Junior SS Ashlie Ortega
Feb. 17, 2013
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Colorado State softball team scored 27 runs in two games on Saturday evening, picking up a pair of high-scoring wins, over host New Mexico State and Missouri-Kansas City, during the second day of action at the Troy Cox Classic.
The Rams began the day by staking to a 10-2 lead against the Aggies, and holding on for the 10-9 victory in regulation. But the team would need extra innings in the night cap vs. UMKC, rallying from a 12-2 hole to defeat the Kangaroos, 17-16 in nine innings.
With the victories, the Rams move to 4-0 on the weekend, heading into Sunday’s tournament finale vs. New Mexico State (11:30 a.m. MT).
Overall, the Rams improve to 6-3 to open the 2013 season, the team’s best start through nine games since an 8-1 mark to begin the 2008 season.
Game 1: CSU 10, New Mexico State 9
The Rams homered twice in a five-run second inning, as junior catcher Emily Pohl led off the inning with a solo shot and sophomore centerfielder Shae Rodriguez belted a three-run shot, capping the scoring in the inning, which also featured an RBI fly-out from shortstop Ashlie Ortega.
Ortega added her second RBI in the next inning, singling in Chelsea Biglow to help the Rams stake to an early 6-1 lead.
After surrendering a second Aggies run in the bottom of the fourth inning, the CSU offense exploded again with four runs in the top of the fifth inning, aided by a walk, a pair of passed balls, and an Ortega double to bring in her third RBI of the game.
Staking to a 10-2 lead, the Rams were able to withstand a five-run barrage by the Aggies in the bottom of the fifth. New Mexico State finally got to Rams’ starter Kacie McCarthy in the frame, notching four hits, including a two-run home run before the senior was relieved by junior pitcher Kali Haas.
But the Rams early offense proved to be enough, as McCarthy was credited with her third win of the young season, pitching 4.2 innings and giving up seven runs (five earned) while scattering eight hits and striking out two.
The Rams’ relievers, including Haas, Kailey Snyder and Holly Reinke combined to allow just two runs on five hits in the final 2.1 innings, slamming the door on the NMSU comeback effort. Reinke, a freshman for the Rams, earned her first save.
Game 2: CSU 17, UMKC 16 (9)
The Rams offense did not cool after the sun went down, thanks in no small part to Ortega who talliedtwo home runs and seven RBIs to lead the Rams past the Kangaroos in a contest that featured 28 combined hits.
UMKC did the bulk of their damage from the plate in the third inning, tallying eight hits to produce 10 runs in the frame.
The Kangaroo’s offensive explosion broke open a 2-2 tie, but the Rams rallied with 11 runs of their own over the next two innings to pull to within one run, 14-13, through five innings.
With the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Ortega legged out a triple to centerfield to plate three Rams, freshman Jaelyn Manzanares, junior Kendal Butterfield and freshman Lauren Snodgrass. Ortega then scored her second run of the game on a wild pitch, pulling the Rams to within 14-6.
The Rams’ shortstop came up big again in the fifth and the seventh innings. In the fifth, she hit a three-run homer to left center, once again plating Manzanares and Butterfield, as part of the Rams’ seven-run rally. She went deep a second time just two innings later, sparking the Rams’ comeback effort with a lead-off homer to right center that started a three-run rally to send the game into extra innings.
Biglow, who singled center, and senior Brianna Donahue, who drew a bases-loaded walk, also notched RBIs for the Rams in the seventh.
McCarthy, who entered in the sixth inning, pitched four innings of no-hit softball, to capture her second victory of the day when Pohl singled to center field in the bottom of the ninth inning to plate Alysa Greckel from second base and end the game in a 17-16 Rams’ victory.
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