LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Led by the senior trio of Kelly Unkrich, Kamee Vessey and Molly Thiebaut, the Colorado School of Mines softball team remained unbeaten in 2013 with its second win of the day at the Desert Stinger Tournament, defeating host Montana State-Billings 6-2 at Majestic Park in Las Vegas.
The six runs were the fewest in a seven-inning game for the Orediggers this season, but were more than enough support for Unkrich (2-0) in the circle as the RMAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year allowed only two runs on three hits – all coming in the second inning – and struck out seven for her second win and third complete game.
Unkrich retired 15 of the final 17 batters, including five via swing-and-miss strikeouts as she upped her program record strikeouts total to 439.
For the fourth straight outing and fifth time this season, the Orediggers took the initial lead thanks to runs in the opening stanza, sending three across in the top of the first and two more in the second for a 5-0 advantage.
Thiebaut began the scoring with a two-out, two-RBI triple to center, scoring Vessey and junior Sami Springer. Mines added the third run of the inning on a fielding error by the shortstop.
The Orediggers tacked on an insurance score in the seventh as junior Courtney Derus legged out a leadoff single to second; Vessey doubled to left center and Springer singled home Derus with a base hit to left.
Vessey went for a season-high three hits, going 3-for-4 with the two RBI and a run scored. Thiebaut and Jones both finished 2-for-4 with one run scored, while Thiebaut drove in two and extended the school's second-longest hitting streak to 20 straight. She is six games away from matching the program record of 26, set by Margie Cone (2006-09) in 2009.
Mines (5-0-1) has not faced a deficit in any of the 39 innings this season and is off to its best start since the 2005 campaign when the team began 6-1.
The women continue the three-day tournament tomorrow, beginning at 12:30 p.m. (MST) against NFCA Division II Preseason No. 11 California State Dominguez Hills, a NCAA Super Regional finalist in 2012.