Softball suffers doubleheader sweep to Adams State
GREELEY -- This is not the kind of momentum Northern Colorado softball wanted headed into this weekend's Pacific Coast Softball Conference opener.
The Bears lost 2-1 and 10-7 in a home doubleheader against Division II Adams State on Thursday night to fall to 1-3 this season at Butler-Hancock Softball Field and 3-28 overall.
Northern Colorado, which finished 10-10 in its inaugural run through the PCSC last season, will start its 2011 conference schedule at home on Saturday against Idaho State.
The Bears and the Grizzlies staged two competitive games Thursday, but Northern Colorado just couldn't summon some timely hitting or clutch pitching when it needed it most.
Adams State (21-16) won the first game with a lead-off triple in the top of the seventh inning that turned into the winning run and then used used a five-run fourth inning in the nightcap to break a 5-5 tie.
"I know the girls are giving it everything they have," Northern Colorado coach Mark Montgomery said, "it's just that things aren't going our way right now, and we're not making very much fortune for ourselves, either. It's been the story of our season a little bit, and it's frustrating."
Kelli Henderson (3-12) got the start in game one and turned in a solid effort in a complete-game performance. She struck out eight and walked just a single batter.
The Grizzlies led 1-0 after the third inning before Erin Wilkinson got the Bears on the board with an RBI single to center that scored Erin Geddis. The Bears were in position to do some more damage, but Megan Hamilton struck out swinging to end the frame and strand Henderson and Wilkinson in scoring position.
Jenni Archumbault led off Adams State's seventh with a triple barely inside the left-field line, and she scored the Grizzlies' winning run on a two-out RBI single from Carly DeLorenzo.
"We almost got out of that jam, and credit to our girls," Montgomery said. "Adams State just came through with a big hit in a big spot."
The Grizzlies continued their momentum through the early part of the second game, staking themselves to a 4-0 lead after two innings.
Northern Colorado got off the mat, though, and scored three in the bottom half of the second and then, after Adams State plated another in the third, tied the game up with two more in its next at-bat.
Adams State then plated five in the fourth on six hits to squelch Northern Colorado's fire.
Juelfs, who reentered the game in the fourth after Megan Wilkinson ran into trouble, gave up four earned runs in five innings. Megan Wilkinson allowed five runs in 1 1/3 innings.
"(Megan) is probabaly throwing more innings than she's ready for," Montgomery said, "but she's going to be fine and a good player for us. We're just a little low on depth right now."
Northern Colorado scored two in the fifth to pull within 10-7 but missed a prime opportunity to even things up at 10. After Kailee Vessey was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, Erin Wilkinson hit a smash that was caught by Adams State shortstop Becca Lindquist.
If that ball goes through, who knows how the game would have played out.
"I've told the girls all season that we just need to win a couple in a row and then the momentum will start turning in our favor, we'll feel a lot better about ourselves," Montgomery said. "That hasn't happened yet, but we've still got a lot of our season left.
"For us, it's all about conference play, and that starts here in less than 48 hours. We've got to move on."