Crooked numbers can make or break teams in a tight race for first place.
On Saturday, two big innings were enough to push Metro State past Fort Lewis College in a critical softball doubleheader for the Skyhawks.
The Roadrunners scored five times in the sixth inning in a 10-7 win in Game 1 before putting up a five-spot in the fourth of a 7-0 Game 2 victory over FLC on Saturdays Senior Day at Aspen Field.
FLC shortstop Jordan Willis, who was honored along with Stephanie and Natalie Janes as the teams seniors, said the issues were mental ones, particularly Game 2.
In that contest, Metro State pitcher Jordyn Randolph retired the first nine Skyhawks and didnt allow a hit until the fifth inning, ending with a two-hit shutout.
We beat ourselves, and that should hurt (more) than any other team beating us, the senior from Hico, Texas, said.
In the second contest, a throwing error, RBI singles from Brittney Padilla and Kelsey Tillery and a two-run homer from Kasey Nichols turned a 1-0 Roadrunner advantage to 6-0 in the fourth inning. Annalyse Garcia also was 2-for-3 with a run scored as Metro State bested FLC starter Kassie Haubert (8-5), who allowed nine hits and seven runs in seven innings.
The opener was a much tighter affair. The game shifted, however, in the top of the sixth inning with Metro State (19-23, 16-14 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) leading 4-3.
Skyhawks starting pitcher Alexis Villegas (6-5) was pulled in favor of Katie Watkins, and the Roadrunners greeted her rudely, piling up four hits and five runs off Watkins in just 1/3 of an inning.
Villegas returned to the circle and limited the damage, but despite a four-run rally in the seventh inning, the Skyhawks couldnt recover.
FLC head coach Kira Zeiter declined comment on the pitching change, but she said the Skyhawks never really got in a groove Saturday.
Its important, especially for this team; we like to get on a roll and stay on a roll, and we just didnt quite do that the second game against (Randolph), Zeiter said.
The Skyhawks trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the third in Game 1 before rallying to get back in the game.
Destinee DeHerrera poked her fifth homer of the season, and Stephanie Janes added a two-run shot, her sixth, to cut the lead to 4-3.
Janes would add an RBI single in the seventh and scored on twin sister Natalie Janes three-run homer later in the inning as FLC (22-19, 20-12 RMAC) got as close as 10-7 before bowing out.
You really like for the seniors to get to go out on their home field with better results than we saw in that game, Zeiter said.
Aside from the Janes sisters, Kaylynn Harmon was FLCs offensive catalyst in the opener, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Chelsea Rodriguez set an FLC single-season walk record (37) in the game, as well.
No. 9 hitter Susie Oury did most of the damage for Metro State, driving in five runs in a 2-for-3 effort, while Garcia was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.
Aubree Maul (13-7) threw seven innings of nine-hit ball, allowing seven runs.
Now the Skyhawks focus shifts to road trips to New Mexico Highlands in Las Vegas, N.M., and Nebraska-Kearney in Kearney, Neb., to end the season before the ever-important RMAC tournament.
CSU-Pueblo split with Highlands on Saturday to gain a bit of a cushion on now third-place FLC.
But in order to win either a regular-season or tournament title, FLC needs to fix the mistakes of this weekend, something Willis is confident her team can do.
If we can throw our selfish desires aside and come together as a unit, thats what it is. ... Its all fixable, Willis said.