Mavs sweep Cougars to stay in RMAC title race
Sarah Phillis was simply trying to keep the inning alive.
By the time she stopped running, she touched home plate for the game-winning run to give the Colorado Mesa softball team a doubleheader sweep of Colorado Christian on Saturday at Bergman Field. The Mavericks scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 4-3 victory in the second game. Mesa won the first 10-7.
“I wasn’t looking for that,” Phillis said with a laugh. “I was trying to get it in the air.
“It’s breathtaking. I’m still shocked.”
There were two runners on and two outs when Phillis came to bat. The freshman hit the ball up the middle into center field to easily score Tawnee Woosley from second, but the Colorado Christian center field took her eye off the ball, and it rolled to the fence. Makayla Kovac scored from first, and CMU coach Candace Abrams sent Phillis home when the relay throw missed the cutoff.
“I know I was at least getting Makayla to third and one run,” Abrams said. “When she missed the ball, Makayla stuttered a little bit, but she picked it up in enough time and Sarah kept going. When the center fielder missed her cutoff, there was no reason for me to stop (Phillis).”
Jessica Severinsen (13-11) pitched a complete game for the victory. She allowed three runs on five hits.
The sweep put the Mavericks (27-19, 26-12 RMAC) briefly in first place in the RMAC. CSU-Pueblo (25-18, 22-10 RMAC) swept Metro State to move back into first by four percentage points over Mesa.
The ThunderWolves play Metro today in a doubleheader, weather permitting in Pueblo. Mesa would finish first if Metro defeats Pueblo once.
“A lot things can happen this time of year,” Abrams said. “It’s about getting on that roll and feeding off that energy. It’s about getting the job done, basically.
“Our biggest thing has been ‘so what?’ Calls don’t go our way, we can’t control. Control the controllables. We lost one, so what? We have the rest of the weekend to go. If we let it affect us, it will affect us.”
The Mavericks rallied from a 7-3 deficit in the first game to keep their hopes of winning the RMAC regular-season title alive.
Kovac led the way, going 2 for 2 with two home runs and six RBI. She had a two-run shot in the first inning and a grand slam in the fourth to tie the game 7-7. Kovac’s hitting streak ended at 21 games when she went 0 for 2 in the second game.
Karissa Nickeson, who struck out with the bases loaded in the third, broke the tie with a two-run home run in the sixth.
“It was one of those things, I know I’m in a tough position, but I like to be there,” she said. “Whenever I don’t get things done it makes me mad and I want to redeem myself.”
“She’s been struggling a little bit at the plate,” Abrams said of Nickeson. “It’s nice to see her get back into her groove and not put so much pressure on herself to get it done.
“It’s something you have to keep working on and reiterate you have confidence in them and the good things they do at the plate.”
Ashley Pulido (12-5) picked up the win in relief of Severinsen.
Colorado Mesa recognized three seniors prior to the doubleheader — Severinsen, Pulido and Lindsey Drayer.