Softball team moves into final playoff position

Regis University’s Emily John (2), freshman of Beaverton, Oregon, narrowly escapes as first baseman junior Katelyn Kruger (10), of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, snags the ball April 4.  —Photo by Christopher Smith

Regis University’s Emily John (2), freshman of Beaverton, Oregon, narrowly escapes as first baseman junior Katelyn Kruger (10), of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, snags the ball April 4. —Photo by Christopher Smith

The Chadron State softball team split another 4-game series last weekend against New Mexico Highlands University. Just like last week’s games, the Eagles lost the first two games before rallying to win the last two.

The first game the Eagles were shutout, losing 6-0, while registering one hit all game courtesy of Amanda Einsphar, junior of McCook. The Eagles also had five errors in the first game.

The second game was also a 6-0 loss, but remained a close game until Highlands scored five runs in the fifth inning.

Desperate for wins to stay in the playoff race, the Eagles came back Sunday with bats in hand, registering 25 hits compared to five hits the day before. Casey Polk, senior of Golden, Colorado, led the way with five hits and four RBIs for the day. Polk also led all hitters for the weekend with a .500 batting average. Her 3-run homer in the first inning set the momentum, but Highlands scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to keep the game competitive. With a 5-3 lead, Jessica Eatmon, senior of Broomfield, Colorado, buried Highlands in the final inning when she hit a triple with bases loaded. Tayler Hall, junior pitcher of Windsor, Colorado, earned her 10th win of the season with the 8-3 victory.

The Eagles won the final game of the weekend 8-5, but the score did not reflect the dominance throughout the game.

Chadron scored six runs in the in the third inning, including a 3-run homer from Shea Graham, junior of Colorado Springs, Colorado. After Graham’s fifth home run of the season, Chadron cruised the rest of the way until giving up four runs in the final inning. Thanks to a few clutch pitches to finish the game, Cierra Coslett, junior of Grand Junction, Colorado, earned her second win on the season, and the team’s 12th win overall.

Chadron moved into 8th place in the RMAC, and the top-eight teams make the playoffs.

The Eagles next four games are against Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado. First pitch is scheduled for noon, Saturday.

The Eagles won the final game of the weekend 8-5, but the score did not reflect the dominance throughout the game.

CSC scored six runs in the third inning, including a 3-run homer from Shea Graham, junior of Colorado Springs, Colorado. After Graham’s fifth home run of the season, CSC cruised the rest of the way until giving up four runs in the final inning. Thanks to a few clutch pitches to finish the game, Cierra Coslett, junior of Grand Junction, Colorado, earned her second win on the season, and the team’s 12th win overall.

“I didn’t make the best contact with the ball on Saturday, so I just went back to basics,” Polk said. “I think on Sunday we had a ‘meaner’ attitude, and we weren’t going to let Highlands beat us again. We knew what we had to do and we accomplished it as a team. It takes every single player on our team to win a game.”

CSC moved into eighth place in the RMAC, and the top-eight teams make the playoffs.

The Eagles next four games are against Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado. First pitch is scheduled for noon, Saturday.

“As seniors (our role is that we) just need to do what we have been doing all season,” Eatmon said. “We have been trying to lead the team and be positive role models. All we can do at this point is have fun in the last games we play and go all out. There’s still a chance to make it to the tournament so we are just trying our hardest to play well in pressure situations and do the small things right.”

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