Softball falls to Rams, Aggies in Las Cruces
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Northern Colorado softball continued to struggle out of the gate Saturday with losses to Colorado State and New Mexico State during the second day of the Hotel Encanto Invitational at Aggie Softball Complex.
The Bears (0-5) found some offensive success in their first game Saturday but couldn't keep the Rams down at the plate in an 8-3 loss to their instate rivals.
Later in the day, the Aggies scored four runs in the first inning and ran away with a 6-1 victory to keep Northern Colorado winless on the season.
Colorado State took a 3-0 lead after the second inning in the first game before the Bears pulled to within 3-2 with a single run in the third and another in the fourth. Melanie Buol put Northern Colorado on the board in the third inning after drawing a walk to start the frame and scoring a few batters later on Kelli Henderson's sacrifice fly to center.
Senior Kailee Vessey, who finished 2-for-4 at the plate, then pulled the Bears a little closer in the fourth with her first home run of the season.
The Rams responded with two in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the third to put the game away.
Northern Colorado put together a threat in the in its half of the sixth inning when Henderson reached on an error to load the bases with one out. Kaylyn James scored the Bears' third run on a wild pitch before Lindsey Worth and Erin Geddis followed with swinging strikeouts.
Henderson started in the circle in the game but lasted just 4 1/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs on four hits. Jamie Juelfs spelled her in relief, giving up three earned runs of her own.
Against New Mexico State, only Geddis and and Megan Hamilton were able to scratch together hits. Geddis' single came in the sixth, and she scored the Bears' lone run in the game when Vessey later reached on a fielder's choice.
Juelfs started in the circle in the game and was the victim of some rough defense. She gave up four runs (none earned) in her 1 1/3 inning of work before freshman Megan Wilkinson came and gave up two earned runs in 5 2/3 inning of relief.
Northern Colorado will end its season-opening road trip against Minnesota on Sunday morning in its final game of the Hotel Encanto invite. The Bears defeated the Gophers 9-1 last season in their only all-time meeting.