The Adams State College Grizzlies closed out the 2012 Softball season by dropping both games of a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) doubleheader to New Mexico Highlands Sunday afternoon, falling 7-16 and 1-6.
ASC finished the season in a tie for ninth place in the 14-team Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), with a league record of 20-20 and a 24-24 mark overall. It gives the Grizzlies a record of .500 or better for the second straight campaign. NMHU finished in 11th in the RMAC standings, owning an 18-22 league mark.
The Cowgirls figured out game one starter for ASC, freshman Kelsey Sellars (Denver, Colo.), early on. Sellars lasted just 2.2 innings, and allowed just one earned run, but eight unearned runs scored on her watch doomed the Grizzlies.
NMHU started the scoring with a pair of runs in the second inning before piling on another eight runs thanks in part to two Grizzly errors in the third. The Cowgirls also tallied seven hits in the inning, running their lead to 10-0 midway through the third.
Fighting for a chance to remain in the race for the final spot in the RMAC Tournament, the Grizzlies were not ready to roll over. Junior Katelyn Lovato (Northglenn, Colo.) reached base to start the third inning for ASC, and scored when junior shortstop Brittani Richins (Temonton, Utah) tripled. It was one of four triples in the game for Adams State, as Lovato slapped two of her own in the game. Richins scored on a sacrifice fly from freshman designated player Erika Ecsedy (Saugus, Calif.), cutting the NMHU lead to 10-2.
Junior Mariah Skaggs (Danville, Ill.) recorded the final out of the third inning in relief of McWilliams, but sophomore Michelle Leyba (Albuquerque, N.M.) started the fourth and worked a quick inning to bring ASC back up to the plate.
The Grizzlies third triple of the game came from junior catcher DJ Consonero (Pueblo West, Colo.) to begin the bottom of the fourth. She’d score on a sacrifice fly from freshman second baseman Kayla Roberts (Widefield, Colo.), and another run would come in a Lovato’s second three-bagger of the game which plated sophomore left fielder Carly DeLorenzo (Arvada, Colo.).
ASC would put up five runs in the fourth inning to cut the lead deficit to three runs, 7-10, the final two coming on an RBI single to left from senior right fielder Lizzy Schossow (Fort Morgan, Colo.).
Both teams combined for just one hit during the fifth and sixth innings, and the Grizzlies took the field in the top of the seventh looking to stay within striking distance when they came up for their final at bat. However, defensive mishaps would once again cause Adams State trouble. The Cowgirls recorded seven hits in the inning, and earned just three of six runs that crossed the plate, in driving the score to its final, 16-7.
Adams State recorded 10 hits in the game, but the Cowgirls were good for 18 hits and took advantage of four Grizzly errors.
The Grizzlies celebrated Senior Day in between games, recognizing the career contributions and commitment of this year’s graduating seniors Schossow, Melinda Velasquez (Montrose, Colo.) and Rebecca Lindquist (Fort Collins, Colo.).
Following the ceremony, freshman Linda Hernandez (Pueblo, Colo.) pitched game two, and gave up five runs in five innings while striking out two Cowgirls. Freshman Morgan McWilliams (Edgewood, N.M.) closed out the game and season, with her two innings of work. She struck out three, allowing one run on two hits.
The Grizzlies offense was unable to muster much run support for Hernandez’s effort. NMHU held ASC to just three hits. DeLorenzo reached base in both of her at bats, with one walk and one single, and also stole her 28th base of the season.
Schossow and Consonero each recorded one hit as well, with Consonero driving in the Grizzlies’ only run of the game in the fifth inning.
Sellars and Hernandez conclude the season tied for the team lead with seven wins apiece, as each reached that mark during Saturday’s twin bill sweep of New Mexico Highlands.