Ellie Smith came within one out of throwing a no-hitter Saturday against Chadron State in the first game of a doubleheader sweep that clinched Colorado Mesa’s fifth straight RMAC softball title.
With two out in the bottom of the seventh of the Mavs’ 7-0 victory, Bailey Rominger grounded to short, but the ball was mishandled by Ashley Bradford for an error. The Eagles’ next batter, Ellie Owens, grounded up the middle, just out of the reach of a diving Camryn Mullen at second base, ending the no-hit bid as CMU catcher Ally Distler slapped her glove in disappointment.
After getting pats on the back from her infielders, Smith got pinch-hitter Micah Stouffer to line out to third, settling for a one-hit shutout.
Through six innings, Smith (12-0) was only two hit batters away from a perfect game. She finished with five strikeouts, throwing only 65 pitches, and retiring the first nine batters she faced.
Smith also hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning, her 16th of the season, after Lauren Wedman drew her fourth walk of the game. Mullen hit a leadoff home run in the second inning after the Mavs scored twice in the first, and Smith added an RBI single in the second for a 4-0 lead.
Paige Adair and Shea Mauser combined for a five-inning shutout in a 10-0 win in the final game of the series that clinched the conference title.
Adair (17-1) gave up three hits and struck out three in three innings and Mauser struck out three and walked one over the final two.
CMU scored three runs in the first, including pulling off a double steal, with Sarah Staudle purposely getting in a rundown between first and second to allow Christensen to steal home. Staudle swiped second when the Eagles tried to throw Christensen out at the plate.
Bradford hit a three-run home run in the Mavs’ seven-run third inning that put the game out of reach.
The No. 16 Mavericks (34-2, 34-2 RMAC) will host the RMAC tournament May 13-15 after making up a four-game series this weekend at Fort Lewis.
Track & Field
Entering the final heptathlon event of the RMAC championships, Mica Jenrette trailed Taneika Elliston of New Mexico Highlands by only 22 points.
The CMU redshirt freshman won the 800 meters by more than seven seconds to pick up 803 points and claim the championship with 4,815 points, only five points off her own school record and 349 ahead of her closest competitor.
Jenrette’s performance, delayed four hours because of soaring afternoon temperatures on the track at CSU-Pueblo, highlighted the Mavs’ second day of competition.
In one of the few finals contested on Day 2, Kiana Jackson soared 39 feet, 9.75 inches to place third and provisionally qualify for nationals in the triple jump. Chian DeLoach placed sixth.
Sierra Arceneaux was the top qualifier for today’s 200-meter dash finals, clocking a school-record and national provisional time of 23.96 seconds. Averie Griffith and Jackson qualified for the finals in the 100-meter hurdles.
For the CMU men, Riley Hayden placed fourth in the discus (151 feet, 8 inches).
Elijah Williams was the top qualifier in the 200 meters (21.28), with Jeremiah Wilson also making the finals. Zayden Davis qualified for the 110-meter hurdles and Tony Torres will run in the 800 finals today after a provisional time of 1:51.19 in the prelims. Former Central High School runner David Cardenas, who runs at Adams State, qualified for the 800 finals after winning his preliminary heat in 1:52.72.
Finals in the majority of running events and several field events begin at 9:30 this morning.