March 17, 2011

Softball uses seven-run seventh to snap losing skid

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LOS ANGELES -- Megan Hamilton stroked a game-tying triple in the top of the seventh Thursday against Bethune-Cookman, and Kelli Henderson followed a few batters later with a game-winning single as the Bears snapped a 15-game losing streak with a 9-5 win at Smith Field.

The Bears (2-20) entered the seventh inning down 5-2 but knocked out seven hits and drew two walks in the final inning during the second day of the Marina International Hotel Showcase.

Henderson (2-8), who pitched well for the second straight day, worked around a walk and a hit in the bottom of the seventh to help Northern Colorado win for the first time since earning a 12-4 margin against Minnesota on Feb. 13.

The Bears finished with 11 hits against the Tigers (8-13), giving them at least seven in three of their last four. Erin Geddis, Henderson and Erin Wilkinson each finished with two hits, and five others had one apiece, including Hamilton's clutch rip to right-center field in the seventh.

Jamie Juelfs got the start for Mark Montgomery's ballclub but lasted just an inning, giving up four runs (one earned) on five hits.

Montgomery quickly brought Henderson in from the designated-player position, and she responded with six innings of two-hit ball. She also struck out two, while allowing just one unearned run.

Alex Neely started Northern Colorado's seventh with a single to short, and Kaylyn James followed with another single, this one up the middle. Melanie Buol later reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second when Geddis followed with a single to short.

It all set the stage for Hamilton, who plugged the gap in right-center, scoring Geddis, Buol and James.

After an unintentional walk by Wilkinson and an intentional walk to Kailee Vessey Henderson singled through the left side to put the Bears ahead for good.

Northern Colorado will take tomorrow off in L.A. before finishing up their spring break with with games against Canisius and host Loyola Marymount.