Schulz, Severinsen key walk-off wins

Madelyn Schulz, 7, celebrates near home plate with her teammates after hitting a game-winning double to left field Sunday during Colorado Mesa’s 7-6 win over Colorado Mines in nine innings. The Mavericks won the second game 11-3 in five innings.

Colorado Mesa’s softball team is developing a flair for the dramatic.

The Mavericks showed grit and determination Sunday in a 7-6, 9-inning win over Colorado School of Mines at Bergman Field. In the second game, they slugged the ball all over — and out of — the park in an 11-3, 5-inning win to wrap up the four-game RMAC sweep over the defending conference champion Orediggers.

“The team in general is settling down and getting into a groove,” CMU coach Candace Abrams said. “We had some tough breaks in the beginning but this team is resilient and I just told them they’re a fun group to watch and a fun group to coach.”

With the sluggers the Mavericks (8-8, 7-3 RMAC) have in the heart of the order, Sunday was a group effort. That was especially true in the first game when Mesa tied the game not only in the bottom of the seventh, but again in the bottom of the eighth before winning it in the ninth.

“Push one (across) and then string them together,” first baseman/pitcher Jessica Severinsen said of the Mavs’ resilience. “We worked as a team. One through nine came through this weekend.”

Down 5-2, Severinsen set up the first rally by getting hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Sarah Phillis followed with a line-drive home run to left, and with one out, Rachel Boothe tied it with a solo shot to center.

Back came Mines (8-9, 3-5) with one run in the top of the eighth, and this time, Makayla Kovac drew a walk to lead off the Mavs’ half, and Severinsen was again hit by a pitch.

Brooke Ortale singled home Kovac and Severinsen, who relieved Ashley Pulido in the sixth inning, got the three-batter inning the Mavericks needed in the ninth.

The Mavericks, who stranded 15 runners in the first game, including the bases loaded twice, didn’t waste much time ending the opener.

Megan Brown drew a leadoff walk and Madelyn Schulz laced an RBI double into the left-field corner, with Brown, the Mavs’ starting catcher, scoring from first.

“We like to leave people on base, but you know, we’ve got the bats to keep bringing them in,” Abrams said. “That’s one good thing about this team, they didn’t put the pressure on, they didn’t panic. They just kept swinging the bats and kept staying with them.”

Just like Saturday, the Orediggers pitched Severinsen inside all day, and in the second game, she made them pay ­— again.

“I’ve just got to get my mental game a little more clear and get my mission what I need to do to help the team score runs,” she said.

Apparently it’s getting pretty clear — Severinsen drove in seven runs on three hits in the second game and had 10 RBI in the four games, with three home runs. She also got the win in both games in the pitching circle, improving to 5-4.

Mines picked up two runs in the first inning of the second game against Severinsen and added one in the fourth. Schulz, who had four hits and three RBI Sunday, walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the first.

Mesa put up five runs in the fourth on five hits, including a three-run home run to left by Severinsen.

And she wasn’t done.

Another 5-spot in the bottom of the inning ended it early.

Mariaha O’dell doubled off Kristen Prudhomme, the third Mines pitcher to work, and took third on a wild pitch. With two out, Brown was hit by a pitch and Schulz walked to load the bases.

Kovac drove home a run when she, too, walked, and — who else? — Severinsen launched a no-doubt grand slam to right-center to invoke the run rule. It was her second walk-off winner of the series.

The opening game, with a total of 25 runners stranded, five errors and 25 hits, wasn’t exactly a thing of beauty. Then again, that depends on your perspective.

“A win’s a win in my book,” Abrams said. “It wasn’t an ugly win, it was a great win.”


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