Softball can't end losing streak, drops two more to Utah Valley
By ZACH BOND
OREM, Utah -- The Northern Colorado softball program couldn't bust out of its slump Saturday afternoon as it dropped two more on the road to Utah Valley.
The Bears (17-22, 2-6 PCSC) came into the day trying to escape a four-game losing streak but lost the final two games of the four-game series against the Wolverines (24-12, 5-3 PCSC).
The first game proved to be the more exciting one as the Bears dropped a 10-6 shootout. The big inning for both teams came in the seventh -- where a combined ten runs were scored.
The Wolverines broke the game open in the top-half of the frame with a six run outburst.
Down 10-2 after the offensive explosion, the Bears tried to make a game of it with a late-rally of their own. After Northern Colorado loaded the bases, freshman Kaitlin Flynn crushed a bases-clearing double to right center.
After a Utah Valley pitching change, the Bears kept the rally going with a Morgan Yuhas single and a sacrifice fly by Melissa Marcovecchio that scored Flynn. Unfortunately for the Bears, Erin Geddis struck out after the sacrifice fly to end the game.
Freshman Kelci Cheney got the start in the circle for Northern Colorado and ended up throwing 5.2 innings of work -- including the final out of the game after coming back in to relieve Megan Wilkinson.
Cheney finished her day giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks. She also struck out two on the day.
Wilkinson, a sophomore, entered the game in the sixth inning and ran into trouble in the seventh. She finished her day with 1.1 innings of work while giving up five earned runs on six hits and a walk.
In the second game of the day, an 11-1 five inning loss, the Bears were shut down by a dominant pitching performance.
In that one, the Northern Colorado offense couldn't get things going -- managing just two hits -- while the pitching struggled as well.
Mikayla Duffy was the starter who received the blunt of a Utah Valley offensive explosion -- giving up nine runs in four innings of work. The freshman let up nine hits and two walks.
Cheney came in to pitch the fifth and didn't fare much better than Duffy. She wrapped up the game with one inning of work. The Wolverines scored two more runs off her on three hits.
Jamie Pollak and Flynn were the only Bears to muster hits off of Wolverines' starter Cassie Herrera. The freshman threw the complete-game two-hitter while only striking out one batter.
Next up for the Bears is another quick break from conference competition as they get ready to travel to Fort Collins for a second time this season to compete in the third game of their annual series against Colorado State on Wednesday, April 11.