Eric R. Flores
The Paw Print
After getting a win in the first game of the second day of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference cross over tournament, the Adams State College Grizzlies were unable to pull out another win as they fell in the following two games, here at the RCTC Dome on Saturday.
The Grizzlies (6-3) were able to win 7-2 over Upper Iowa before falling to Minnesota State-Mankato, 8-0 and Concordia-St. Paul, 15-6, both in five innings.
The Grizzlies were down early in the first game as Upper Iowa scratched out two runs in on separate occasions. The first came in the bottom of the second inning when Erin Bennek, the lead-off batter hit a homer to left center field. The second run came in the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Erin Van Praag.
Praag’s sacrifice fly must have erupted the Grizzlies bats, as they were able to put up a 7-run rally in the top of the fifth inning.
The rally was ignited after senior Sarah Lindquist reached base when Hannah Jones, the Peacocks’ left fielder, dropped a fly ball that hit her glove and rolled away from her. After two quick sacrifice bunts by sophomore Melinda Velasquez and freshman Tayler Else, sophomore Alexis Gallego was able to get a walk before junior Rebecca Lindquist brought her older sister around with a double to left center.
The Peacocks then elected to intentionally walk senior Jaycee Lovato before she could do any damage, and the bases were loaded. This was a costly mistake for Upper Iowa, as redshirt freshman Kristen Payne hit a double to left center to clear the bases and give Adams State a 4-2 lead.
Freshman Stephanie Dunham was then hit by a pitch, setting up freshman Jennie Archambault to hit a double and chase home pinch runner Lizzy Schossow After a long battle Sarah Lindquist was able to chase those two runners in as she hit a single down the right field line.
The Grizzlies were able to hold onto that lead and Lindquist nabbed her fifth win of the game by allowing two runs, just one of which was earned, on five hits and three walks, while striking out four in her complete game effort.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies got production from the bottom of the order as Archambault and Sarah Lindquist each went 2-for-3 in the No. 8 and 9 spots in coach Dervin Taylor’s lineup. They also scored a run each while combining for three RBI.
The Peacocks, who have now fallent to the Grizzlies twice in as many weeks, fell to 3-5 on the season with the loss despite a combined 4-for-5 effort by Bennek and Chelsey Sechrest.
In the second game of the day, the Grizzlies just could not hit the ball, as Minnesota State pitcher Kendra Huettl started the game with four straight swinging strikeouts while holding the Grizzlies without a hit through the whole game.
This was not the case for the Mavericks as they came out swinging and used the power of a 3-run Chelsea Erickson homer to give them a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Grizzly senior pitcher Marissa Elsberry was able to keep the score at that for the next two innings before the Minnesotans struck again for four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning before closing the door in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the fifth inning on a RBI fielder’s choice by Amanda Umhoefer.
Elsberry was charged with her second loss of the season as she allowed seven runs on six hits and three walks.
Huettl picked up the win as she struck out nine Grizzlies.
This theme continued on during the battle of the bears as the Golden Bears of Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) struck first when they nailed a 2-run homer in the top of the first inning.
The Grizzlies were able to strike back in the bottom half of the inning, however, as they scored four runs on five hits and two errors.
That did not scare the Golden Bears as they came back to take the lead right back, scoring three run in the top of the second inning before tacking on one more in the third.
Payne attempted to give the Grizzlies a motivational boost in the bottom of the third inning as she hit a homer, her third of the season, to close the gap to 6-5. However, the Grizzlies could not build on it and the Golden Bears came back to score six runs on seven hits and one error in the fourth inning before adding three more in the top of the fifth.
After a Payne walk in the bottom of the fifth, pinch runner Velasquez made her way around the bases and scored on a fielder’s choice to close out the scoring.
Freshman Taylor Johnson was charged with her first loss of the season as she gave up 15 runs, 11 of which were earned, on 17 hits and two walks. She did have two strikeouts.
Sophomore all-American Katelyn Lovato was injured in the top of the first inning of the first game of the day as she was diving for a fly ball. She did not play in the second game but played as the designated player for the Grizzlies in the third game of the day.
Adams State College junior utility player Jaycee Lovato continued her reign of terror on pitchers as she nailed two home runs and got six RBI as she led the Grizzlies, now 5-1 on the season, to a 8-3 win over the St. Cloud State University (Minn.) Huskies, on Friday here at the RCTC Dome in first day action at the NSIC/RMAC Crossover Tournament.
The game started quickly for both teams as they scored two runs in the first inning. The Grizzlies got on the board when Katelyn Lovato had a leadoff double to right field before Gallego hit a single and advanced on the throw. Jaycee Lovato than got her first RBI when she hit a single to right center before Payne hit into a fielder’s choice to shortstop. The shortstop then elected to try to get the out at home, however, an aware Gallego was able to slide under the tag.
Sarah Lindquist gave up two runs on a bloop single to left field before settling down.
Lovato, who went 3-for-4 (.750) on the day, hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning before batting in an eight pitch at bat to nail a three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lindquist was almost able to work out of the inning but a passed ball cost her as the next batter hit a sacrifice fly to score their third run before Lindquist finally got out of the jam.
Rebecca Lindquist than helped get the run back for the Grizzlies as she hit a 2-1 pitch out of the playing area and into the dome wall down the left field line for her first home run of the season.
Sarah Lindquist, who allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits, while striking out five batters in a seven innings, won her fourth game of the season.
The Grizzlies were scheduled to play tournament host Winona State (Minn.) on Sunday. However, the threat of a winter storm in the area has the forced the cancellation of that game, which will help the Grizzlies make the trip home before the brunt of the storm hits the Rochester area.
The next game for the Grizzlies will be on next Saturday (Feb. 27) when the Grizzlies travel to take on the Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves in their first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference doubleheader of the season. First pitch is scheduled for noon at the Rawlings Softball Complex.