Carroll and UGF Split Wins in Doubleheader, Highlights and Recap - News, Sports and Weather

Carroll and UGF Split Wins in Doubleheader, Highlights and Recap from Saturday 4/17

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Two incredibly uneven games resulted in an even split for the day between the University of Great Falls and Carroll College, with each team winning one game 10-1 in 5 innings. The split leaves the Fighting Saints with a one game lead for first place in the Cascade Collegiate Conference East Division with the Lady Argos tied for second with Eastern Oregon University.

Both teams’ conference playoff fates will come down to their second doubleheader meeting on Monday, April 18 in Great Falls.

UGF headed into the doubleheader needing at least a split to stay in the thick of the playoff hunt, but things did not go well for the team’s ace pitcher, Keeley Van Blaricom (6). The senior came into the day with four wins in her last four games, but the Saints confidently killed that streak.

Leadoff hitter Chloe Cross (3) gave Van Blaricom a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning by crossing home plate on an Alex Lowry (14) single following a leadoff walk. That lead was maintained through the bottom of the inning but in in the bottom of the 2nd, things started to unravel.

Carroll scored two runs in the 2nd, five in the 3rd, and three in the 4th to mercy rule the Lady Argos by the end of the 5th inning. Cross’s run was the only UGF score and Lowry’s RBI single was one of just two UGF hits.

The loss left the Lady Argos desperate to win Game 2 and in response they flipped the script on the Fighting Saints. Whatever advantage Carroll had on Van Blaricom, they lost against junior Shelby Abeyta (28). Abeyta pitched a four hit, one run gem that only had to last five innings thanks to a UGF offense that suddenly came alive.

Through the first two innings, Carroll’s Tess Eaton equaled Abeyta inside the circle but that all changed in the top of the 3rd. Senior Mindy Larson (4) scored the first run of the game with a solo jack to left, her second of the season. The next three UGF batters all reached base safely leaving the bases loaded with one out for designated hitter Haley Swann (27).

The batting specialist did her job well, knocking a double to left-center that cleared the bases gave UGF a confident 4-0 lead. One and a half scoreless innings followed before the Lady Argos offense exploded in the top of the 5th to mercy rule the Saints.

The rally started with scores from Lowry and Van Blaricom off of a single to left by junior Alissa Keeler (13) finished with an RBI single from Cross that drove in junior Jocelyn Kaufman (15). Between those two plays was an RBI double from junior Jackie Thomas (7) and a two RBI single from Kaufman that drove in Keeler and Thomas.

Abeyta finished off the game with a fifth and final scoreless inning in the bottom of the fifth.

UGF split a series for the sixth time this season which brings its record to 20-12 (10-8/5-5). The Lady Argos are one game behind Carroll 22-16 (9-9/6-4) in the CCC East standings, which is determined by divisional records, and tied with Eastern Oregon for second. A home doubleheader between the Lady Argos and Carroll on Monday, April 18 could bring more clarity on both team’s playoff chances, or it could more deeply muddy the waters.

If either team earns a sweep in that series, the winning team will at least clinch a spot in the CCC tournament, which Carroll clinching first place if they sweep. If the two teams split, the standing will remain the same, but Eastern Oregon could surpass both if they sweep The College of Idaho on April 23. C of I could sneak into the playoffs if they sweep EOU and Carroll doesn’t sweep UGF.

The top two teams in the East will fill two of the six spots in the CCC tournament. The sixth spot will be filled by either the third team in the East or the fourth team in the West. 

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