Senior leftfielder Jennessa Tesone played out of her mind against the Lopers, posting a .688 batting average and 16 RBIs. Tesone was named RMAC player of the week, adding six home runs and scoring 11 times.
“We’re peaking at the right time,” Tesone said. “We started off slow, so it’s perfect timing for us to all be firing on offense and defense and pitching.”
Tesone set the pace for the series in game one, April 30. She started the scoring with a three-run home run in the top of the first. Senior third baseman Caitlin Jenks would also add an RBI double to give Metro a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
The Roadrunners continued to put the pressure on Lopers’ pitcher Kristie Hiatt. After an RBI double by Tesone, Lopers’ Head Coach Holly Carnes made a pitching change before an out was even recorded in the second inning. New pitcher Becky Dunn couldn’t stop the bleeding as junior center fielder Molly Clark slammed a three-run shot to right field. Metro led 13-0 after just three innings of play.
The offensive explosion eclipsed a brilliant performance by senior pitcher Julia Diehl. She was dominant, giving up only three hits and striking out six. Diehl’s only blemish on the afternoon was giving up a solo shot in the fourth inning. Metro won 14-1 in five innings.
The Roadrunners didn’t waste time scoring in game two, throwing up five runs in the top of the first. The Lopers answered immediately in the bottom of the first with five runs of their own.
That was all the damage Metro pitcher Caitlin Jenks would allow. She kept the Lopers off balance, allowing only two hits the rest of the game.
With the score tied 5-5 after the first inning, Tesone blasted a solo home run to lead off the second. She would also hit home runs her next two trips to the plate. Metro blew the doors off by scoring 12 runs total in the fourth and fifth innings. Senior catcher Lauren Hainlen added a two-run shot as the Roadrunners again mercy-ruled the Lopers, 17-5.
“Our defense has been strong this year, [but] it’s big to have our offense going on all cylinders,” Head Coach Vanessa Becerra said.
The two teams faced off for the last double-header of the regular season May 1. Metro appeared to be destined for another huge win after Jenks blasted a two-run shot in the second to give the Roadrunners a 2-0 lead.
The Lopers answered back and put together a couple of RBI hits in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead.
Clark hit a two-run single to put Metro back in the lead in the sixth, but Diehl gave up a two-run, two-out home run to Lopers’ third baseman Sarah Rome. The Roadrunners couldn’t come back and lost the game 5-4.
Metro quickly forgot about their game one woes. Senior shortstop Amber Roundtree led off game two with a home run, and Clark hit a two-RBI single for an early 3-0 lead.
The Lopers also jumped on game two starter Jenks, hitting a two-run homer and some RBI hits to take a 6-4 lead after four innings. The lead wouldn’t last for long.
After Hainlen hit a solo-shot in the fifth to climb within one run, Metro broke out to score five runs in the sixth, including a three-run bomb from, once again, Tesone.
“It felt good, I was seeing the ball well,” Tesone said. “I made (their pitchers) pay.”
Jenks improved her record to 5-0 on the season as Metro won 10-7.
Metro will enter the postseason playing their best softball, winning seven of their last eight. The offense is grinding-out at-bats and scoring runs, averaging 9.25 runs during that stretch.
“We’ve had some good wins the past few weeks,” Hainlen said. “Taking that momentum into the postseason is definitely what we want to do.”
The RMAC tournament will be hosted by Colorado School of Mines in Golden. Metro (28-11 RMAC; 33-14 overall) will face off against UC-Colorado Springs (19-20 RMAC; 22-26 overall) May 5.