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Softball - Sat, Feb. 1, 2014

LUBBOCK, Texas (February 1, 2014) – Lubbock Christian commenced the 2014 softball season with a clean sweep of Colorado Christian on Saturday afternoon at PlainsCapital Park, winning games one and two by a score of 8-0 in five and six innings, respectively, and holding on for a 3-2 victory in game three.

The first hit of the season for LCU (3-0, 0-0 Heartland) was recorded in inning number one by lead-off batter Mallory Koschany on a triple down the right field line and turned into the first run of the year for the Lady Chaps on a throwing error by the Cougars (0-3, 0-0 RMAC). In the third inning, Koschany was again the recipient of a CCU error, crossing the plate on a wild pitch for a 2-0 Lady Chap lead after reaching third on a double to left center and advancing on a Kirstie Cochran groundout.

LCU produced a big fourth inning, scoring six runs on five hits. Katlin Reed reached first on a fielder's choice and moved to second on a Koschany bunt. Cochran took first on a fielding error, pushing Koschany and Reed forward a base before single down the right field line by Megan Sullivan scored Reed to put the Lady Chaps up 3-0. Morgan Colburn's single to center field brought Cochran and Koschany in for a pair of runs, and a double from Rebecca Billings brought three more runners home for a commanding 8-0 lead.

CCU's Dana Rex ruined Courtney McGee's attempt at a no-hitter in the next inning, singling to left field on a 1-2 count. Alise Murray made it to third by way of being hit by a McGee pitch, Rex's single and a Lady Chap fielding error, but was put out at home for the third out of the inning, ending game one in five innings.

McGee (1-0) earned the win with the lone hit and a strikeout, while CCU's Mariah Bledsoe (0-1) took the loss with 10 hits and three walks.

In game two, Ashton Bell was the first Lady Chap to score a run, reaching first on a fielder's choice, advancing to second on a Cougar throwing error and scoring on a single up the middle by Billings to put LCU up 1-0 in the fourth.

The Lady Chaps bats came alive again in the fifth inning, beginning with a Koschany double to center field before making her way to third on a wild pitch. Cochran singled to shortstop and stole third base prior to a double by Sullivan that drove in Cochran and Koschany to push LCU ahead 3-0. Colburn made her way into the books with the first homerun for the Lady Chaps in 2014, bringing in Sullivan for a 5-0 lead.

De La Paz started off the sixth with a walk and made her way to second on a Koschany single. Another single, this time by Cochran, put Koschany on second and De La Paz on third. Sullivan took a walk to load the bases with zero outs, and Cochran brought De La Paz in for a 6-0 Chap advantage. A sacrifice fly by Jessica Loiancano allowed Koschany to hustle home, extending the lead to 7-0, and a single by Katera Eltososie allowed Cochran to cross the plate, ending the game, 8-0, in favor of LCU.

Eltsosie (1-0) took the win for Lubbock Christian with five strikeouts and two walks. Keely Gray (0-1) suffered the loss for the Cougars, giving up eight hits and two walks.

In game three, Koschany one again took advantage of a wild pitch to score the game's first run, and a double to right center by Loiacano brought in Colburn for a 2-0 Lady Chap lead. The Cougars were unable to respond in the top of the second, going three up, three down.

McGee was struck by a pitch to begin the second inning and made her way to second on a De La Paz single to right center. A hit by Koschany put McGee on third, and McGee was able to steal home to increase LCU's lead to 3-0.

The Cougars were in scoring position in the top of the fourth with Jessica Romine up to bat as the tying run, Hanna Caress on second and Alexa Coffing on third with two outs recorded. Romine made it to first on her hit and Tatham to second, but Caress was caught for the third out, leaving three runners on base.

A homer to center field by Hannah Rapoport in the top of the fifth gave CCU its first run of the day and cut LCU's lead to 3-1. Sarah Rasmussen followed with a double to left field, advanced to third on a wild pitch and made it home on a passed ball to put the Cougars within one run of the Lady Chaps.

LCU left three runners stranded in the bottom of the fifth but was able to tame the Cougars the rest of the way. Eltsosie stepped to the mound in place of Abbi White at the top of the sixth to earn the save and secure the 3-2 Lady Chap win.

White (1-0) racked up the win, giving up seven hits, and Bledsoe (0-2) was saddled with the loss while allowing seven hits and two walks.

LCU and CCU are scheduled to play a fourth game on Sunday at 1 p.m., weather permitting.