Bears Softball Cruises Past The Cougars
April 8, 2008
Some dominant pitching and a pair of four-run innings led to two victories for Northern Colorado's softball team Wednesday night.
Western Nebraska Community College came to Greeley with a 23-game winning streak, but the Cougars left town following a doubleheader sweep on Wednesday, April 8.
The Bears, behind the overpowering pitching of Jamie Juelfs (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Kelli Henderson (Englewood, Colo.), cruised past Western Nebraska 5-0 in game one and 7-1 in game two. Henderson and Juelfs combined for 22 strikeouts in the two games, and they surrendered just two hits apiece.
Northern Colorado will get just a night to savor the doubleheader wins. The Bears will travel to Fort Collins on Wednesday, April 9, to take on Colorado State. The Rams swept the the Bears in a doubleheader in Greeley on Saturday, March 29.
Northern Colorado's offense was solid all night Tuesday, but it struck crushing blows in the form of four-run innings in both games. The Bears (9-30) used three hits and an error to score four times in the fourth inning of game one, and they used four hits to score four more times in the third inning of game two. Both times, the game was close. But both times, the four-run inning put the game away.
The Bears entered the contest the losers of 14 of their last 15, but the Cougars (32-5), a junior-college program from Scottsbluff, Neb., were just what the doctor ordered. Northern Colorado collected 12 RBIs in the two contests and only struck out 11 times.
Jessie Schoepflin (Arvada, Colo.) paced the Bears in game one, finishing two for three at the plate and knocking in a pair of runs.
In game two, Schoepflin, Henderson, Hillarie Van Otterloo (Broomfield, Colo.) and Mackenzie Barrett (Lakewood, Colo.) all finished with two hits. Henderson led the team with two RBIs in the second contest.
Schoepflin had the key play in the fourth inning of game one. After Barrett and Jaycee Lovato (Northglenn, Colo.) had already cross the plate, Schoepflin, with runners on second and third, hit a hard shot right at the third baseman, who came home with the throw. The throw was wide, and Kaylyn James (Pueblo West, Colo.) and Juelfs both scored on the error.
Katelyn Landorf (Ormond Beach, Fla.) then delivered the key blow in game two when, in the third inning, she singled to right, scoring Barrett, who reached on a single, and Van Otterloo, who reached on a triple to left-center field.
But the story this night was truly pitching. Henderson and Juelfs both pitched complete games to earn the victory and both did it with relative ease. Henderson did walk a pair in her seven-inning stint, but those were the only free passes given out by either pitcher.