March 28, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State earned its first conference win of the season on Friday, beating Boise State 6-4 at Ram Field. CSU (16-9, 1-3 MW) trailed for much of the game, but rallied for five runs in the sixth inning to snap its four-game losing streak.
“We’ve been trying to make adjustments with our bats, and I thought we did a better job being more disciplined and patient,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “That was my big push, and I was a little worried that we would chase the junk. Across the board, we did a good job of being patient.”
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, sophomore Jaelyn Manzanares reached first on a dropped third strike which would have ended the inning. Following a Kendal Butterfield single and Haley Hutton walk, the bases were loaded for junior Shae Rodriguez.
The junior outfielder was hit in the back by a pitch, bringing in the first run of the inning. Senior Chelsea O’Connor then came to the plate and brought in two runs with a fielder’s choice to shortstop. The Broncos (17-14, 2-2 MW) were unable to beat Rodriguez to the bag, extending the inning further.
Danielle Wikre would bring in the fourth run with a single, and the final run was scored on a Boise State error.
“We put the ball in play on the ground and made things happen,” Fisher said of her team’s two-out rally. “We had a lot of speed on the bases when they walked Hutton, which was huge. With Shae, we had speed at first; she was able to beat that force play out and Hutton came blazing by me and kept contact. She never slowed down, and having that speed makes it possible to do those things.”
The Broncos scored once in the top of the seventh, and had the tying run on base, but were unable to produce more thanks to stellar plays by the Rams’ defense.
“I think we made some really good plays on the infield, like having Haley stick with that ball after she bobbled that hard hit, and I was proud of Ashlie Ortega for coming back strong to play that kind of defense,” Fisher said. “She’s that type of player, and deserves to have a game like that; she worked hard this week.”
Perhaps the biggest defensive play, however, was the second-to-last out – a diving catch in center by O’Connor.
Holly Reinke (8-4) threw a complete game for the Rams. She retired the first eight batters of the game, and struck out six total. The sophomore allowed six hits and three earned runs in the victory.
The Rams and Broncos will meet again Saturday at 1 p.m. MT for Game 2 of the series. Admission to Ram Field is free. The game will also be streamed for free through the Mountain West Network.
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