March 25, 2014
GREELEY, Colo. – The Colorado State softball team stepped out of conference play on Tuesday for a makeup game against intrastate rival Northern Colorado. Despite leading 5-0 in the third and 8-5 in the sixth, UNC (9-24) rallied for two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with the victory.
With the loss, CSU fell to 15-9 after beginning the season 15-5 – the team’s best mark in 25 years.
“We have to be tougher,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “We’re not being tough enough on offense, and we’re not being tough enough on defense. We have work to do this week.”
The Rams got on the board early, scoring one run in the first inning after Chelsea O’Connor doubled to right-center, bringing home Molly Randle. CSU then scored four times in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead. In the inning, Randle scored on a wild pitch, Haley Hutton came in on a Chelsea Biglow single and Danielle Wikre homered to left, scoring a pair.
The Bears answered back, however, scoring twice in the bottom half of the inning on a Morgan Yuhas home run. UNC tacked on three more in the bottom of the fifth, tying the score at 5-5.
The Rams responded in the sixth, adding three of their own. Kendal Butterfield homered to center, a two-run shot, and Ashlie Ortega scored on a fielder’s choice.
UNC cut the score to 8-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning, and were able to put three across in the seventh to win, 9-8. In the final inning, the Rams had two outs, but the Bears scored two unearned runs when Kaitlin Flynn reached on a fielding error, allowing two to score.
CSU pounded out 11 hits on the afternoon, led by a 3-for-4 day by junior Shae Rodriguez and two hits from Wikre.
CSU used its entire pitching staff, with sophomore Holly Reinke making the start. She pitched two innings before being relieved by Randle and then Petakoff. Reinke was re-entered in the bottom of the sixth, and took the loss despite allowing just two hits and one earned run over three and one-third innings.
Over the last four games, Reinke has been on the unfortunate side of things, going 0-3 despite holding a 0.98 ERA. Of UNC’s nine runs Tuesday, just four were earned. The Rams entered the game ranked second in the Mountain West in fielding percentage.
"Our main goal of today was to get our pitchers sharp for the weekend," Fisher stated. "We had planned to just have three play, but Larisa got into a little bit of trouble and we brought Holly back in. It was a planned rotation to try to get ready for the series against Boise State."
The Rams jump back into Mountain West play Friday, hosting Boise State for a three-game series at Ram Field. All game are free to the public. For those not in the area, this weekend’s games will be streamed for free through the Mountain West Network.
"We were shown a few holes that we need to work on, but I'm confident that everyone on this team wants to fix those holes," Fisher said. "They're willing to put in the work to be playing their best on Friday."
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