Mavs prove to be tough outs

Colorado Mesa University shortstop Makayla Kovac backhands a grounder Sunday before throwing out the runner at first in the fifth inning of the Mavericks’ 14-4 loss to CSU-Pueblo at Bergman Field. Kovac later hit a home run for the Mavs, who came back to shut out Regis in the afternoon game.

Colorado Mesa softball coach Candace Abrams already tried yelling and encouraging, so before the Mavericks’ final game of the weekend series Sunday, she decided to go somewhere in the middle with her pre-game speech.

It worked.

The Mavericks salvaged a rough weekend in which they dropped from first to fourth place in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings with an 8-0 victory over Regis at Bergman Field. CSU-Pueblo defeated Mesa 14-4 earlier in the day.

“We struggled a little bit this weekend,” Abrams said. “I was proud of the girls. I debated saying things before the game to them because I wasn’t sure. I yelled at them yesterday, then I was positive this morning. Then all of a sudden, it hit me, there’s 21 outs in this game, let’s make 21 tough outs. Half our defense, half our offense. That’s the way I approached that.”

The Mavericks (15-11, 14-8 RMAC) came out swinging, scoring three runs in the first inning, including two on Karissa Nickeson’s single to right field.

Two innings later, Sarah Phillis delivered a two-run home run, then Nicole Robinson scored on a groundout for a 6-0 lead.

Phillis tripled home another run and scored on Robinson’s single in the fourth.

“I think it was just a little bit of confidence and the fact I put that in their heads (to) be a tough out,” Abrams said of the offensive production against Regis. “Take all the elements out and be a tough out. Make them beat you, basically. I think that’s what we finally did at the plate.”

The Mavs’ offense was plenty for Ashley Pulido.

“It feels great to get the win,” Pulido said. “We struggled all weekend. I knew we had it in us all weekend. Our bats were hibernating a little bit. It was nice to come out and hit the ball. It wasn’t just a win, we run-ruled them and got the hits we needed.

“When you have runs to support you, it’s so much easier. You’re more relaxed. You try not to think about that, but when you’re whole team is meshing and fielding, it’s so much easier.”

The senior (5-5) limited the Rangers to three hits, two walks and struck out seven in the five-inning, run-rule game.

“She did a better job of keeping the ball low and missing barrel,” Abrams said. “She did much better in 1-2 counts and 0-2 counts to keep them off bases and getting good hits.”

Pulido gave up seven runs on 10 hits in two innings in the loss to CSU-Pueblo. She pitched in all four games this weekend with Jessica Severinsen out with a concussion.

The ThunderWolves (15-13, 12-5 RMAC), who moved into first place in the RMAC, chased Pulido with a seven-run third inning for a 10-0 lead.

The Mavs came back with four in the bottom half, but CSU-Pueblo scored four more in the top of the fourth and shut out Mesa in the fourth and fifth to end the game after five on the run-rule.

“(Pulido) had to step up in a big role this weekend with Jess out,” Abrams said. “It was a good place for her to be as a senior. She did a great job getting the job done. She did what we needed her to do.”

Severinsen said she sustained a concussion in practice Wednesday, but said she’s confident she’ll be back in the lineup this weekend at Fort Lewis.

Men’s Lacrosse

Colorado Mesa snapped a two-game losing streak in a brand-new stadium in Boca Raton, Fla.

The Mavericks (4-2) took control from the start rolling to an 18-7 victory over Lynn University.

Austin Pridham led Mesa with three goals. Michael Beimford had two goals and five assists. Stephen Dunn, Daniel Caddoo, Kade Robinson and Jake Douglas scored two goals each.

Mesa scored the final four goals of the first half for a 7-1 halftime lead. The Mavs led 10-3 entering the fourth quarter.

Mesa goaltender Brad Brandenburg had 14 saves.

The Mavs took 59 shots to Lynn’s 35.


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