Slow start dooms Softball in 10-6 loss to Rams
By ZACH BOND
GREELEY -- The Northern Colorado softball team was done in by a slow start in its 10-6 loss to Colorado State at home on Wednesday evening.
The Bears (17-18) gave up five runs in the first inning and couldn't battle all the way back despite scoring five runs in the game's final three innings.
It was the second time the Bears have fallen to their instate-rivals this season -- with the Rams (18-18) getting the better of Northern Colorado a week ago in Fort Collins.
The game started exactly how Duffy did not want it to, as Ashlie Ortega blasted a lead-off homerun to give the Rams the lead right away.
From there, things went from bad to worse for Duffy as Colorado State batted through its lineup in the first inning. She was not aided by her defense though as the Bears made two errors in the frame. Colorado State was even getting batters on after they struck out, as a Duffy wild pitch allowed Kendal Butterfield to reach after swinging and missing on strike three.
"The fact is, we can't keep spotting teams runs like this," Northern Colorado coach Mark Montgomery said. "We're not losing games because the other team is outplaying and outperforming us. We're spotting teams four or five runs and that allows you to play with the utmost confidence, whereas when you're behind you're constantly at odds trying to score those runs."
Wilkinson entered the game for Duffy still in the first and managed to get out of the inning after coaxing a fly ball from Butterfield.
The sophomore threw well -- giving the Bears 4.2 innings of work while allowing just two earned runs on eight hits and two walks. She also managed to strike out two batters on the day.
Wilkinson's work kept the Bears within relative striking distance as the offense, led by Lindsey Smith began to pick up steam.
Smith, a junior, continued her red-hot play from last weekend and went 2-for-4 on the day with a pair of RBI. She doubled in the first inning and smashed her team-leading seventh homerun of the season in the fifth inning. The two-run homer brought the Bears to within four runs -- down just 7-3 before the Rams extended their lead again.
Over her last five games, Smith has been red-hot -- going 9-for-15 (.600) with a homerun, a triple and three doubles to go along with eight RBI.
Senior Erin Geddis also had a solid day at the plate -- finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Northern Colorado will have to quickly forget about the loss and refocus as the Bears shift back into PCSC play and their first road conference series. They kick things off against Utah Valley in Orem, Utah on Saturday, April 7 with the first of two double-headers. The first game on Saturday is set to start at noon.