Softball stays in first with Saturday split
SPANISH FORK, Utah -- Megan Hamilton had five hits Saturday, and Melanie Buol continued to showcase a new-found home run stroke as Northern Colorado split a doubleheader with Utah Valley and gave head coach Mark Montgomery his 301st career victory.
Hamilton finished 2-for-3 in a 6-2 loss in game one before slapping three hits in three at-bats in a 10-2, five-inning win in game two that gave the Bears (13-31, 9-3) a split in the four-game series.
Buol hit her second home run in as many days in the first game Saturday for Northern Colorado, which remains tied with Portland State atop the Pacific Coast Softball Conference's Mountain division standings.
The Bears have eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule, all at home, with the Vikings slated to visit Greeley next weekend. That figures to be an entertaining series.
Kelli Henderson (9-15) started game one Saturday and went the distance, but she allowed six runs on 10 hits in her seven innings, with five walks surrendered, opposite eight strikeouts.
She ran into trouble in the fifth inning, where the Wolverines (14-24, 7-5) connected for three hits and four runs. The first four batters reached for Utah Valley, and Deianna Russell cleared the bases with a three-RBI homer to left.
The Bears returned the offensive favor in the series finale, scoring at least one run in the second through fourth innings to build a comfortable run-differential advantage.
Hamilton provided the key blow, launching a first-pitch strike over the center field wall, scoring Kelli Henderson and Erin Wilkinson with a walk-off, three-run home run.
Henderson and Wilkinson both finished 2-for-3 in the finale, and Jamie Juelfs (4-12) got the victory in the circle, allowing two runs on seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Juelfs struck out four and walked none as she continues to turn around her senior season. She's now surrendered three or fewer runs in her last seven appearances.