PUEBLO, Colo. Hitting a walk-off homerun is nice. Hitting a walk-off homerun on your birthday, for Senior Weekend is something special and that is exactly what Colorado State University-Pueblo softball senior Michaela Burpee (Union City, Calif.) did Friday. She clubbed a 2-0 count pitch to straight-away centerfield to lift the Pack to a 5-4 win over Chadron State. The ThunderWolves fell in the opener 5-4 against Fort Lewis.
In game two, Chadron State defeated Fort Lewis 8-5.
Burpee finished the day 3-for-7 at the plate with two RBIs and a walk.
Pack hurler Hannah Anderson (R-Jr., Spokane, Wash.) earned the win against CSC after making two appearances and allowing no runs in 6.2 innings pitched. Anderson finished with three strikeouts.
Gabby Moreno (Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz.) was a near impossible out, going 5-for-6 at the dish with a double, three RBIs, and two walks.
In the weekend opener against FLC, the visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first at bat. In the second inning, the ThunderWolves tied the game in Moreno's second at-bat when she hit a single on the infield to score runners from second and third.
The Skyhawks added three more runs in their next at-bat against Pack starting pitcher Taylor Strupp (Fr., San Tan Valley, Ariz.). Strupp allowed five runs, three earned, in 2.1 innings pitched.
Anderson retired the side in the third to get the Pack back on offense.
CSU-Pueblo put runners on base in the home half of the third but a groundball led to a double-play to get out of the inning.
The Pack went down quietly over the next two innings but was able to spark the offense again in the sixth frame.
Melissa Torrez (Fr., Buena Park, Calif.) and Hailey Hicks (Jr., Meridian, Idaho) each singled and would come around to score.
With one out and the bases loaded, the ThunderWolves hit into a double-play on a foul out, allowing one runner to cross before the final out of the inning was recorded at second base and bring the score to 5-4 in favor of FLC.
In the seventh, the Pack was retired in order and ended the game.
The last game of the day against Chadron started with runs for both teams in the first inning.
The Eagles scored two runs on a homerun with a runner on base before the Pack responded with a single run in their at-bat. Burpee hit a rocket to second base who was unable to field the ball, allowing the run to score.
The score remained 2-1 until the home half of the fourth inning when Morgan Hatfield (Sr., Upland, Calif.) hit an RBI-single to even the score at 2-2.
The teams exchanged a pair of runs in the fifth and bring the score to four apiece. The Pack manufactured their runs off a defensive error and a groundout.
Starting in the circle for the ThunderWolves, Samantha Riesen (Jr., Independence, Calif.) lasted 5.0 innings and allowed four runs, two earned, and scattered five hits before Anderson was called upon to retire the side.
In the sixth, the ThunderWolves had a runner in scoring position but she was left stranded following a groundout.
A quiet seventh inning pitched by Anderson put the Pack quickly back in the dugout and prepare their bats.
A lineout to start the inning set up Burpee who belted a towering homerun to the deepest part of the ballpark and it brought the large crowd to their feet as the ball sailed over the wall to secure the 5-4 Pack win.
With the homerun, Burpee now sits in a second-place tie in career homeruns at CSU-Pueblo. Burpee has 32 dingers thus far in her Pack career.
Anderson earned the win after throwing two innings of shutout softball and allowed just two hits in the time.
CSU-Pueblo (11-25, 10-22 RMAC) will finish the home schedule in another pod. The Pack first will play Chadron State at 10 a.m. and will wrap the weekend at 2 p.m. against Fort Lewis. Prior to first pitch against the Eagles, Burpee, Hatfield, Vivian Ledesma (Sr., Colton, Calif.), and Jordan Sheard (Sr., Broomfield, Colo.) will be honored.