Feb. 26, 2012
By Meredith Danner
Athletic Media Relations
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The Rams started off the Cathedral City Classic with a win against Long Beach State on Thursday, but after subsequent losses to Iowa State and Northwestern, they extended their current streak to four games after losing to Ohio State, 9-8, and Oregon State, 4-2, at Big League Dreams Sports Park.
With the losses, the Rams finished the Cathedral City Classic with a 1-4 tournament record and dropped to 4-11 overall (0-0 Mountain West). Ohio State and Oregon State improved to 9-5 (0-0 Big Ten) and 11-4 (0-0 Pac 12), respectively, to close out the tournament.
“The players are going for it and we’re in the position we need to be in,” CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “We’ve just got to tighten things up on our baserunning and tighten things up on defense and get better all the way through the lineup. We’ve got a lot to work on, yet at the same time I’m really optimistic about how we were in every game with some really good teams.”
The game against Ohio State marked the fourth time this season in which the Rams have scored eight or more runs. With the loss to the Buckeyes, CSU’s record when scoring eight or more is now 2-2.
Ohio State scored six runs in the first off of CSU senior pitcher Kelli Eubanks, but the Rams answered right back with six in the top of the second. Kendal Butterfield, Haley David, Cassy Mosser and Chelsea Biglow all hit RBI singles in the inning. Mosser and Biglow drove in two runs apiece.
CSU sophomore Emily Pohl, who went 4-for-4 with an RBI in Saturday’s game against Northwestern, doubled down the left-field line in the sixth to bring in the Rams’ seventh and eighth runs and give CSU an 8-7 lead. After 15 games, Pohl leads the team in batting average (.364).
After the six-run first, Eubanks, who was sidelined by injury most of last season, held the Buckeyes to one additional run over the following four innings.
“She’s getting stronger every day,” Fisher said. “The experience is good for her and she got the complete game, so that was good to see.”
However, two errors by the CSU defense ultimately allowed two runs to come around and take away the lead for good. Ohio State senior Katie Simonton reached on an error by Eubanks to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Senior Vanessa Spears later reached on a fielder’s choice, putting two runners on with one out. An error by CSU shortstop Ashlie Ortega caused Simonton and Spears to score two unearned runs and end the game.
Due to a pre-set game-ending time, the Rams were not able to bat in the seventh, and the two Ohio State runs ended the game in six innings.
The Rams came back to the diamond in Game 2 to face host Oregon State. The Beavers are off to their best start since 2006, and they continued their winning ways Sunday against the Rams.
CSU, however, scored first and outhit the Beavers, 8-7. With one on and no outs in the first inning, sophomore Alysa Greckel hit her second home run of the year to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.
Junior Kacie McCarthy pitched her second complete game of the year, the first coming against Northwestern on Saturday. She gave up four runs in the second inning against the Beavers, but in the other five innings combined, McCarthy held Oregon State scoreless and allowed just five hits.
“She did a great job,” Fisher said. “She’s a bulldog on the mound and she wants the ball. As long as she keeps doing that she’s going to keep getting the ball and attacking the zone and doing what she needs to do.”
The Rams will finally get to play in Fort Collins this weekend when they host the annual Colorado State Classic. Starting Friday, CSU will play host to Northern Iowa, Saint Mary’s and Weber State, whom the Rams defeated, 15-14, in extra innings on Feb. 18 in Las Cruces, N.M. CSU first squares off against Northern Iowa at 1:30 p.m. MT. Admission to all CSU softball games is free of charge.
“It’s just nice to be in familiar territory and also to play in front of the home crowd,” Fisher said. “I think they’re excited to get out and show them what we’ve got this year and that things really are a lot different (from last season). Our win-loss record might not show it, but I think playing in front of their home fans will be really good for this team because they want to show everybody that we’re making great strides and moving forward.”
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