March 16, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. – Colorado State capped an undefeated weekend with a 4-3 victory over Ohio State Sunday morning. With the win, the Rams finished the Fresno State Classic 5-0, improving to 15-5 on the season. The team's five-game win streak is a season best.
"They're really fighting hard," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "They're really starting to believe in themselves more, and are getting a taste of what a winning streak feels like."
Freshman Larisa Petakoff (5-3) was again brilliant in the circle, earning her fourth consecutive win. Petakoff allowed six hits and no walks, striking out two during a complete game. On the weekend, she went 2-0 with a save, holding opponents to a 1.65 ERA.
"She's always had that hunger, so I don't think it's a shift in her thinking," Fisher said of Petakoff's four consecutive wins. "I think it's more physical. She's just fine-tuning her locations. The work ethic and attitude have always been there."
It was Ohio State (12-14), however, which got on the board first, scoring twice in the third and once in the fourth.
Trailing 3-0, the Rams scored four times in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead.
Senior Alysa Greckel – who hit .429 on the weekend – led off the inning with a double to left field. Pinch runner Haley David advanced to third on a wild pitch and the next batter, Taylor Hutton, walked and stole second. Her younger sister, Haley Hutton, followed with a walk, forcing Ohio State to change pitchers.
Facing her first batter, however, the Buckeyes’ new pitcher walked in a run when junior Shae Rodriguez drew a walk. Next up was senior Chelsea O’Connor, who is hitting an incredible .875 this season with the bases loaded. The senior singled to center field, driving in the Rams’ second run.
Two batters later, senior Ashlie Ortega doubled to left, bringing home two, and forcing another pitching change.
"Last year we lost so many tight games," Fisher said. "It goes back to this team believing they can win. All along, they kept saying they could hit Ohio State's pitcher. Eventually they did."
Pitching in front for the first time all game, Petakoff set down six of the final seven Ohio State batters to hold on for the win.
CSU will now turn its attention to Mountain West play, traveling to Logan, Utah, this weekend, for a three-game set against Utah State.
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