Mavs hit into gaps to defeat Mines
The Mesa State College softball team finally caught a break or two.
After hitting balls right at people for the past couple of weeks, the Mavericks finally found the gaps Sunday — and muscled a couple of balls over the deep fences at Colorado School of Mines to sweep the Orediggers 7-3 and 10-9.
The Mavericks had to rally four times to earn the split of the four-game series.
“We can’t seem to catch a break. (Saturday) we’re down 4-0 and Dani Vallie turned on a ball to right, and their field is 220 all the way around. It’s a big ballpark,” Mesa State coach Kris Mort said. “Dani hit three to right field that would have been home runs, and in that situation we had the bases loaded. If it’s in the gap, it’s two or three (runs), in a normal park it’s out and we’re tied 4-4. I can recall their right fielder made three plays on balls that Dani crushed.”
Sunday, though, those balls found the holes, especially when Mesa State (9-11, 5-9 RMAC) scored seven runs in the top of the fifth inning, sending 13 batters to the plate.
“Today was some pretty exciting softball,” Mort said. “We’re down 3-0 and came back with a seven-run inning and starting hitting the ball. We hit some doubles and Meagan (Hennessy) hit a three-run home run.”
Sara Jordan pitched 52/3 innings of scoreless relief for the victory in the first game.
Hennessy’s three-run home run, her first of the season, got the Mavericks started. Stacy Ball singled home a run, Ashlee Duffy hit a two-run double and Vallie’s base hit scored another run.
After starter Alicia Neuschwanger allowed three runs in the second inning, Jordan entered the game to get the Mavs out of that inning, then shut down the Orediggers (17-12, 9-5) on five hits the rest of the way.
In the second game, the Mavericks scored two runs in the first on Gabi Parra’s two-run home run to left. In the pitching circle, though, Parra gave up four runs in the bottom of the first inning and two more in the second, allowing eight hits, two of them home runs.
Enter Jordan again, who allowed three runs on nine hits over the final five innings.
Unlike Saturday, the Mavericks responded to being behind, scoring five runs in the fourth inning.
Jordan contributed to her own cause by hitting a grand slam to center after Parra hit a bases-loaded RBI single. The home run gave the Mavs a 7-6 lead, but Mines tied it in the bottom of the inning.
After Hennessy singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth, the Orediggers reclaimed the lead on a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the inning.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Duffy doubled to left, and Ball singled and stole second.
Lita Romero singled back to the pitcher, scoring the tying run and Vallie’s base hit through the hole between third and short scored Ball to give the Mavs a 10-9 lead.
Jordan struck out the firt batter she faced, then got a line drive to Duffy at first and a ground ball to Mitchell at short to give the Mavs the Sunday sweep and a split of the four-game series.
Jamie Prather went 3 for 4 and scored twice for Mesa State, which returns home Saturday and Sunday to play Regis. Parra went 3 for 5, drove in three runs and scored twice, and Jordan drove in four runs on her only hit of the game.
“They’re fighting,” Mort said. “They’re trying to find a way to keep on believing when the chips are not falling our way.”