March 28, 2012
By Meredith Danner
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Rams played their first game at home since March 4 on Wednesday, and they did not disappoint the home fans as they shut out in-state rival Northern Colorado, 8-0, in five innings at Ram Field. The game was the first of four scheduled non-conference matchups with the Bears.
With the win, CSU improved to 17-18 overall (0-0 Mountain West) and notched its fourth home win of the season. Northern Colorado, meanwhile, evened its record and is now 15-15 (0-0 Pacific Coast Softball Conference). The game also marked the second time this season in which the Rams scored enough runs to incur the NCAA mercy rule, which ends the game if a team is leading by eight or more runs after five innings. CSU last forced the rule on Saturday in a 10-2 win in six innings over UC Riverside at the UC Riverside tournament.
“They really played hard as a team,” CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher said about the win over UNC. “We saw good production all the way through the order, which is something that we’ve really been proud of.”
The Rams collected just two hits through the first two innings, but they got on the board in the third with three home runs in the frame. With one out, freshman Shae Rodriguez and sophomore Emily Pohl got the scoring started with back-to-back solo home runs.
“Emily knows her role is to swing it if it’s there, but she’s also been extremely picky, so I really like the way she’s seeing the ball,” Fisher said. “She’s laying off balls and driving strikes.”
Sophomore Alysa Greckel followed up the Pohl home run with a double to right-center field. The third homer of the inning came when sophomore Chelsea Biglow stepped to the plate after the Greckel double and belted her sixth homer of the year. Biglow now leads the squad in home runs.
CSU added three more in the fourth inning. Sophomore Cassy Mosser represented the first run, coming in from third when sophomore Kendal Butterfield grounded into a double play. Later in the inning, Biglow smacked a two-RBI double to right-center to break the game wide open.
Butterfield drove in the winning run with a single to left field. Senior Lyssa Roberts scored from third on the play to shut the door on the Bears and end the game in five innings.
CSU junior Kacie McCarthy, who on Tuesday was named Mountain West Co-Pitcher of the Week, threw her ninth complete game of the year in a two-hit shutout performance. McCarthy gave up a single and two walks in the first inning, but allowed just one hit and one walk and fanned three through the four remaining frames to lead the team to its second shutout victory of the year.
“She’s been a truly consistent, confident, one-track-mind pitcher, and that’s exactly what we need,” Fisher said. “You never see her get upset about a call. She doesn’t see mistakes behind her, which is really rare for a pitcher. It’s just amazing. She’s a team player, and she comes out with her guns firing every game. Every single game. It’s just wonderful to be able to count on her like that because we just were not in that place last year. Her teammates appreciate her so much for that.”
The Rams will be back at it against Northern Colorado next Wednesday for the second of four scheduled matchups, this time in Greeley. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. MT.
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