UTEP Ends Northern Colorado Softball Season with a 6-3 Decision
GREELEY, Colo. - The University of Northern Colorado softball team closed its 2005 season on Tuesday at home against the University of Texas at El Paso Miners. UTEP scored a come-from-behind 6-3 win over the Bears in the contest.
The Bears looked strong early as the squad built a 2-0 lead through four innings of play. Northern Colorado scored a single run in the first inning as a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases with only one out. Freshman Heather Beffert then came through with a single up the middle to score sophomore Casey Hogue.
It looked like the Bears would add more runs when sophomore Kelsey Dumler hit a line shot to right field. However, UTEP's Sarah Ramirez snagged the liner and doubled off Platten at second to end the threat.
The Bears added their second run of the game in the fourth inning on an error-laden play. Stephani Miller hit a towering fly ball to center field and UTEP's Gracie Borjas dropped the sure out as she headed toward the fence. By the time Borjas had rounded up the loose ball, Miller was heading for home and scoring the second run of the game.
Controversy struck in the top of the fifth inning when with UTEP pinch hitter Karen Sjostrom on third base and Ramirez at the plate. Ramirez launched a double to the right-centerfield fence which scored Sjostrom and put the Miners on the board. However, the third base umpire Steve Boudreaux had called time prior to the pitch as the third base fence had come unlatched.
UTEP's co-head coaches Kathleen and James Rodriguez immediately informed home plate umpire Mike Brady the game would be played under protest. The Rodriguez's claimed no one had called time prior to the pitch and the play should have stood.
Brady ruled Broudreax had called time and Ramirez had to go back to the plate and Sjostrom returned to third. Ramirez promptly laced single to right field that scored Sjostrom and the Miners were back to within one at 2-1.
With the game being played under protest at the time, Northern Colorado proceeded to hand the Miners the game in the sixth inning. Leadoff hitter DeAnne Camacho reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jennifer Huston. Designated player Kristin Hardy then laid down a bunt right on top of home plate and UNC's catcher Whitney Platten grabbed the bunt and fired it down to second base to get an easy out, but nobody covered the bag and ball went into centerfield allowing Camacho to reach second without a play.
Simone Holland hit a hot shot to third and the Bears' Ashley Martinosky mishandled the ball allowing the Miners to load the bases with nobody out. Emmons then hit a grounder to second base, which Kati Miller handled nicely and tossed to her sister Stephani at first for an out, but Stephani dropped the throw and a run scored to tie the game at 2-2 with still nobody out.
The Bears retired the next two batters and appeared ready to get out of the mess with a tie game. But Ramirez singled up the middle to score both Emmons and Holland to put the Miners on top, 4-2.
Northern Colorado appeared ready to respond in the bottom of the sixth as the first two hitters of the inning, Kati Miller and Whitney Platten, reached via base on balls. But Beffert and Dumler went down on strikes and Stephani Miller grounded out to second to end the threat.
UTEP added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh to give the Miners a commanding 6-2 lead going into the final at-bat of the game for the Bears.
Junior Aubrey Barnes began the seventh with a triple off the wall in right field. Martinez followed with a one-out single to right center to cut the margin to three at 6-3. Pinch hitter Ashley Geist struck out swinging and Kati Miller grounded out to second to end the game.
Following the contest, UTEP lifted its protest of the game.
Martinez led the Bears on the day with two hits and an RBI. Northern Colorado managed only five hits on the day.
UTEP was led by Hardy with three hits. Ramirez tallied a game-high three RBI in the leadoff spot for the Miners.
Dumler (7-16) suffered the loss as she gave up 10 hits and six runs (three earned), while striking out four Miner hitters.
Megan Barber (11-14)earned the win for the Miners as she limited the UNC hitters to only five hits and three runs (two earned). Barber struck out nine Bears' hitters and walked five.
UTEP is now 16-32 on the season.
Northern Colorado finished its season with a mark of 12-28.