Cheney's complete game fuels Bears' split in Waco
By ZACH BOND
WACO, Texas – The Northern Colorado softball team got another sparkling performance from a pitcher as it split the first day of the Miken Classic in Waco, Texas on Friday afternoon.
The Bears shut out Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first game of the day and fell 8-1 to Baylor to wrap things up. The Bears moved to 3-4 on the year.
In the first game of the day, the Bears rode their ace, Kelci Cheney, to a tournament-opening 5-0 shutout over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Cheney (Terrell, Texas) picked up where she left off from her first tournament, as she threw her second complete-game shutout of both her season and her career.
After striking out 10 batters in her first complete game, Cheney's effort against the Islanders looked a little different as she only struck out two, but still limited the Islanders to just four hits on the day. She also got stronger as the game went along, allowing just two hits after the first two innings of work.
Despite all the strong work from Cheney though, the Bears were still deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the sixth. That's when the Northern Colorado offense finally broke upon the strength of a Kaitlin Flynn (Johnstown, Colo.) three-run blast.
Flynn's bomb put the game out of reach for the Islanders and came after the Bears had finally gotten on the board by scoring on a wild pitch and plating another after an Islanders' fielding error.
In that momentous sixth inning, the Bears cranked out five hits including Flynn's first homer of the season. The inning was all the more remarkable considering Northern Colorado had managed just one hit prior to the frame.
Flynn finished the game 2-for-3 with the three RBI. The only other player to get two hits for the Bears was Morgan Yuhas (Henerson, Nev.). She finished 2-for-3 from the plate as well.
In the second game of the day, the Bears fell 8-1 to tournament-host Baylor.
In that one, Northern Colorado's offense was held down, managing one hit against some strong Baylor pitching.
Junior Megan Wilkinson (Windsor, Colo.) got the start in the circle and threw the game's first 3.1 innings and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk. She also struck out four on the day.
Sophomore Mikayla Duffy (Grand Junction, Colo.) came in for Wilkinson and threw the remaining 2.2 innings, giving up four runs, but just one earned, on five hits.
Yuhas was the only Bear to get a hit against Baylor.
The Bears will continue play at the Miken Classic on Saturday when they take on Pacific at 9 a.m. (MT). The Bears will also play another opponent later in the day, depending on how the rest of the tournament goes.