Grizzlies defeat Metro, advance in RMAC Tourney


GRAND JUNCTION—The Adams State University softball team on Thursday celebrated their first Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament win since 2015 where they went 2-2.

They rebounded from a 9-3 loss to Colorado School of Mines earlier in the day and eliminated the No. 3 seeded Metro State University-Denver Roadrunners with an explosive offensive. They earned a run-rule 10-0 win in five innings over the Roadrunners for their third win over them in five days.

“From the first to the second game, there was a complete different energy,” noted Head Coach Dervin Taylor of the win. “We came out for blood and nobody was stopping us.”

In their game, the Grizzlies scored two runs in the top of the first inning as they mimicked the first game. The Grizzlies saw Kalin Johnson connect on a hard liner for a triple to right center to score RMAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year Tyler Hays. Johnson was then chased home by First Team All-RMAC member senior Marissa Harmon as she singled to right field.

In the second inning, the Grizzlies put up four runs as MacKenzie Villarreal singled to center field to score Hays before April Riggins unleashed a three-run bomb to left field to score three unearned runs. Harmon and Villarreal scored on the home.

With a 6-0 lead, the Grizzlies scored three more runs in the top of the third, all unearned. Paige Reichmuth scored on a passed ball while Harmon doubled to right center to score Hays and Johnson. In the top of the fifth inning, ASU saw Villarreal narrowly miss a home run but she was able to chase Hays home on a sacrifice fly.

In the game, Hays proved that she earned the All-RMAC honor as she was 3-for-3 with four runs scored and one walk. Harmon and Riggins were each 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run scored. In all, Adams State had 13 hits.

The story of the game was Whitney Fields, who was in the circle. She dominated the Roadrunners as she pitched a complete five-inning game and only walked two while surrendering just four hits. Her changeup was dominant as she had five strikeouts on the day.

ASU was able to score six unearned runs as they capitalized on two Roadrunner errors.

“It’s a matter of setting the right tone, so if we set the right tone going into tomorrow, with that energy, then we should be good to go,” noted Taylor. “The second game was so much better, with no errors and we hit the ball, which was huge.”

Adams State will wait to see who they play on Friday as they are scheduled to play the loser of No. 1 Colorado Mesa University and No. 4 Chadron State. The game is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.

Grizzlies fall in opening round of RMAC tourney

GRAND JUNCTION—Despite an early start, the No. 7 seeded Adams State University Softball team was unable to hold back the No.2 seeded Colorado School of Mines Orediggers in their first game of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament at Colorado Mesa University on Thursday.

A five-run fifth inning helped the Orediggers get a 9-3 win over the Grizzlies.

In the morning game, the Grizzlies jumped on the scoreboard early as Tyler Hays, the RMAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year, was hit by a pitch. Kalin Johnson then laid down a perfect bunt that narrowly went down the third baseline and stayed fair. April Riggins then jumped out and nailed a solid RBI single down the left field line to score Hays from second.

Marissa Harmon, who was named to the RMAC First Team and had 10 RBI and two homers just four days ago, shocked the Orediggers with a sacrifice bunt. The Grizzlies then scored their second run when McKenzie Villarreal just missed a home run but earned an RBI on a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the inning, the Orediggers only had one base runner, who reached on a dropped third strike.

Paige Reichmuth got a hit in the top of the second but they were unable to score, and senior pitcher Lauren Murphy, who was named honorable mention All-RMAC, allowed two hits but shut the door to keep ASU with the 2-0 advantage.

After a 1-2-3 top of the third, two infield hits hurt ASU as a throwing error on a failed pick off attempt. The Orediggers capitalized and tied the game at two with a single up the middle. They used the base paths to their advantage as they had a double steal to make take a 1-run lead.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Villarreal lead off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to left field to knot the score at three. The Grizzlies applied some pressure as Gabrielle Griego drew a four-pitch walk and forced RMAC Coach of the Year, Leah Glasgow, to make a pitching change. The first pitch from the new pitcher plunked Cheyenne Hamilton to put two runners on and no outs. Despite that, the Grizzlies could not score and the score remained 3-3 going to the bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom half, Murphy showed off her stellar pitching as she had two strikeouts and a groundouts to set the Orediggers down in order.

The Orediggers were able to take the lead in the bottom on the fifth as they scratched a run across before a 3-run blast gave them 7-3 lead. The Orediggers then added an additional run to make the score 8-3.

The Orediggers then added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning for the win.

Caption: Tyler Hays stops at third base on the direction of Dervin Taylor in Thursday night’s 10-0 win over Metro State. The Grizzlies snapped a 3-game RMAC tourney losing streak.