Mavs grab No. 4 seed in RMAC tourney
Mesa State’s softball team recovered Sunday from back-to-back losses to Adams State to sweep the Grizzlies in Alamosa and secure the No. 4 seed in the RMAC tournament in Denver.
In the process, the Mavericks (20-18, 18-18 RMAC) knocked Adams State (16-22, 15-21) out of the playoffs.
The Mavericks play Colorado School of Mines at 9:30 Thursday morning at Metro State. The Roadrunners and Nebraska-Kearney play at 12:30, with the winners meeting Friday morning and the losers playing an elimination game Thursday afternoon.
In the bottom half of the bracket, which will be played at Regis University, CSU-Pueblo plays Chadron State and Regis faces Western New Mexico.
A 20-hit attack, including four home runs, lifted the Mavericks to a 15-3 rout in Sunday’s first game. They came back after allowing nine runs in the third inning to hold off the Grizzlies 14-12 in the final game of the regular season.
Gabi Parra hit her 10th home run of the season in the first game, Megan Smith hit two and Whitney Bailey one. The Mavericks led 7-2 heading into the sixth inning and blew the game wide open by scoring eight runs.
Smith and Bailey hit back-to-back home runs to open the sixth and Smith, the Mavs’ freshman catcher, wasn’t finished.
The second time she came up in the inning, she hit a three-run shot to left-center, her fourth home run of the season.
In the second game, Dani Vallie and Sara Jordan, who picked up wins in both games, homered for the Mavericks and Bailey hit two, giving her six in her freshman season.
After a 10-minute snow delay after the second inning, Jordan led off the third with her ninth home run of the season.
After the Grizzlies scored nine runs on eight hits and two errors in the top of the third to take a 9-5 lead, the Mavs loaded the bases with two out.
Bailey drove a 2-2 pitch out to left-center to tie the game at 9-9. Lisa Pille singled home a run to give the Mavs a 10-9 lead, but Adams State scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth off Jordan, who relieved Wailana Borrero in the third.
Again, the Mavs’ freshmen power hitters produced, with Smith fouling off six pitches before doubling to left-center. Bailey hit another 2-2 pitch out of the park to tie the game at 12-12.
Mesa State won it when Jordan singled home Vallie and came around to score when Smith singled to center and the ball got past Katelyn Lovato.
Jordan locked up her 11th win with two strikeouts and a ground ball to Bailey at third.
The Mesa State women’s golf team had a rough first round in the NCAA Division II Central Region tournament in Lake City, Minn., shooting a 388, putting the Mavericks in eighth place with two rounds remaining.
Jennifer Hilts is tied for sixth place after a first-round 80 and Jessica Berve shot an 84, putting her in a tie for 26th.
Kristina Casillas, the RMAC player of the year, struggled to a first-round 86, putting her in a tie for 32nd, and Brooke Jorgensen shot an 88, tied for 38th. Michelle Stripp is one stroke back at 89, tied for 42nd.
Emily Kvidera of Augustana shot 1-over-par 73 and has a five-stroke lead heading into today’s second round over teammate Kelly Lauer and Montana State-Billings’ Amy Nordeen.
The top three teams and the three lowest-scoring individuals not on those teams qualify for the NCAA Division II national tournament next week in Mesa, Ariz.