|Posted February 18, 2012|
Pack falls to nationally-ranked Minnesota State
ThunderWolves will look for win over perfect Winona State to cancel out loss.
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Feb. 18, 2012) - CSU-Pueblo's bats went silent Saturday as 10 runners were stranded in a 5-1 loss to #13 Minnesota State-Mankato during day two of the RMAC/NSIC Crossover at CSU-Pueblo.
The loss comes with an even harder-to-swallow caveat for the Pack - so far, through four games, the ThunderWolves are the only RMAC team Minnesota State has beaten after an unlikely 1-3 start for the ranked squad. It lost to the RMAC's UC-Colorado Springs Saturday, as well as Adams State and Nebraska-Kearney Friday.
The Pack had numerous opportunities to challenge for the win Saturday, but none bigger than their shot in the 4th inning. Trailing 3-0, the first two runners of the inning reached on a hit batsmen and a walk, respectively. A single by Samantha Rios (Jr., Fullerton, Calif.) loaded the bases with no outs, giving the Pack its first big chance of the day.
The Mavericks then sent Kendra Huettl into the circle to calm the Pack down, and the change proved to be the best decision of the game for Minnesota State. Following an initial RBI single by Kelsey Wager (Fr., Pueblo West, Colo.), she retired three straight batters as Minnesota State cut down the lead runner at home, and Huettl followed it up with a strikeout then a groundout to the pitcher to strand three runners. Demoralized, the Pack didn't make another credible threat for the rest of the game.
However, CSU-Pueblo does enter the final day of the with one of the better records among the nine teams at the Crossover. At 2-1, only RMAC foe Nebraska-Kearney (3-0) and the ThunderWolves' Sunday opponent, Winona State (3-0) have better records so far. Therefore, the ThunderWolves could take a major stride toward clinching the top record of the Crossover with a win over a strong Winona State squad Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.
Saturday RMAC/NSIC Crossover Results
Minnesota State 5, CSU-Pueblo 1
UC-Colorado Springs 13, Black Hills State 1 (5 inn.)
Winona State 9, Adams State 1 (6 inn.)
Winona State 12, Colorado Mesa 9
UC-Colorado Springs 4, Minnesota State 3
Nebraska-Kearney 6, Concordia-St. Paul 3
Concordia-St. Paul 3, Adams State 2
Nebraska-Kearney 16, Black Hills State 1 (5 inn.)