LAKEWOOD – After just four hits in Sunday's opener, the NFCA 12th-ranked Colorado School of Mines softball team cranked out 16 base knocks en route to a 9-6 win in the series finale at Colorado Christian, extending its season-best win streak to 10 games with its second straight four-game conference sweep.
The Cougars (3-11, 0-4 RMAC) mirrored each of Mines' first three scoring innings, resulting in a 6-6 tie after five, but had no answer for the Orediggers' last three runs on six hits over the final two frames.
Five Orediggers had two or more hits, led by senior Macy Jones with a career-high tying four hits, including two doubles, driving in two and scoring twice in five plate appearances.
Classmate Molly Thiebaut recorded her second three-hit game of the series, going 3-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.
Junior Sami Springer continued her tear of CCU pitching with her fourth straight two-hit game, finishing 2-for-3 with two RBI, one run and one walk. In the four games against the Cougars (3-11, 0-4 RMAC), Springer hit .571 (8-for-14) with seven RBI, three runs, three extra-base hits and two walks for an on-base percentage of .625 and slugging percentage of .929.
Along with Ford and Springer, sophomore Cassie Ford and junior Courtney Derus each plated a pair, while senior Kamee Vessey scored one with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, her team-leading fourth this season.
Vessey extended her hitting streak to five games and streak of safely reaching base to eight in a row with a leadoff double in the fifth. She finished 1-for-3 with the RBI, one run and one walk.
Ford and Derus also tallied sacrifice flies with Ford scoring Springer and Vessey in the first after the centerfielder made a nice grab, before falling into the mesh fencing and Derus plating Jones in the second on another fly out to the middle outfielder.
Senior Kelly Unkrich picked up her first win in relief and second of the afternoon after her complete game shutout earlier, throwing 23-of-35 pitches for strikes with only one hit and two base runners allowed in 3.2 innings of work.
At 11-0 overall with 86 strikeouts, Unkrich is five wins better than any other pitcher in the conference and 22 strikeouts clear of her next closet counterpart. The reigning two-time RMAC Pitcher of the Week also leads the conference in ERA (0.67), yielding just two earned runs in her last 55.1 innings.
The Orediggers (17-2-1, 8-0 RMAC) return to CSM Softball Field next weekend for a four-game conference series with Adams State, beginning at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 9. First pitch of Sunday's twinbill is slated for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.