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Skyhawks thrive in elements to win series

FLC softball wins three of four against Adams
Fort Lewis second baseman Jaden Blaise Redus records an out while playing Adams State University on Saturday at FLC during the second game of a doubleheader. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Saturday’s forecast called for flurries, but the Fort Lewis College softball team withstood the elements and won two games against Adams State University 6-5 and 6-3 to win the series.

Fort Lewis earned the wins behind all-out defense, timely hitting and steady pitching to improve to 3-14 on the year and 3-5 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

In Game 1, the Skyhawks broke through in the second inning, taking advantage of back-to-back singles to go ahead 1-0. Jaden Blaise Redus doubled the lead with a fielder's choice that brought home Hannah Rutherford. Alex Tenorio then capped the inning with a triple to right field that scored Taylor Beaman from first base to give FLC a 3-0 edge.

Alex Tenorio of Fort Lewis College tags out an Adams State runner while Jaden Gilley waits at second base Saturday at FLC during the second game of a doubleheader. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Grizzlies bit back in the top of the third, putting together three hits to plate two runs. Adams State then took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fourth with another pair of runs.

In the bottom of the fifth, Jadyn Gilley scored Tenorio to tie it up. Sydney Stewart then brought Katie Pippel home with a fielder’s choice to give FLC a 5-4 lead.

The lead flip-flopped again in the top of the sixth when Lyric Torres hit a solo home run to left field for a 5-5 tie.

Fort Lewis, however, exhibited a no-quit attitude. Rutherford led off with double, then stole third. She eventually scored on a groundout from Blaise Redus to put FLC on top 6-5.

Adams State threatened in the top of the seventh, putting two on with an error and single. Fort Lewis’ defense buckled down from there, executing a stout play to get the lead runner out, followed by a flashy 5-3 double play to end the game.

Rutherford went 3-3 with two runs. Tenorio went 2-4 with an RBI and a run. Gilley went 2-3 with an RBI. Amiee Shanks threw 3.2 innings, giving up one earned run and three hits.

Hailie Mann of Fort Lewis College fires off a pitch against Adams State University on Saturday at FLC in Game 2 of a doubleheader. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

In Game 2, Fort Lewis was the first to strike again with Blaise Redus singling in a run. Beaman followed with an RBI single to right field and FLC took a 2-0 lead after two innings.

Adams scored the next three runs, but Blaise Redus made a heroic diving catch at second base to end the threat in the fourth.

With two outs in the bottom of the fourth, Beaman belted a standup double down the right-field line to bring two runs in and put FLC back in front, 4-3.

Hailie Mann came in to pitch in the top of the fifth and preserved the 4-3 lead. Fort Lewis added insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. Sydney Stewart hit an RBI double and FLC scored its sixth run on error.

Mann faced the minimum in the sixth inning. The Grizzlies picked up a one-out single to left and advanced on the throw, putting one in scoring position. The following batter put a charge into one, but a great read in right field from Cara Daugherty resulted in a sprawling out. Gilley then fielded a two-out grounder at the hot corner to seal FLC’s second win of the day.

Beaman went 2-2 with 3 RBIs. Blaise Redus went 2-3 with an RBI and a run. Pippel went 2-4 and scored a run. Mann pitched three innings, giving up one hit and no earned runs.

Next, Fort Lewis (3-14, 3-5 RMAC) will travel to take on the defending conference champions in Colorado Mesa University (12-4, 6-0 RMAC) for a Saturday/Sunday slate.