Pille, Mavs sweep Colorado Christian
To Lisa Pille’s left was a new first baseman. To her right was a different shortstop. Behind her, another center fielder.
But through all the lineup shuffles Sunday for the Colorado Mesa University softball team because of a myriad of injuries, the Mavericks made do just fine, sweeping RMAC leader Colorado Christian 9-4 and 6-2 at Bergman Field.
“It’s different but if we communicate well… There were a couple of instances we miscommunicated but we’ll step it up and start talking more where we can be comfortable in the infield and we’ll start making the regular plays more often,” the Mavericks’ second baseman said. “Danni coming in and playing short is doing great.”
With Taylor Gross out with a concussion and a split lip, Danni Vallie moved in from center to short, and Mackenzy Derrick got the start at first for Shannon McClenahan, out with a sore hamstring.
Third baseman Lauren Cross has missed the past three weeks with a dislocated knee and hopes to play next week.
Those on the field, though, finally broke through with a 3-1 series advantage over Christian (18-15, 14-6 RMAC). After a team-wide offensive slump on Saturday, the Mavericks hit up and down the lineup Sunday.
Lita Romero moved up to the leadoff spot and led off the Mavs’ first inning with an infield single, and the rest of the Mavericks followed suit.
“I’m so proud of her; she’s my roommate, so yea!” said pitcher Courtney Maihi (10-6), who not only picked up the win, but went 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and drove in five runs in the first game. “It’s very much a catalyst, one person gets on and you know your job is to move them.”
The Mavericks (17-11, 15-9 RMAC) scored four runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Maihi, an RBI double by Pille and a base hit to left by Derrick. That followed Pille’s home run to lead off the second.
“We knew we had to show up today and show them how we really hit,” Pille said. “We all came with thee mentality to hit the ball. I just got out of my head and hit the ball; it worked. Everybody just stopped thinking about it.”
Mesa scored in every inning in the first game, with Derrick adding a solo home run in the fifth and Jessica Albertson singling and scoring on Vallie’s double in the sixth.
Mesa’s offense carried over to the second game, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first, with Maihi driving home two with a single and then scoring on Megan Smith’s home run to center.
Ashley Pulido (4-4) threw a solid game in the second game, scattering six hits, not walking a batter and striking out seven.
“We’re just trying to get out of the splitting we normally do,” Pille said. “We want to be that team that won’t split, be that team that will win the whole weekend.”