March 17, 2012
By Meredith Danner
Athletic Media Relations
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Since the Rams were rained out on Friday at the Capital Classic and were not able to play their first two scheduled games, the matchup with Princeton on Saturday was their first of the tournament. The CSU offense collected five extra-base hits in the game, but with two home runs, the 2-8 Tigers came from behind to defeat the Rams, 5-3.
With the loss, the Rams’ overall record dropped to 11-16 (0-0 Mountain West), while the Tigers ended Saturday with a 3-8 record (0-0 Ivy League) after losing to Akron earlier in the day. After defeating Pacific on Thursday and San Jose State on Sunday, CSU’s two-game win streak was also snapped.
The Rams got on the board with no outs in the first inning. Sophomore Ashlie Ortega (2-for-4) led off the bottom of the frame with a double to right center, followed by an RBI single from freshman Shae Rodriguez (2-for-4). Ortega doubled again in the second to bring in senior Lyssa Roberts and extend the Rams’ lead to 2-0.
Freshman Danielle Wikre (2-for-3) supplied the Rams’ third and final run in the third inning with a single up the middle, but Princeton’s Liza Kuhn held CSU to just two hits over the final four innings.
“Kuhn did a really good job keeping the ball off of the middle of the plate, but I felt like we countered that pretty well,” CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “We just didn’t quite push those runs across.”
CSU senior Kelli Eubanks got her 10th start of the season in the circle and held the Tigers hitless through two innings before giving up a three-run home run in the third and a two-run home run in the fifth.
“I think it was a good outing for her early on,” Fisher said. “She got quick outs in the first inning and she got quick outs in the second inning, but they had basically two pitches that she left up and they just squared up, and they happened to be with a runner on, each of them. I don’t think Kelli’s quite as sharp as she’d like to be right now. She’s got to keep working on that.”
Eubanks pitched in only three games last season after being sidelined with an elbow injury and is now 1-6 in 2012.
“She’s had so many ups and downs,” Fisher said. “She’ll take two steps forward and then have an unfortunate setback. I just think for her we’ve got to keep hoping for good outings. She’s working as hard as she can with what she has to work with.”
Junior Kailey Snyder, a transfer from Santa Barbara City College, pitched the final three innings for the Rams and held Princeton to four hits in her 11th appearance of the season.
The Rams will look to bounce back against Akron on Sunday to close out the Capital Classic and complete their 12-game, nine-day California road trip. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. MT.
“I think whenever you can get a win on the tail-end of a road trip it really helps you have a good feeling about that entire road trip,” Fisher said. “I think it’s really important to go out and try to play our best tomorrow. We continue to improve and get better, which is what I expect out of them, especially having such a relatively young squad.”