Mavs fall to Fort Lewis in RMAC tourney

Colorado Mesa University escaped trouble in the seventh inning Friday in the RMAC softball tournament, but not in the eighth.

Fort Lewis scored one run in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Mavericks 4-3 in the semifinals in Golden.

Mesa (26-21) plays Colorado Christian at 11 this morning in an elimination game. Fort Lewis (29-23) advanced to the championship game against the winner between Mesa and Colorado Christian.

“This group has really come together this week,” CMU coach Kris Mort said. “They would like another crack at Fort Lewis, but Christian is hitting the ball well right now. We have to contain their hitters for another shot at Fort Lewis.”

The first two Fort Lewis batters singled in the eighth. One out later, the RMAC’s leading hitter, Chelsea Rodriguez (.483 average), came to the plate with a base open.

Mort had pitcher Courtney Maihi throw a rise ball against the next hitter, but it got past catcher Megan Smith, allowing the winning run to score.

“I wanted to make someone else beat us,” Mort said. “Courtney was throwing a good rise ball and making people chase it.”

Maihi allowed two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings of relief. Ashley Pulido gave up two runs on three hits in two innings.

Mesa took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Maihi.

The Skyhawks responded with a two-run home run by Rodriguez in the bottom of the first.

Mesa tied the game at 2-2 in the second on an RBI double by Shannon McClenahan to score Brooke Ortale.

Fort Lewis regained the lead in the fourth when Maihi hit a batter with the bases loaded.

Maihi led off the sixth with a home run to tie the game 3-3.

Both teams had chances to score in the seventh, leaving runners in scoring position.

Maihi was 2 for 3 with two RBI. Ortale was 2 for 4.

Mesa advanced to the semifinal game with a 4-1 victory over Nebraska-Kearney earlier Friday.

Pulido limited the Lopers to one run on six hits and struck out three in her second complete game of the tournament.

Kearney scored its only run on a wild pitch in the first inning.

Pulido set down 13 consecutive batters after that and only allowed three batters to reach base after the first inning.

The sophomore got all the run support she needed in the fourth inning.

Lisa Pille led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch. Tawnee Woosley followed with a RBI single and scored on Taylor Gross’ single. Lita Romero, who went 3 for 3, singled and stile second and Danni Vallie came through with a two-run single.


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