MISSOULA — The Montana softball team saw its season come to an end with a 6-2 loss to Northern Colorado Thursday afternoon in a loser-out game at the Big Sky Conference tournament in Ogden, Utah.
The Grizzlies went 1-2 at the event. After starting strong with an extra-inning upset win over Portland State Wednesday afternoon, they were blown out by Sacramento State that night, 12-4. That left them in a do-or-die situation against the Bears.
Montana (20-27) spotted Northern Colorado a two-run lead in the first inning and never recovered. Starting sophomore pitcher Allie Brock was lifted after allowing six earned runs on seven hits in four innings of duty.
The Grizzlies cut their deficit to 4-1 with a Kylie Becker run in the fourth frame, but the Bears answered with two in the fifth. Presley Jantzi led Montana at the plate, going 3 for 4.
In Wednesday night's undefeated semifinal, the Grizzlies failed to go the distance against the second-seed Hornets, bowing out by virtue of the run rule in the sixth.
Brock, who threw four scoreless innings in relief against Portland State, allowed seven runs, all earned, on six hits and five walks while striking out two in 4 2/3 innings against the Hornets. Dana Butterfield gave up five runs, all earned, on four hits with one walk compared to two strikeouts in one inning.
The Hornets scored the final eight runs of the game, three in the fifth and five in the sixth, to break a 4-4 tie. Carley Morfey obliterated the ball by going 3 for 3 with a home run, seven RBIs and two runs scored. Lewa Day also homered, collecting two RBIs.
Sacramento State's Marissa Bertuccio, the Big Sky pitcher of the year, held the Griz to one hit over the final three innings. She finished with 10 hits allowed and one walk in six innings while striking out three. Only three of the four runs she allowed were earned.