Chelsea Rodriguez made Fort Lewis College softball history Monday.
The senior third baseman belted her 34th career home run, breaking the career record held since 2008 by Jenna Peters.
“She has worked so hard for the last four years. It is well deserved,” FLC head coach Kira Zeiter said of Rodriguez. “She is a good person and player to coach. We couldn’t be more proud of her.”
FLC (7-11, 3-5 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) split a pair of games Monday at Bobcat Stadium in Bloomfield, N.M. The Skyhawks began the day with a 6-5 walk-off victory against Western New Mexico (4-17, 2-6 RMAC) when Hayley Bolyard delivered a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 5-5 tie.
“That was a great, clutch bottom of the seventh for us at the plate,” Zeiter said. “We got a couple of runners on and then got a big hit by Haley. It feels good because the teams knows you are never out of the game no matter what.”
Myndee Thompson helped FLC tie the game when she drew a bases-loaded walk to score Kaitlyn Bending. Bolyard followed with her single that scored Adriana Rosthenhausler.
Kiley Raica (4-5) picked up a win in the circle for the Skyhawks. She gave up seven hits and two earned runs. Western N.M. scored three more runs on FLC fielding errors.
“Kiley has been pitching really well for quite awhile,” Zeiter said. “She was mixing speeds and her spots well, keeping a good offensive team in Western off-balance.”
Home runs from Missy Fundora and Myndee Thompson provided FLC’s early production.
FLC closed out the two-day four-game pod with a 10-4 loss to Adams State (8-9, 6-1 RMAC). One day after beating the Grizzlies, the Skyhawks stumbled in part due to three more fielding errors and a slew of wild pitches early.
Adams State scored two runs in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings while also tacking up one run in the second and sixth innings.
Victoria Johnson (2-5) took the loss in the circle for FLC. In five innings of work, Johnson gave up seven runs — four earned — on seven hits. She had three strikeouts and issued two walks.
Katie Watkins also pitched two innings for the Skyhawks. She faced 10 batters and gave up two home runs and a pair of doubles. She was charged with three runs.
FLC had eight hits in the game, led by 2-for-4 plate performances from Fundora and Thompson, who both had home runs.
Rodriguez blasted her record-setting homer in the fourth inning to cut the Adams State lead to 5-1. She was 1-for-2 with two runs batted in and two walks to go along with the home run.
Defensive miscues cost FLC early, and Zeiter said it is important for her team to score first.
“It is easier when you are the one to score first. No matter what the score is, we keep fighting because we know we can score runs in a hurry, but it is nice to score first,” she said.
FLC went 2-2 in its “home” opening pod that was moved to Bloomfield because of a wet field at FLC after Saturday’s storm. The Skyhawks are back in action Saturday and Sunday at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D.
“Every weekend is getting better. We went 1-3 last weekend and now 2-2 this weekend. We hope to continue improving next weekend,” Zeiter said.