Kaleb Center, Sports Information Director
CHADRON – Chadron State College softball went 1-1 on the final day of the regular season, but it was enough to clinch the program’s third consecutive postseason bid. The Eagles won 9-0 in a Sunday morning game over Fort Lewis College, clinching the series win before the Skyhawks finally took a game back, winning 5-1 in the weekend’s final contest.
With top-ranked Colorado Mesa dealing CSU-Pueblo two more losses in Pueblo, Colorado, however, CSC had the winning percentage necessary to advance to Thursday’s Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” said Head Softball Coach Kaley Scearcy, “for how they did this weekend. We’re excited to take this momentum into the tournament, and we can’t wait for another opportunity to play the game we love.”
Angelica Maples led off the bottom of the first with a towering shot to center field, putting the Eagles up 1-0. Chadron State then loaded the bases and Ellie Owens hit a two-RBI single to make it 3-0. Two more runs crossed in the first on RBI singles by Kendyl Moody and Francine Boston, and CSC went up 5-0.
Bailyn Meek tacked on a run in the fourth, singling home Alyssa Geist. Boston’s walkoff triple in the fifth put the Eagles up 9-0 and halted the game due to run rule.
Fort Lewis’ bats came alive for the first time all weekend in game four of the series. The Skyhawks exploded for 11 base hits, three going for extra bases, and FLC pitcher Mandy Lorenson pitched a one-hitter while her defense played error free ball for the first time all weekend. Senior Lauren Caldwell, playing her final collegiate game, hammered a two-run shot in the first for the winning run.
Meek’s leadoff homer in the fourth inning was the Eagles’ only hit and only run, although they left six batters, who were walked and hit by pitch, stranded on base.
On the bright side for CSC, sophomore Jessica Jarecki tied former Eagle Casey Williams, an RMAC Pitcher of the Year and All-Region pitcher, for the single-season strikeouts record, hitting 185 in a relief appearance in game four of the series.
Sunday was Senior Day, and seniors from both teams were honored at a ceremony between games. Aspen Eubanks, the Eagles’ lone senior, received a start in game four, pushing her to eighth on the career starts list. In addition Jim Anderson, the father of CSC freshman Abby Anderson, delivered a ceremonial first pitch as the team honored those affected by brain cancer.
Chadron State heads into Thursday’s matchup with Colorado Mesa bearing an overall record of 15-32, with a conference mark of 13-24. Game times and brackets are to be announced by Monday.