A Senior Day Split
April 19, 2008
There were fireworks in the seventh inning of both of Northern Colorado's softball games against Utah Valley on Saturday afternoon.
But the Bears were only able to win one of the contests on Senior Day at Butler-Hancock Softball Field.
Freshman Courtney Maihi's walk-off grand slam gave Northern Colorado a dramatic come-from-behind 5-2 victory in game one, but the Wolverines returned the favor in game two, scoring two runs in the seventh for a 6-5 win.
The doubleheader split did, though, move the Bears two games closer to being the winningest Northern Colorado softball team since 2002.
The Bears (11-32) will now be off for a week before taking on Utah State on Saturday, April 26, in Logan, Utah.
Northern Colorado and Utah Valley (9-29) played it close to the vest early in game one. The Wolverines held a slim 2-1 lead entering the final inning, but, in the end, it appears the Bears were destined to win the game.
Sophomore Jessie Schoepflin led off the final inning with a triple, but she was later thrown out at the plate on an infield single.
But the Bears didn't give up.
Junior Hillarie Van Otterloo, with one out, doubled to left field, which moved freshman Kelli Henderson to third. Senior Morgan Barrett, in her final home game with the Bears, next was intentionally walked -- setting the stage for Maihi's bases-clearing blast over the center-field wall.
Van Otterloo (5-11) started in the circle in the game and went the distance. She struck out three and allowed just seven hits and the two runs.
The second game was a classic seesaw battle. The Wolverines took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the Bears scored a single run in their half of the second and another single run in the third when Schoepflin got her second inside-the-park home run in as many games.
Utah Valley then tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Northern Colorado scored twice in the bottom half to regain the lead. The teams each scored single runs in the fifth inning, but that's where the Bears' scoring ended.
The Wolverines then scored a single run in the sixth and two in the fifth to avoid a four-game sweep in Greeley.
Freshman Jamie Juelfs (4-12) started in the circle in the game and pitched better than her final line indicates. She surrendered all six of Utah State's runs, but she was never really in trouble until the seventh inning, when Henderson relieved her but was unable to hold the lead.
Juelfs helped her own cause at the plate in the contest by going three for four and picking up an RBI.
Schoepflin continued her triples binge in the games against Utah Valley. She entered the contest No. 10 in the NCAA with .14 triples per game, but her two three-baggers against the Wolverines figures to move her even further up that list... Schoepflin's inside-the-park home run in the third inning of game two, was her second such home run in as many days against the Wolverines... Maihi's game-winning home run in game one was the first of her career... The game was the last at home for Northern Colorado this season... The Bears finished the season 4-3 at Butler-Hancock Softball Field... Seniors Mackenzie Barrett, Morgan Dahlman and Abby Turner were all honored before the game on Senior Day.