Colorado Mesa University softball pitcher McKenzie Surface has been pleading her case to head coach Ben Garcia that she can hit. When Garcia allowed her to hit in the third inning of game one, she provided she was right.
Surface’s two run home run was one of the many highlights in the Mavs 13-0 win in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday against the New Mexico Highlands Cowgirls.
“[Surface] has always wanted to hit,” Garcia said. “It has been tough for me to keep her down because she is in the cage every single day swinging so I thought today was a good opportunity and what a way to come through.”
“I took a deep breath and said to myself that I am going to put the ball in play and it just happened to go over the fence,” Surface said.
In addition to hitting her first career home run, Surface also received her eighth win of the season. In the first game, she went three innings, she allowed two hits and zero runs to go along with four strikeouts.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Mavs won 9-1. Pitcher Kimbri Herring won her fourth game of the season. While first baseman AnnMarie Torres, hit her first college career grand slam in the win.
“It was nice,” Torres said. “I was confident today and the team helped with that a lot. There wasn’t a lot of pressure to get a big hit because all of us were hitting really well.”
And Torres’ grand slam was not the only big hit she had in the doubleheader. In the first game CMU took a 3-0 lead when Torres launched a three run home run.
In the second inning the Mavs increased their lead to 9-0. The inning was highlighted by third baseman Kalia Jacobi’s solo home run and a two run home run from designated hitter Tyneesha Houkamau.
In the top of the third inning, Surface struck out two batters as the Cowgirls left two players on base. However, Surface was not done leaving her mark in the inning. Surface smacked her first career home run with a two run blast, which increased the Mavs lead to 12-0.
“I think our offense was fantastic today,” Surface said. “Scoring runs makes it easier for me to go out there and pitch and I know that my defense is behind me.”
The Mavs scored another run in the third to take a 13-0 lead. In the fourth inning, the Cowgirls threatened to score, but once again they stranded two players on base.
In the fifth inning, CMU pitcher Andy Hancock forced the Cowgirls’ Breanna Cabrera to hit into a double play to end the game.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Mavs had an early lead again thanks to a sacrifice fly by Torres in the first inning. However, the Cowgirls tied the game in the second inning with a RBI single from Bayley Legarreta.
The Mavs then took the lead for good when they scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning. The six runs came in part due to Torres’ grand slam, which increased the Mavs lead to 7-1.
“When I go up to the plate, I don’t think about [the last at bat] a lot,” Torres, who went a combined 3-for-4 with two home runs and eight RBIs, said. “I can clear my mind and just get ready to hit because if I go up there thinking about things that I have to do, I’m just not going to hit good.”
After two RBI sacrifice flies in the third inning, the Mavs had a 9-1 lead. In the last two innings, starting pitcher Kimbri Herring and reliever Houkamau allowed only one baserunner.
Herring received her fourth win of the season. She went four innings, allowed two hits, one run and had four strikeouts.
Leftfielder Kellie Mrofzca had a solo home run in the second inning, while shortstop Baylee Boren went 2-for-2 with a RBI single in the second inning. The Mavs had only six hits in game two.
The next day, Surface pitched another shutout as the Mavs won 9-0. She threw a one-hitter, struck out five and won her ninth game of the season.
CMU took the lead in the first inning with a fielder’s choice by centerfielder Brooke Hodgson. After not scoring for the next two innings, the Mavs scored eight runs in the fourth inning.
Designated hitter Hailey Hinson started offense showing with a two-run single. Hodgson and Jacobi both hit home runs in the inning as the Mavs pulled away.
In game two, the Mavs got on the board in the bottom of second inning with three unearned runs. In the top of the third inning, the Cowgirls scored their only second run of the series with a home run by Cabrera.
The bottom of the third inning, CMU responded with two runs in the inning. After a scoreless fourth inning for both teams, Highlands scored another run when Victoria Gonzales had a RBI single to cut the lead to 5-2.
However, the Mavs proved to be too much for the Cowgirls. CMU scored five runs to put away Highlands, 10-2.
Catcher Zoe Pakes hit a two run home run in the fifth inning and second baseman Alexandria Dufour ended the game with a two run single. Hancock received her third win of the season. She went three innings and struck out three.
With the wins over the weekend the Mavs are now 16-4 and have a RMAC record of 9-2. CMU never trailed over the weekend.
“Being at home helps there is a lot of great energy and it helps us on our path for what we want to accomplish this year,” Surface said.
CMU’s next doubleheader will be at home against University of Colorado-Colorado Springs on March 18 at 12 p.m. and then at 2 p.m.