Softball recap: Rams close out Colorado State Classic on winning note
March 4, 2012
By Meredith Danner
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Rams played three times at the Colorado State Classic on Sunday and won two of the three contests at Ram Field to conclude the tournament. CSU completed two games that had previously been suspended due to darkness, the first against Saint Mary’s, which the Rams won, 4-3. They next faced Weber State in a regularly-scheduled game and fell to the Wildcats, 6-5. Finally, CSU met up with Northern Iowa after their game was suspended Saturday night and defeated the Panthers, 16-13. The Rams came from behind to win in the conclusion of both suspended games.
“Our team continues to really fight from behind and battle through a full game,” CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “Mentally, we had a pretty long day today and I felt like they stayed in. They stay focused really nicely.”
With the three wins, the Rams’ overall record improved to 7-13 (0-0 Mountain West). Top performers in the Classic included sophomore Chelsea Biglow, who batted .250 in five games with eight RBI and three home runs, including a walk-off shot to give the Rams a win against Saint Mary’s on Saturday. Freshman Shae Rodriguez went 5-for-17 with one home run and seven RBI. Biglow and Rodriguez currently hold first and second place, respectively, in RBI (20 and 19).
At the conclusion of the tournament, CSU, Northern Iowa and Weber State all tied for first place with a 3-2 record. However, due to the head-to-head tiebreakers that determine the final standings, Weber State took the championship. Northern Iowa finished in second place, while CSU and Saint Mary’s took the third and fourth spots.
CSU trailed Saint Mary’s, 3-2, when their game was suspended on Friday night, but with a new day, the Rams had a brand-new chance to answer back. Sophomore Ashlie Ortega sacrifice flied out to center field to bring in freshman Haley David and tie the game at three. Sophomore Alysa Greckel reached on an error right immediately after, allowing sophomore Cassy Mosser to score and take the lead.
Junior Kacie McCarthy was put into the game to pitch when play resumed on Sunday, replacing starter Kelli Eubanks. McCarthy no-hit the Gaels over the final 3.2 innings and struck out four to collect her fourth win of the season.
Sunday marked the first time in the tournament in which the Rams faced Weber State. The two teams met on Feb. 18 in Las Cruces, N.M., and the Rams walked away with a 15-14 win in eight innings. CSU once again kept things close against the Wildcats, as the teams entered the seventh inning tied at five runs apiece. Mosser got the CSU offense going in the third with a solo home run to left field. Greckel later doubled to knock in Ortega.
Freshman Shae Rodriguez added two in the sixth with an RBI triple to bring the Rams to within one run against the Wildcats. Rodriguez later came around to tie it up with a single from Ortega.
Junior Kailey Snyder started her second game of the year and gave up a home run and an RBI double before freshman Molly Randle entered the game in relief. Randle, who has made starts against nationally-ranked Texas and Nebraska, held Weber State to three earned runs over five innings of work.
“Yesterday I know she was disappointed with her start, but she came right back after it, and that’s what a lot of the freshmen are doing,” Fisher said. “We needed her. We needed her to get through that, and she got through it just the way we had hoped. Her consistency continues to improve.”
In the final matchup of the tournament, the Rams came right back to the field to finish their game against Northern Iowa, which had been suspended on Saturday night. At the time of the suspension, CSU trailed, 12-9, with one out in the top of the fifth.
Ortega and Greckel both hit RBI singles and Biglow reached on a fielder’s choice, bringing in the third run of the inning and tying the game at 12. UNI scored one more run in the top of the sixth, but with an RBI walk, a fielder’s choice, an error and an RBI groundout, the Rams came from behind for the second time in one day and sealed a 16-13 victory over the Panthers.
The Rams used three pitchers in the game, including Eubanks and sophomore Kali Haas, but the win went to McCarthy, who gave up one run in two innings to earn her second win of the day and third win of the weekend.
“Kacie impressed me on the mound this whole weekend,” Fisher said. “She continues to improve.”
Friday, the Rams will head to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic. Their opponents include Cal Poly and James Madison on Friday, Ole Miss and host Stanford on Saturday and San Jose State on Sunday.