March 5, 2011

Late-inning struggles push softball's losing streak to seven

Box score (Arizona State) | Box score (New Mexico State) | NC season stats

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Northern Colorado softball got its bats going Saturday during the second day of the Arizona State Wilson/DeMarini Invational at Farrington Stadium.

But the Bears still weren't able to snap what has now become a seven-game losing streak in a 9-0 five-inning defeat to the No. 7 Sun Devils and a 13-5 six-inning setback against New Mexico State.

Northern Colorado (1-12) spread seven hits across the two games, with freshman Megan Wilkinson and senior Kelli Henderson finishing 2-for-4 on the day with a couple of doubles and an RBI from Wilkson against the Aggies.

The Bears also were successful on all four of their stolen-base attempts on the day, giving them 12 on the season in 16 tries after swiping just 29 bags all of last season.

Alex Neely (1-2), Erin Geddis (1-4) and Erin Wilkinson (1-4) also got hits on the day, with Wilkinson's poke tying her with Henderson and Kailee Vessey for the team lead with two home runs.

Northern Colorado gave Arizona State, the 2008 national champion, all it could handle for four innings Saturday and trailed just 3-0 heading into the fifth. The Sun Devils knocked out four hits against three pitchers in the frame and scored six to run-rule the Bears.

The Bears then led 5-4 against New Mexico State in the fifth inning, before allowing four runs in the bottom of the fifth and five more in the sixth.

Pitching has been a little bit of an issue so far for Northern Colorado on the season, and that continued Saturday with Northern Colorado posting an unsightly 22.00 earned-run average in nine innings.

Juelfs ERA took on the most water on the day after coming into the weekend with the Bears' best line in the circle on the season. She arrived in sunny Tempe with a respectable 3.38 ERA in 16 innings, but she'll head home tomorrow with a 7.66 mark in 24 2/3 innings.