At first glance a 17-1 win against the Fort Lewis College Skyhawks seems to not hold much significance, besides the fact that the Colorado Mesa University softball team played a complete game offensively and defensively.
However, the win was head coach Ben Garcia’s 100th win as the Mavs’ head coach. An accomplishment that took him less than three seasons to achieve.
“It’s a great honor,” Garcia said. “But what’s more important to me is that I have a great team and a great coaching staff. The best thing I have done is surround myself with really good people.”
And the really good people around him were delighted to help him reach the 100 plateau.
“We all want to do it for each other and for coach,” center fielder Brooke Hodgson said. “This coaching staff has done so much for us especially coach Garcia. That 100th win means that this program is taking off and we are having a good all around season.”
Garcia then earned his 102nd and 103rd win on Friday as Hodgson and third baseman Kaila Jacobi led the way for the Mavs as the team swept the first doubleheader against the Black Hills State Yellow Jackets.
In game one, CMU struck first when Hodgson hit a two out double to left field. Jacobi followed with a two out RBI single as the team took a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
“We talk a lot in practice about being able to execute at the right time and the right situation,” Garcia said. “This team is pretty well loaded with good ball players and they work hard to get there.”
After a scoreless second inning, the Mavs increased their lead after shortstop Baylee Boren hit a bases clearing three run double in the third inning. The Yellow Jackets cut the lead to four after a RBI single in the fourth inning.
However, left fielder Kellie Mrofcza responded with a RBI sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and Jacobi hit a RBI single in the sixth inning. CMU won game one, 7-1.
We came out really hard today,” Mrofcza said. “We know that we need to use these home games to our advantage no matter. We only have a few left, so we use the momentum early on throughout the game.”
Starting pitcher McKenzie Surface received her 17th win of the season. She went seven innings, allowed one run, seven hits and struck out 12 batters. Jacobi was a perfect 4-for-4 in game one.
Game two started with Black Hills State having runners on second and third, but starting pitcher Kimbri Herring induced a pop out to second base to get out of the jam.
“It’s nice to have the knowledge that I have a good defense behind me and a good catcher catching for me is encouraging,” Herring said.
In the bottom of the first inning, CMU had three RBI walks before catcher Abby Toller smacked a grand slam to center field. The Mavs had a 7-0 lead after the first.
CMU added four more runs in the second inning to take an 11-0 lead. The Mavs increased their lead more after Hodgson hit a two run home run in the third inning. The team added another run in the inning as they led 14-0.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Yellow Jackets had a chance to score a run with two runners on. But Herring forced a groundout to second base as CMU won game two, 14-0.
Herring received her ninth win of the season. She allowed four hits and struck out five. Hodgson had three RBIs on the day, while Jacobi added two RBIs.
The softball team outperformed the Yellow Jackets again as the team won both games in the second doubleheader on Saturday.
In game one, the Mavs were on the board first after first baseman AnnMarie Torres crushed a two run homerun to right field. CMU then added five more runs in the second inning to take a 7-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets only run on the day occurred in the third inning, when Alex Wiley hit a solo home run off of Surface. However, CMU scored three runs in the third inning to take a 10-1 lead.
The Mavs then added two more runs in the fourth inning, after second baseman Alexandria Dufour smacked a two run triple. Surface then pitched a scoreless fifth inning and CMU won the game, 12-1.
Surface went five innings, allowed five hits, one run and struck out seven. Torres went 2-for-4 with five RBIs, while Dufour had three RBIs.
Like in game one, CMU struck first in the first inning. CMU had two runs in the inning and the team took an early 2-0 lead.
Then in the second inning, Hodgson’s two run single increased the Mavs’ lead. CMU added another run in the inning to take a 5-0 lead.
After scoring one run in the third inning, Dufour’s two run single helped increased CMU’s lead to eight. The Mavs then scored two more runs in the inning to take a 10-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Andy Hancock threw a scoreless fifth inning as the team swept the Yellow Jackets. Hancock received her fifth win of the season. In five innings, she allowed two hits, one walk and struck out five.
“Andy brings a little bit different dimension,” Garcia said. “Andy is a little more finesse. We have to play defense behind her because she is going to have the ball put into contact.”
Hodgson finished with three hits and three RBIs. Dufour had three hits, two RBIs, one walk and one stolen base.
CMU outscored Black Hills State, 43-2, over the weekend. The Mavs also scored at least one run in every inning Saturday.
With the wins over the weekend, the Mavs are now 32-4 on the season, 25-2 in the RMAC. The Mavs next play at Regis University on Friday, April 14.