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Cowgirls, Mountain Lions battle to first-day draw

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By The Staff

COLORADO SPRINGS — Kailey Hernandez hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to lift the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a 7-5 victory over the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls and a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon at Mountain Lion Field.

New Mexico Highlands (5-6) won the opener 13-4.

Traci Everett and Ashley Jordan walked to open the bottom of the sixth inning of the nightcap with the Cowgirls leading 5-4. After pinch hitter Jenna Straight struck out, Amanda Hathaway tied the game with an RBI single to center. A wild pitch advanced Hathaway to second and Jordan to third, and Hernandez smoked a 3-2 pitch to left field, bringing both home.

UCCS starter Stacy Ortiz (2-3) made it stand. She walked the leadoff hitter in the top of the seventh before mowing down the final three batters without a ball leaving the infield. Kelsey Groff (2-2) took the loss for Highlands.

Hathaway was 3-for-4 for in the game and Everett was 2-for-3. Jessika Anastos belted a two-run homer, her second of the day.

A bases-loaded walk to Melissa DeWitt brought home Lara Mathewson to give the Mountain Lions (4-7) the lead in the opener, which proved to be the only UCCS score not recorded by way of the home run. Solo shots by Everett, Mathewson and Anastos accounted for the team’s other three runs.

Highlands starter Missy Martinez (2-1) had one of the most unusual stat lines you’ll ever see. She allowed only five hits, but three of those were homers. She struck out 13 batters, but also walked 10. The walks didn’t ultimately hurt her, though, as no runner put on base via the walk scored.

Chanel Ewing’s grand slam and Tanya Groff’s two-run shot highlighted an eight-run second inning that gave the Cowgirls a commanding lead. Highlands added five more runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Andin Moran, a two-run single by Ashley Bryan and a two-run homer by Groff.

Sarah McCauley (2-4) took the loss for UCCS.