March 22, 2014
LOGAN, Utah – For the second straight day, the Colorado State softball team lost a one-run contest to Utah State, falling 5-4 Saturday afternoon.
"It absolutely was not for lack of effort," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "They made some great adjustments from yesterday and did everything we asked for them to do. They put the ball in play; we just were one key hit away from winning that game."
The Rams (15-7, 0-2 MW) got on the board first with two runs in the second, but Utah State (12-13, 2-0 MW) scored three times in the bottom of the frame. CSU was able to tie the score an inning later with a Chelsea O’Connor double, but the Aggies regained the lead in their half of the third, and tacked on another run in the fifth.
O’Connor and senior Alysa Greckel each had a pair of hits for the Rams. Sisters Haley and Taylor Hutton had RBI hits. Following a Greckel walk to begin the second inning, freshman Taryn Arcarese pinch ran and scored on a Taylor Hutton double. Two batters later, her younger sister, Haley, brought her in with a single up the middle.
Trailing 5-3 entering the final inning, the Rams were able to plate one, but couldn’t tie the score. Danielle Wikre singled to begin the inning, and following a Chelsea Biglow single, the Rams had runners on the corners and no outs. O’Connor reached on an error – a deep flyball to left field, which hit off the left fielder's glove at the warning track – allowing pinch runner Molly Randle to score and putting two runners on and still none out. However, Utah State’s Noelle Johnson buckled down, getting a double play and strikeout to end the game.
The Rams also had scoring chances in the first, leaving the bases loaded, and the fifth, stranding runners on the corners.
"We had a couple hits that we all thought were gone," Fisher said. "(Ashlie) Ortega's flyout in the fifth was at the track, and when the ball came off O'Connor's bat in the seventh we all jumped up thinking she had just hit a three-run home run."
After striking out 14 times Friday, the Rams struck out just twice Saturday.
"We were putting the ball in play and hitting the ball hard," Fisher said. "We were right there."
Freshman Larisa Petakoff (4-4) took the loss, lasting two and one-third innings, allowing three earned runs and six hits. She was relieved by Randle, who threw the final three and two-thirds innings. The junior surrendered one run on three hits, striking out three.
CSU and Utah State will close the weekend series Sunday with a 11 a.m. first pitch. The game can be streamed online through the Mountain West Network.
"We'll be ready tomorrow," Fisher said. "It's definitely a motivated group who doesn't like to lose. I was consoling them more than ripping them. They're fired up."
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