Hennessy’s HR helps Mavs stay alive in RMAC tourney

Meagan Hennessy picked a good time to find her swing.

Mired in a season-long slump, Hennessy started to break out the past two weeks, and Thursday during an elimination game of the RMAC softball tournament, she crushed a two-run home run, her second of the season, to lift the Mavericks to a 4-1 win over RMAC West Division champion Adams State.

The win kept the Mavericks alive in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament and knocked out the Grizzlies only four days after splitting with Adams State to end the regular season.

“Meagan hit a towering home run,” Mesa State coach Kris Mort said of her senior catcher.

“It was about 200 feet high and 210 feet long.”

Back-to-back doubles by Dani Vallie and Jamie Prather produced one run in the third inning, followed by a single by Gabi Parra that put runners at first and third. Parra stole second and when no one covered the bag, the ball hit Parra in the leg and Prather scored.

In the sixth, Katie Mitchell singled and Hennessy hit the insurance home run.

Jessica Rayman pitched seven solid innings allowing one run on four hits. Sara Jordan finished up, allowing two hits in the final two innings.

Colorado School of Mines dropped the Mavericks (24-18) into the losers’ bracket with a 4-0 victory in the opening round.

Mines pitcher Dani Murphy allowed only four hits, three of them singles, and struck out seven.

“We were down 3-0 in the first inning and we were hitting (Murphy) hard but we couldn’t get anything to fall,” Mort said. Vallie lined out hard to short to open the game, Prather grounded out hard to short and Parra’s shot to first was fielded.

“They smoked all three of those balls,” Mort said. “We just weren’t hitting for any power in that first game.”

The Orediggers, ranked third in the Central Region, jumped all over Mesa State starter Cierra Lard, who gave up five runs on five hits in only 11/3 innings. Katie Kocman hit a three-run home run in the first, part of her five-RBI day. She singled home two runs in the second after Lard allowed a pair of base hits with one out.

Sara Jordan came on in relief and gave up a bunt single that drove in a run. With two out, Kocman singled to center for a 6-0 lead.

After that, Jordan allowed only two base runners, one on a hit batter and another on an infield single, but the Mavs’ offense couldn’t generate anything. Only six batters reached base, two of them erased on a second-inning double play.

The Mavericks play at 12:30 this afternoon against the loser of this morning’s second-round game between top-seeded Metro State and No. 4 CSU-Pueblo. A win there puts the Mavericks into another elimination game at 3:30 this afternoon.


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