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Fort Lewis College softball goes 3-1 against Colorado School of Mines

Skyhawks use pair of late rallies to sweep Sunday doubleheader

The Fort Lewis College softball team secured a 3-1 series victory over Colorado School of Mines Sunday in Golden, with two late-inning rallies.

Fort Lewis (9-9, 6-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) got off to a strong start with a 7-6 extra-innings win with two runs in the top of the ninth inning, and in the second game of the doubleheader, the Skyhawks scored four runs in the top of the seventh to win 6-4. Sunday’s doubleheader sweep comes off of a split on Saturday, when FLC won Game 1 5-2, and lost Game 2 9-8.

On Sunday, FLC was able to snap the Orediggers dominant performance over the Skyhawks, as the Mines (7-10, 4-4 RMAC) had won nine of the last 10 games in the series.

In the first game, Fort Lewis came from behind on two occasions to earn the win. The Skyhawks scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 4-3 lead before the Orediggers came back to tie it at 4-4. In the top of the ninth with the score tied at 5-5, McKenna Hefley doubled to Pilar Gutierrez to take a 6-5 lead, and Hefley scored the following at-bat when Brianna Leavell hit a clutch RBI single for an insurance run that made it 7-5.

In the second game, Leavell and fellow freshmen Sloan Shotton each hit home runs to keep the Skyhawks’ offense hot. Shotton hit a solo home run, her third of the season in the sixth inning to bring the Skyhawks back within two runs at 4-2. Leavell went 2-for-3 including her two-run no-doubt home run in the seventh that put the Skyhawks up 5-4.

Leavell’s home run was part of a four-run Skyhawks seventh, that included a timely RBI double that drove in Gutierrez from first base. After Leavell’s home run that also scored Hefley, Kelly Decker hit a double and scored on a wild pitch two batter slater.

Redshirt junior Mandy Lorenson earned her second win in as many days after she got out of a jam despite two errors from the Skyhawks in the bottom of the seventh. She improved to 2-3 on the season, struck out seven and for the second consecutive game, did not walk a batter.

On Saturday, Lorenson pitched well again, as she limited the Orediggers to two runs on two hits, and struck out eight in FLC’s 5-2 win. The Skyhawks got runs from Leavell on a two-run home run to make it 3-0 in the third inning. Leavell continued her strong start to the season with an RBI double to drive in Hefley, which gave the Skyhwks a 4-1 lead. Decker drove in the Skyhawks’ fifth run, as she went 2-for-3.

In Saturday’s 9-8 loss, Fort Lewis scored five in the top of the seventh to take a lead, but it would not last. The Oredigger scored two, and secured a walk-off win after Clara Larson flied out, and Stefanie Brunello scored on an errant throw from the outfield.

Gutierrez was 4-for-4 in the second game, and scored three runs on the day. Her four hits was a career-high. Leavell and Decker also had multiple hits in the second game on Saturday.

Fort Lewis will play at Aspen Field for the first time this season next weekend when the Skyhawks host Colorado Christian for a four-game series. The Cougars (22-5, 12-0 RMAC) are in first place in the RMAC. The Skyhawks and Cougars will have a pair of doubleheaders at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.