Lions fall in championship series opener

UNA’s sophomore shortstop Reagan Tittle attempts to turn a double play against Adelphi May 18 in the Division II Softball Championship in Denver. The Lions lost Game One of a three-game championship series vs. Humboldt State, falling 5-0.

by Managing Editor Mike Ezekiel

The UNA softball team suffered its first defeat of the Division II Softball Championship tournament, falling in the first game of the championship series 5-0 to Humboldt State.

Humboldt State pitcher Madison Williams allowed three hits through seven innings, as she shut down the Lions offense and helped the Lumberjacks maintain their lead. The five-run deficit tied the largest all season.

“We just really didn’t play UNA softball today,” said head coach Ashley Cozart. “I thought we had a lot of heart. I’m not mad about anything with the game, I think that they just brought their bats, and we didn’t. That’s going to happen sometimes.”

UNA must win the second game of the series in order to stay alive and force a rubber match to determine a champion. Humboldt State, the only team in the tournament to hoist multiple national championships (1999 and 2008), is one win away from its third.

The Lumberjacks did most of their damage in the fourth inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Junior pitcher Raven Cole took the circle for UNA, allowing five runs, all earned, on eight hits through six innings. Sophomore Bailey Nelson and seniors Brooklynn Clark and Madeline Lee each had one hit for the Lions.

“We got in our heads after the first couple of rounds and didn’t make any adjustments,” said senior Courtney Shields. ”We beat ourselves more than (Williams) beat us.”

Clark, who was kept off the base paths for the first time all tournaments, said she expects the team to rebound with two straight wins, just as they did against UAH in their last loss of the season during the regional tournament.

“We’re just going to come out tomorrow and play the softball that we know how to play,” Clark said. “We’re going to make the adjustments we need to, move runners around and score a few people hopefully.”

The first pitch for Game Two is set for 1 p.m. If UNA wins the second game, the final matchup of the championship will happen around 3:30 p.m.