Softball recap: Rams split Day 2 of Troy Cox Classic
Feb. 19, 2012 Final Stats
By Meredith Danner
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Colorado State softball team ended Saturday with a win and a loss at the Troy Cox Classic, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process. They began the day by keeping New Mexico State's potent offense at bay in a 5-2 loss. Offense was the name of the game in the second matchup, as CSU and Weber State combined for 29 runs. The Rams ultimately inched the Wildcats, 15-14, in extra innings.
The split brings the Rams' overall record to 3-6 and gives them their first extra-inning decision of the season. New Mexico State improves to 8-1, while Weber State reaches a record identical to CSU (3-6).
The Aggies received six votes in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and had scored 10 or more runs in every game except one coming into play on Saturday. They managed just two runs against Nebraska on Friday, and the combined pitching efforts of CSU's Kacie McCarthy and Molly Randle kept the Aggies at bay once more, shutting them out through four innings.
McCarthy kept the Aggies' offense quiet in the first four before giving up three in the fifth. Two more runs came around in the sixth, one with Randle in the circle. All five runs were charged to McCarthy.
"Kacie pitched really well against a very powerful offense for New Mexico State," CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "She utilized her corners really well, and she just kept them off balance by using the corners and changing speeds on them. They couldn't really get into a rhythm for quite some time."
CSU led NMSU, 2-0, through four and a half innings. Freshman Shae Rodriguez, who drove in two runs against No. 22/24 Nebraska on Friday, knocked in her seventh of the season with an RBI groundout in the second. In the fourth, sophomore Alysa Greckel belted a home run to left field, her first of the year.
The Rams scored early and often in Game 2; their 15 runs represent the highest offensive output since a 13-10 loss to Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 10. Weber State scored six runs in the first off freshman pitcher Molly Randle, but the Rams answered with six in the bottom of the frame.
Greckel (3-for-4) got the hit parade going with an RBI single with no outs in the first. Greckel followed that up with an RBI double in the second and a two-RBI double in the third to cap off a five-RBI performance.
Sophomore Kendal Butterfield hit her second home run of the year in the sixth, a two-run shot to left field. Butterfield and Rodriguez each contributed three RBI to the offensive outburst.
Randle started the game, but lasted 0.1 innings after giving up a grand slam to Weber State's Symbree Minniear. Kailey Snyder and Kali Haas pitched a combined 3.2 innings before McCarthy entered the game and delivered a strong performance in her second outing of the day.
CSU tied up the game in the bottom of the seventh when Greckel scored on an RBI groundout from Rodriguez.
"[Greckel] had a really good read on a slow, infield hit," Fisher said. "She got a read from third and scored on it. Without her base running right there, we wouldn't have been in it."
With the teams tied at 14, Weber State's Cydnee Clark was placed on second per the international tie-breaker format to begin the eighth. McCarthy pitched out of the jam, allowing one walk but ultimately striking out the side.
"McCarthy just was huge," Fisher said. "She was just big. I'm just really proud of her performance today because she pitched through a lot of innings and two really tough games, and she really got us through that (second) game. Without her intensity on the mound, we wouldn't be there."
Greckel stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the eighth and drew a bases-loaded walk, ending the game and bringing in the 29th and final run of the night.
The Rams will take on NMSU in a rematch on Sunday to end the Troy Cox Classic. First pitch is slated for 1:30 p.m. MT. Fans can view live stats during the game on NMstatesports.com.