Ten games, 92 total runs, .371 team batting average and ten wins to start an already exciting season.

The Colorado Mesa University softball team has created a buzz in the NCAA Division II world by going undefeated in two weeks without even playing a single game at home.  Two weekends with five games each, and despite all the adversity, the Mavericks remained perfect.

Last spring, CMU only suffered eight losses in the duration of the entire season and managed to win 48 games.  The Mavericks won both the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) regular season and tournament title and went on to compete in the NCAA Division II Regionals.

Head coach Ben Garcia is in his fourth year as head coach of the softball team and has brought CMU two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and their first RMAC tournament championship in school history.  

“There are things that we still need to work on,” Garcia said. “But the list is getting smaller each game. We want to keep it close and keep up the good work.”

The Mavericks started out the year by traveling to New Mexico to play five games in three days.  All questions being deterred towards CMU, as if they would be able to continue from last season’s success, were silenced within the first 24 hours of the season starting. CMU would score 25 runs in the first game and now slow down for the next nine matchups.

Brooke Hodgson, who is labeled as a utility pitcher, but has pitched 13 innings so far this season, leads the team with a .514 with 19 hits in 37 at-bats.  Hodgson, in her innings pitched, has allowed five runs off of 13 hits, giving her a 1.62 ERA.

Catcher Zoe Pakes follows Hodgson in hitting, as the senior possesses a .452 batting average with 15 RBI’s and three home runs.  

Two other Mavericks, second baseman Alexandria Dufour and infielder AnnMarie Torres, have batting averages above .400 and have scored over 11 runs each. Torres has knocked in a team high 17 RBI’s. Dufour, in her own right, has had a hit in every game this season through the first ten matchups.

Batting has only had a few quiet moments in the first two weeks.  Out of the ten games played, the Mavericks only had two games where they scored three runs or less.   

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Out of all the CMU batters who have had more than ten at-bats through ten games, only three players have less than a .300 batting average and none of them fall below a .250.

“Our motto is to get better every game,” Garcia said.

Pitching has been just as phenomenal. Junior ace, McKenzie Surface, has carried a 3.26 ERA through the first ten games.  She finished last spring with a 2.67 ERA, is off to a rather slow start, but is expected to pick up steam after returning home and not pitching 43 innings in ten games, in which she has done so this season so far.

Only two other Mavericks have been on the mound.  Brooke Hodgson and Kimbri Herring have helped Surface earn a team 3.13 ERA through ten games.  

There were only a couple short spurts of short breath during the last two weeks, as the Mavericks had three separate games where pitching allowed five or more runs, but only one of those games ended with a final score difference of at least two runs.  Other than that, CMU currently has allowed their opponents to have a .246 batting average while CMU has a .371 team batting average.

Now that the two long road trips are done, the defending RMAC champions get the chance to return home and officially begin the season grind.

Last season, CMU ended the year in possession of a 24-0 home record. Four of their eight losses came within the RMAC.

When the Mavericks return home, they will play host Chadron State, to whom they lost two to out of a three-game series last season. This year, the tables will hopefully be turned as Chadron has also played ten games, but have lost eight of those ten games to give the Eagles a 2-8 record.  

CMU carries the best record in the RMAC through the first hill of the season and this is where the real fun begins. Second place belongs to Colorado Christian who has a 5-1 record.

Chadron State will come to CMU on Feb. 24 and two back-to-back doubleheaders will be played through the 25th.

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Matt Kennedy
Matt Kennedy is a sophomore mass communication major from Colorado Springs. He is in his second year with The Criterion, has served as the assistant sports editor and is now sports editor. Kennedy went to Doherty High School where he wrote for his school paper for three years and he aspires to continue in the sports journalism field after graduation to pursue a career as a sportscaster.


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