Montana Softball Falls to Nebraska-Omaha; Defeats Nevada in Mont - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana Softball Falls to Nebraska-Omaha; Defeats Nevada in Montana Grizzly Classic, Highlights and Recap from Saturday 3/19

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On the first day of the Grizzly Classic in front of a crowd of 500-plus, the Montana softball team split a pair of games against Nebraska-Omaha and Nevada.
 
Montana 3 (7-15), Omaha 12 (12-17) (6 innings)
 
In the official home opener, Montana started off incredibly cold against an Omaha team that had just lost to Nevada earlier in the morning. The Grizzlies gave up four first inning runs and never recovered, losing by nine after six innings.
 
Meggie Reitz earned the start for Montana, but didn't last long. She walked the first batter, and another runner reached base after an error by Delene Colburn. Reitz walked another batter before giving up a grand slam to Kourtney Pock.

Reitz walked another batter before being replaced by Maddy Stensby, who started yesterday against Nevada.
 

3/19/2016 

 SB: vs. Nebraska-Omaha (3.19.16) 

A solo homer by Sydney Hames in the second put the Mavericks up 4-0.
 
Montana would fall behind by seven before scoring. Lexie Brenneis stepped up with the bases loaded in the fourth and ripped a double into the gap in right-center field, clearing the bases and cutting Omaha's lead to four.
 
The Mavericks would score five runs combined in the fifth and sixth innings to end the game in a run-rule.
 
Montana scored three runs on nine hits, but the Mavericks had 12 runs on as many hits, and they also left 11 runners on base. Montana went through four different pitchers in the game.
 
Montana 6 (8-15), Nevada 5 (17-5)
 
Sara Stephenson got the start in game two, and looked composed from the moment go. She pitched a scoreless first, and received some insurance in the bottom half.
 
Stites ripped a line to third that was too hot to handle, and Lexie Brenneis put two runners on when she was hit by a pitch. Delene Colburn then crushed a ball that hooked just inside the foul post to give the Griz a 3-0 lead with her second homer of the year.
 
Nevada cut into the lead in the second, scoring two runs on an RBI double from Aaliyah Gibson.
 
The two pitchers cruised through the next few innings with limited damage, but Montana found their swings again in the fifth.
 
Delene Colburn led off with an impressive bunt hit that got the crowd excited. Bethany Oleafollowed that up with a double to put runners on second and third. Ashlyn Lyons brought them both home with an RBI single that put the Griz up 5-2.
 
Once again, Nevada had an immediate answer. They strung together three hits in the sixth inning to score two runs and get within one run again. They had a chance to do more damage, but Gabby Martinez had a fabulous diving stop to take away a hit. She was solid in the field all day long.
 
"She's not on an emotional roller-coaster, she stays pretty calm and cool," Pinkerton said. "What's really good about her is, she's scuffling a little bit at the plate, but she doesn't let it effect her defense, and that's veteran."
 
Sydney Stites increased the cushion in the bottom of the sixth with a home run into dead center, her seventh of the season. Pinkerton loved that his freshman didn't allow a subpar day at the plate effect her.
 
"She doesn't get too emotionally high or too low, and that's unusual for a freshman, to have that poise and composure," Pinkerton said.
 
Kwynn Warner opened up the top of seven with a solo shot that forced Pinkerton to replace Stephenson with Maddy Stensby. Stephenson allowed seven hits and five runs in her six innings of work.
 
Stensby finished it off, allowing just one hit to the four batters she face, and the Griz held on for the one-run victory.
 
It was a solid performance for the freshman Stephenson, especially after the tough outing for the rest of the Grizzly pitching staff in the opener. Stensby, another freshman, regained the good form she had yesterday to close it out.
 
"Sara and Maddy have been our most consistent pitchers this year, and we just have to figure out a way to help them mentally get through their rough spots," Pinkerton said. "I get a little frustrated because they can look so good, then they can look so bad, but I have to take a step back and realize we have a very young staff."
 
The offense had been in a lull entering this weekend, but the bats got going today. The heart of the line-up in particular had good days, with Brenneis recording three RBI's and Colburn with four hits and the three-run shot.
 
The confidence noticeably built within Colburn following the homer, as she recorded two more hits.
 
"If we can get eight and nine on tomorrow in front of the top, I think Lexie is starting to break out, Delene got loose a little bit today," Pinkerton said. "She has been hitting scorchers at people, so it's about time she got a little bit of luck."
 
Montana will face off against the same teams tomorrow as the Grizzly Classic wraps up.

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