Mavericks split with Fort Lewis
It’s good to have the ability to come back and win, but Mesa State College softball coach Kris Mort doesn’t want the Mavericks to get into a habit of rallying in the seventh inning this season.
In two of Mesa State’s three wins this weekend, the Mavs (3-1, 1-1 RMAC) rallied to win in the seventh inning.
They tried to make it three of four but couldn’t get a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh in the final game of Sunday’s RMAC doubleheader against Fort Lewis at Bergman Field and settled for a split, winning the opener 6-5 and losing the second game 3-2.
“We just talked about we don’t want to be the comeback team all the time,” Mort said. “We have to win with authority. “
Starting pitcher Sara Jordan was breezing along in the first game, throwing a perfect game through five innings, before the Skyhawks roughed her up in the sixth.
Fort Lewis scored five runs on five hits and an error to tie the game 5-5.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Mavs loaded the bases with two out. Gabi Parra, just like she did in the first game of the season Saturday, drove in the winning run.
Instead of a line drive to the outfield, it was an infield single that second baseman Natalie Janes prevented from getting through with a diving stop. She couldn’t get the throw to second base in time to get Lita Romero as Lisa Pille scampered home.
“That’s good early in the season, being able to have the composure to come back when you’re down is huge,” Parra said. “Being put in pressure situations this early in the season is a good character builder.”
Fort Lewis (2-5, 1-1 RMAC) scored a pair of runs in the second inning of the second game off Cierra Lard, who settled down until the seventh. By then, the Mavericks had rallied to tie the game, scoring twice in the sixth.
Lauren Cross, who singled home pinch runner Windi Serrano, scored the tying run on a close play at the plate on the second of two wild pitches by Kassie Haubert.
Mesa State’s lack of game situations this season played a role in Fort Lewis’ winning run.
Chelena Coulston walked to lead off the inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Between pitches, as Lard was getting advice from the dugout, Coulston stole third.
She scored when Parra took a step back, then had to sprint in on a shallow fly ball in center off the bat of Ashley Hibbs. Parra had to play it on a short hop and her throw to the plate wasn’t in time to get the runner.
“I missed it with the wind,” Parra said. “I was deep and I should have been playing up.” That’s things we can work on. Normal skills we have down, it’s things like that we’ll now start to work on.”
Despite Sunday’s split, Mort sees some good things in the Mavs.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty hard, pretty well,” she said. “Typically I’m standing here talking about early season hitting and the bats will come around, they always come around last, but we’ve got good hitters and I thought we hit the ball well.
“The good news is we got the games in. It didn’t snow, it didn’t rain, and now we know what we need to work on, because practice was getting pretty mundane.”