The Chadron State College softball team got in the winning column on Friday, winning two nip-and-tuck contests against the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the opening day of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play.
The Eagles took nine innings to outlast the Mountain Lions in game one, winning 8-7. Game two was called to a halt due to encroaching darkness at 5:30 p.m., with CSC ahead 7-4.
Sophomore Bailey Marvel starred for the Eagles, batting 4-for-7 in two games, with a home run and five runs scored, to go with five stolen bases in as many attempts.
Marvel’s homer opened up the bottom of the first for CSC, before an Ellie Owens single brought in Bailey Rominger from second to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Chadron State broke its lead open to 5-0 by the fourth. Sloane Quijas laced an opposite-field RBI single through the right side in the second. Later, in the fourth inning, Quijas hit a two-RBI double.
The game tightened in the sixth, when UCCS strung together 6 of its 10 hits to put five runs of its own on the board. The Mountain Lions batted through the order with five singles and one double, but left runners on the corners while tying the game 5-5.
Things remained knotted through two and a half innings until a pair of singles and a sac fly gave the Mountain Lions the edge at 7-5 in the top of the ninth.
The Eagles mustered just enough offense to respond with a rally in the bottom of the inning. Rominger singled to lead off, and her pinch-runner, Ali Conder, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rominger later scored on a throwing error by the UCCS third baseman, and an Allie Mason double put Addison Spears and Alyx Gragg across for the game-winning runs.
Gabby Russell, in relief of starter Tia Kohl, earned the win for the Eagles to start the season 1-0.
The late game did not start until after 3:30 p.m., but it got off to a fast start with CSC receiving three bases on balls and two base hits to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Gragg put the Eagles on the board with an RBI single, and Spears added a two-RBI double.
Marvel scored her fifth run of the day, following her fourth stolen base, when Quijas grounded out in the second inning.
In one swing, UCCS’ freshman catcher Brianna Santos erased the Mountain Lions’ deficit with a grand slam in the top of the fourth.
Likewise, CSC’s Ellie Owens put one over the left field wall to lead off the fourth, putting the Eagles back in control at 5-4.
Owens padded the Eagles’ lead in the fifth when she put a two-RBI single through the right side.
Winning pitcher Peyton Propp (1-2) struck out two in the sixth inning, to total five in the game, before the umpire declared the game environment no longer fit to play.
The two head coaches initially agreed to resume play in the bottom of the sixth on Saturday morning, but they were overruled later by RMAC office representatives, who awarded CSC the win based on the completion of more than four innings.
Lexi Rayburn of UCCS fell to 1-1 on the season, while the team went to 1-5 (0-2 RMAC).
CSC improved to 2-4 (2-0 RMAC).