of the second game for a 2-0 lead.
The Mavericks led 4-0, but UCCS chipped away, scoring two unearned runs in the fifth. Then they chased starting pitcher Courtney Shreves with four runs in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead. Central High School graduate Brittany Hoppe had a run-scoring single to tie the game for UCCS.
After the Mountain Lions pushed the go-ahead run across on a sacrifice fly, Abrams pulled Shreves and put Severinsen in the pitching circle. Severinsen (10-3) struck out two of the next three hitters to get Mesa out of the inning, and she set the Mountain Lions down in order in the seventh to keep the Mavs within reach. She got the victory in relief.
Mesa’s Megan Brown led off the seventh with a walk, but UCCS pitcher Becca Smith set down the next two batters before walking Kovac on four consecutive pitches to get to Severinsen.
“That part of our lineup is a great part to have come up in the seventh inning,” Abrams said. “One through nine, we’re dangerous, especially that part of the lineup. All it takes is one swing, one pitch.”
The Mavericks couldn’t get that clutch hit in the first game against Smith. The UCCS senior limited Mesa to one run on three hits and struck out 10 in a complete game.
“We weren’t taking our swings at the plate the first game,” Abrams said. “We let (the pitcher) control the game. We weren’t taking our cuts when we needed to. We were taking defensive cuts. We need to go back to our plan and how we approach the game.”
The Mountain Lions gave Smith the run support she needed in the first inning with a two-run triple, but they added two more in the fifth on a two-run home run — all off Severinsen. She allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out six in five innings.
“I haven’t felt too hot,” Severinsen said. “I’ve been sick the past couple days. I’ve got to paint the corners a little bit more. I was throwing them a little bit too meaty (pitches).”
Kovac hit a solo home run in the fourth for the Mavericks’ only run.