TEMPE, Ariz. - The Colorado State softball team kicked off its 2014 season on Friday at the Kajikawa Classic, earning a pair of wins over Portland State and Bradley. The Rams started their season with a 6-2 victory over Portland State before rolling straight into their second game, where they shut out the Braves, 8-0.
Game 1: CSU 6, Portland State 2
Colorado State jumped on the board early, scoring on the second batter of the game, but the showstopper occurred in the top of the sixth inning.
Tied at 2-2, the Rams loaded the bases. That’s when senior shortstop Ashlie Ortega stepped to the plate and blew the game open with a grand slam to right.
Ortega also brought in runs in the first and second inning, going 3-for-3 and driving in all six of the Rams’ runs.
In the first, freshman Haley Hutton led the game off with a hit by pitch. She scored on the next at-bat, when Ortega doubled. In the second, Ortega again doubled, bringing in Kendal Butterfield, who had singled.
In the sixth, the Rams loaded the bases with a Butterfield single, Molly Randle walk and Hutton hit by pitch before Ortega’s blast.
Randle threw a complete game in the circle, earning the win and allowing just one earned run. She struck out four over seven innings.
Game 2: CSU 8, Bradley 0
Immediately following the Rams’ win over Portland State, CSU faced Bradley.
After battling through three scoreless innings, the Rams plated three runs in the fourth. That would be all CSU would need as sophomore Holly Reinke was brilliant in the circle, allowing just one hit over six innings. She struck out six.
Senior transfer Chelsea O’Connor, playing in just her second-ever game with the Rams, went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Taylor Hutton, Ortega, Shae Rodriguez and Danielle Wikre also drove in runs for CSU. Wikre went 3-for-3 in the nightcap, including plating the game’s first run.
CSU would add five more runs in the sixth, opening up with a series of singles by Wikre, Rodriguez and sophomore catcher Jaelyn Manzanares. Taylor Hutton then drove in the first two runs with a single to left-center. The Rams added another run with an Ortega bases-loaded walk, before O’Connor ended the game early due to mercy rule with a two-run single.
The Rams continue the Kajikawa Classic Saturday with a challenging test against Oregon State of the Pac-12. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.
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