March 29, 2008

Bears Softball Suffers Doubleheader Sweep To Rival Rams

March 29, 2008

Game one box score
Game two box score

Northern Colorado's softball team came into its doubleheader with in-state rival Colorado State on Saturday, March 29, hoping some home games would cure what ailed it during its first 35 games, which all came on the road.

But the Bears gave up four runs to the Rams in the fourth inning of game one -- a 6-2 loss -- and 14 runs in the fourth through seventh innings of game two -- an 18-12 loss -- to fall to 7-30 on the season.

The Bears were able to push a run across in the bottom of the seventh inning in game one and then quickly scored 10 runs in the first four innings of game two, but it was too late and too little.

The Rams left Greeley with a 19-11 record and inched a little closer in their all-time series with the Bears, pulling to within 16 games at 33-17.

Junior Hillarie Van Otterloo (3-11) started in the circle for the Bears in game one and was solid for the first three innings. But Colorado State scored four runs on five hits in the fourth inning to knock Van Otterloo from the game and put the game out of reach for the Bears' struggling offense.

Northern Colorado went ahead 1-0 in the first inning of game one after successfully pulling off a double steal with Van Otterloo (first to second) and sophomore Jessie Schoepflin (third to home). The Bears didn't score again, though, until the bottom of the seventh inning when Van Otterloo hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored senior Morgan Dahlman, who earlier reached on a single through the left side of the infield.

The Bears got out to a quick start in game two, taking a 6-0 lead into the third inning, but Colorado State first baseman Julia Kloppe's grandslam to left-center field closed the gap to 6-4.

The Rams then used six runs in the fourth inning to take a 10-6 lead, and it appeared all the Bears' momentum had gone.

But Northern Colorado responded with four runs of its own in the fourth to tie the game at 10.

Colorado State scored a single run in the fifth, though, six in the sixth and a single run in the seventh to get a relatively easy victory.

Pitching was at a premium for both teams in game two. Freshman Jamie Juelfs started for Northern Colorado and Kim Klabough started for the Rams. Juelfs lasted 3 1/3 innings, but she surrendered seven runs on seven hits. Klabough gave up five runs (four earned) on three hits in just two-thirds of an inning.

Kelli Henderson, who took the loss and fell to 3-12, followed with three innings for the Bears, but she gave up 11 runs on 11 hits.

Offensively, six Bears had two hits in the second game, and junior Heather Buckley contributed four RBIs. Van Otterloo got her team-leading fourth home run in the second inning.