Northern Colorado softball, baseball start weekend with losses
The Northern Colorado softball and baseball teams started busy weekends on Friday, but the results weren’t quite what either team had hoped for.
UNC softball (2-4) started its road series in St. George, Utah, for the Dixie State Tournament, dropping game one, 4-3, to Utah State in nine innings.
Northern Colorado started its matchup against Utah State with two quick runs in the top of the first and halted the Aggies’ offense with three strikeouts in the bottom of the frame.
In the third, Utah State put one on the board with an RBI single. The Bears followed suit in the following inning to narrowly extend their lead.
That slim two-run advantage didn’t last long, though, when the Aggies hit a two-run homer to tie it up in the fifth at three.
From there, it was a duel of the defenses to keep runs off the board. Neither team gave up a run in regulation, leading to extras.
Despite the Bears getting on base in the eighth and ninth innings, they couldn’t capitalize to earn the win. Utah State defeated UNC on a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.
In game two, Weber State defeated the Bears thanks to its hot bats early in the game. The Wildcats scored nine runs in the first four frames.
UNC tried to claw back, adding a run each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Then, junior Dani Young from Fort Collins added a home run in the seventh, but it wasn’t quite enough. The Bears fell to the Wildcats, 9-4.
They will return to the field on Saturday to face Utah State and Dixie State at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.
Home opener loss
South Dakota State — a future Summit League opponent — soured the UNC baseball (2-2) home opener on Friday afternoon with a 12-0 shutout.
Junior right handed pitcher Dylan Bowers got his second start of the season and sailed through the first three frames without giving up a run. He recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts in five and a third innings.
“He did a good job tonight, and he did a good job last weekend down in Denver last weekend,” UNC head coach Carl Iwasaki said in a post game statement. “He’s extending himself a little further. The results are going to come on the runs column, but right now he’s working on what he needs to work on. He’s getting ahead early and puts guys away with two strikes. He’s going to be in good shape down the road.”
The Jackrabbits got on the board in the fourth with an RBI single, and continued their success in the following innings.
South Dakota State added 11 runs in the final three innings with help from Bears mistakes. The Jackrabbits finished with eight walks in the game.
The Bears tried to avoid the shutout and managed to get five on base, but the team left them stranded and without a single run.
Iwasaki said this series is preparation for Western Athletic Conference play later in the spring, which features a Friday game, Saturday doubleheader and contest on Sunday. He hopes the team will turn things around so it can split or win the series.
UNC and South Dakota State will play again on Saturday in a doubleheader starting at noon.