Bears Softball Starts Invite on Wrong End of Doubleheader Sweep
Feb. 28, 2008
The University of Northern Colorado softball team scored 10 runs in its first two games of the UTEP Invitational on Thursday, Feb. 28, in El Paso, Texas. Unfortunately, the host Miners, the Bears' tournament-opening doubleheader opponent, scored 24 runs.
Pitching was again a problem for Northern Colorado. In all, Bears pitchers surrendered 13 walks in the two defeats, 12-4 and 12-6, while giving up 22 earned runs.
Northern Colorado, which fell to 3-15 with the losses and 2-6 all-time against UTEP, will continue play Friday, Feb. 29, on the second day of the UTEP Invitational. The Bears will face Loyola Marymount for the fourth time this season at 9 a.m. (Mountain) before taking on UC Riverside at 1:30 p.m. Marymount defeated Northern Colorado in the teams' three previous meetings this season.
Hillarie Van Otterloo (1-4) started in the circle for the Bears in game one on Thursday. She surrendered three runs in the first inning but rebounded to keep UTEP off the board until the fourth inning. At that point, Northern Colorado had regained the lead, 4-3, but the Miners struck for a single run in their half of the fourth and scored seven more in the fifth. Another run in the sixth inning gave UTEP its final bulge.
Jamie Juelfs relieved Van Otterloo in the decisive fifth inning, but it was too late. Van Otterloo gave up eight earned runs in her four-and-two-thirds innings, while Juelfs surrendered four runs (two earned).
At the plate, six Bears contributed hits. First baseman Katelyn Landorf provided the most pop with her fourth-inning two-run home run.
Northern Colorado finished the first inning of the second game up 2-1, but UTEP's single run in the second and four runs in the third blew the game open. The Bears pulled to within 6-4 in their half of the fourth, but it was as close as they got.
Northern Colorado's offense came off a solid attack. Seven Bears had hits in the game, including shortstop Mackenzie Barrett and catcher Jaycee Lovato, who both hit home runs. Center fielder Jessie Schoepflin finished two for four.
Kelli Henderson (0-5) started for the Bears in game two, but she struggled with her control throughout. She surrendered 10 walks in her six-and-a-third innings and 12 earned runs. Juelfs again came on in relief and shut down the two batters she faced.