HRs Lift Montana State-Billings to Tripleheader Sweep of Northern Colorado
BILLINGS, Mont. - Four home runs, including a walk off game winner, helped give Montana State-Billings a tripleheader sweep of the Northern Colorado softball squad on Saturday. The Yellowjackets defeated the Bears, 5-0, 3-2, and 3-2 at Cenex Stadium.
MSU-Billings (26-28 overall) leads the Pacific West Conference with 32 home runs this season. The Bears fell to 6-31. The two teams will meet for a single game at 1:00 p.m. Sunday in the season finale for both.
Yellowjackets junior catcher Layne Pavey belted two home runs in the 5-0 game-one shutout, going 2-for-3 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored. She started the scoring with a two-run shot in the first inning, driving in Anna Henderson. That was all the run support pitcher Joey Ehnes needed as she went the distance for her 20th win of the season. She struck out eight and scattered four hits over seven innings, improving to 20-16 and lowering her ERA to 1.96.
Ehnes helped her own cause in the fourth inning, scoring on a throwing error by Bears' catcher Erin Peterson. Sara Hanley singled to plate Stephanie Cochrun in the next at bat to give the Jackets a 4-0 lead. Pavey added a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to close out the scoring. Ehnes and Cochrun also went 2-for-3 in the game. The Bears' Brooke Boyer was 2-for-2 with half of the team's hits.
The Bears jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second game, scoring a run each in the second and third innings off Yellowjacket starter Megan McCrae. Aubrey Barnes doubled to score Nicole Martinez in the second, and Boyer doubled to left to score Peterson in the third.
The Yellowjackets spoiled scoring opportunities in the fifth and sixth innings with base running mistakes, but they were able to rally in the seventh. Hanley led off with a double to right center, and McCrae followed with an infield single. Shortstop Cami Rainey then drove a 1-1 offering from Danelle Saylor for an opposite field walk-off home run, giving the Jackets a 3-2 win. McCrae picked up the win, her fourth of the year. Rainey was 2-for-4 in the game with three RBI and her fifth home run of the season. UNC's Whitney Platten went 2-for-4, and Boyer had an RBI.
Rainey started the scoring in the third game, leading off the first inning with a double down the left field line and eventually scoring on a groundout by Cochrun. The Yellowjackets tacked on a run in the fifth when Henderson singled to left to drive in Hanley from second base.
The Bears cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth when Boyer singled to plate Erika Trujillo. The run was given up by McCrae, who pitched six innings and allowed just three hits and one run as the starter.
MSU-Billings scored a much needed insurance run in the bottom half of the sixth when Pavey went yard for the third time of the day to give the Jackets a 3-1 lead. Ehnes pitched the seventh inning for the save, but not before giving up a solo home run to Casey Hogue, her first of the year. Ehnes forced two of the next three batters to fly out to end the game. McCrae improved to 5-9 with the win. Henderson was 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Yellowjackets. Trujillo was 2-for-2 for the Bears with a run scored.
Story courtesty MSU-Billings sports information office