Montana’s Colleen Driscoll named player of the week after sweep

(Editor’s note: Story by Montana Sports Information)

MISSOULA — Whether it was throwing as the starter or entering the game in relief. Whether it was pitching with the lead or facing a deficit. The situation didn’t matter for Montana’s Colleen Driscoll. She just kept getting outs.

Driscoll went 2-0 over the weekend in two appearances, once as a starter, once in relief, with a 1.27 ERA over 11 innings to help the Grizzlies sweep a three-game series from Portland State at Grizzly Softball Field.

That performance earned Driscoll Big Sky Conference Pitcher of the Week honors on Monday, a first for Driscoll and the first for Montana since Michaela Hood was recognized last season.

Facing a team in Saturday’s series opener that had scored 14 runs in two of its previous three games, Driscoll pitched the Grizzlies to a 9-1 victory. She allowed six hits over six innings, five of them singles.

She needed just 78 pitches to record her third complete game of the season, the 11th of her career, and it was classic Driscoll. She struck out only one Viking, but she didn’t walk anyone. Instead, she relied heavily on the defense behind her. She recorded nine ground outs, eight fly outs.

After Montana rallied from a 7-2 deficit to win Game 2 on Saturday, 11-7, Michaela Hood got the start in Game 3 on Sunday as the Grizzlies went for the sweep.

After Hood allowed three runs on four hits through the first two innings, Driscoll came on in relief to start the third with her team trailing 3-0.

She gave up just one hit over the next four innings, which allowed Montana to rally for the second straight game. The Grizzlies scored four in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth.

Driscoll gave up a solo home run in the top of the seventh, but all that did was make the final margin 7-4. Her response to the leadoff home run: ground out, ground out, ground out.

She threw five innings, allowing two hits, to pick up her seventh win of the season. Her 24 career wins are two off Hood’s program record of 26.

Driscoll, who limited Portland State to a .190 batting average, lowered her season ERA to 3.74, which ranks sixth in the Big Sky.

Montana hosts Carroll at Grizzly Softball Field for a doubleheader on Tuesday, then travels to Ogden, Utah, later in the week for a three-game series against Big Sky leader Weber State on Friday and Saturday.

Derek Buerkle

Derek Buerkle

Derek has worked in sports at KPAX-TV in Missoula since 2007. He grew up in Big Timber, Montana, and attended the University of Montana journalism program.
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