ASU Senior Day sweep lifts Grizzlies into RMAC tourney


ALAMOSA—Playing with the mission of qualifying for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament, the Adams State University softball team played as a team and saw their bats come alive to get a doubleheader sweep over the Metro State University-Denver Roadrunners on Sunday.

The Grizzlies won the first game 15-7 in five innings before they took the second game 13-8. The games, which doubled as Parents’ Weekend and Senior Day, were the Grizzlies’ final games of the regular season. ASU finishes with a 19-29 overall record and an 18-20 RMAC record. With the wins and by virtue of losses by CSU-Pueblo and UCCS, the Grizzlies clinched a spot in the RMAC Tournament. The tournament will take place next Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Conference officials will release the bracket for the tournament on Monday evening.

On Sunday, the Grizzlies struck quick and consistently. After a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Adams State erupted for four runs in the bottom half. Senior Marissa Harmon earned her first RBI of the game as she singled to right field to score pinch runner Jasmine Parker. Makenzie Villarreal then had the Grizzlies celebrating at home plate as she launched a 3-run blast over the center field wall to score Harmon and senior Kalin Johnson.

The Roadrunners did not back out of the battle as they scored three runs in the top of the second inning. With ASU leading, 4-3 they scratched across a run in the bottom half of the inning as senior Gabrielle Griego singled to center field to score Harmon.

After Metro scored a run the in the top of the third, ASU battled and scored five runs in both the bottom of the third and bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the third, April Riggins was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to push senior Paige Reichmuth across the plate.  Harmon then earned another RBI on a sacrifice fly to score Tyler Hays. Griego then tripled to right center for two RBI while Cheyenne Hamilton doubled her home.

After another three runs for Metro in the top of the fourth, ASU started off their half with flair as they loaded the bases for Harmon who crushed a long ball to center field for the Grizzlies’ second grand slam at home on the season. Hamilton then hit a sacrifice fly to seal the game and put it into the run-rule.

Despite a 2-out walk, Madison Vrabel was able to earn a save on the day as she pitched two solid innings and only allowed one run on two walks and three hits. Whitney Fields earned her fourth win of the season by pitching three innings and allowing six runs, only three of which were earned, on four hits and four walks.

Offensively, ASU had 15 hits with Harmon leading the way being 3-for-3 and six RBI.

In the second game, Metro State jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the top of the first inning. But once again, the hot bat of Harmon came to ASU’s record as she nailed a 3-run homer to deep center field to cut the lead to one.

The lead for the Roadrunners would eventually grow as they scored three runs in the top of the second including a 2-run home run to make the score 7-3.

ASU then rallied and took the lead back by scoring six runs in the bottom half of the inning with the biggest hit being a triple by Katylynn Johnson down the right field line with the bases loaded. She then scored on an errant throw.

ASU added a run in the bottom of the fourth when Villarreal hit a sacrifice fly  before Taylor Roberts hit a 2-run double to left field and Hays singled home senior Alexandria Quintana in the bottom of the fifth.

In the game ASU had 13 runs on 8 hits and drew six walks.

Senior Lauren Murphy earned her 12th win of the season with a complete game by allowing just six earned runs on 12 hits and two walks. She had six strikeouts. Tyler Hays solidified her regular season RMAC batting title as she finishes with a .504 batting average, moving her into a tie for fourth place, nationally. On the day, Hays finished 5-of-7 with four runs scored and an RBI. She finished with a triple and a double.

Marissa Harmon finished the day 4-of-6 with two home runs and ten RBI. She scored five runs on the day.