March 29, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State softball team notched its fifth straight win on Friday afternoon, battling for an 18-10 decision over conference rival UNLV at Ram Field. The Rams' 18 runs marked a season high, with all of the team's offensive production coming in three big innings.
The Rams (16-14, 2-0 MW) made the most of opportunities for two-out rallies in first and fourth innings, scoring combined total of 11 runs off of two different pitchers for UNLV (18-20, 0-2 MW), reliever Francesca Foti and starter Amanda Oliveto. The Rams closed out the game in five innings with seven runs in the final frame to push their 11-10 advantage to the final of 18-10.
Senior pitcher Kailey Snyder started the game for the Rams, but earned a no decision, pitching two innings before being relieved by freshman Holly Reinke (4-4) who captured the victory for CSU. Senior hurler Kacie McCarthy closed out the game for the Rams, pitching the final inning of action.
"Kailey looked good, but it wasn't a great match up with the wind blowing out as it was," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "She gets a lot of fly ball outs and they tied her up once or twice, but for the most part we felt like it wasn't quite the best match up. We brought Holly in who got more groundballs, which was nice to see. Once they had timed up Holly, we felt like we would need to come back with Kacie."
Snyder gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits in her two innings of work. Reinke allowed three runs to cross the plate on four hits in a pair of frames, and McCarthy gave up four runs on three hits in her one inning of work. Each Rams' pitcher tallied one strikeout in the contest.
Seven Rams tallied multi-hit games in the offensive explosion, led by three hits each from a trio of juniors infielders in second baseman Cassy Mosser
(3-4), first baseman Alysa Greckel
(3-4) and third baseman Chelsea Biglow
(3-3). Greckel (5 RBIs) and Biglow (4) combined to drive in nine runs for the Rams from the No. 6 and 7 spots in the lineup, respectively.
Junior left fielder Kendal Butterfield added a pair of hits of her own in the contest, and came through with three RBIs in the eight spot, while the Rams' No. 9 hitter, sophomore right fielder Taylor Hutton, added two hits and a pair of RBIs of her own.
Combined, the Rams 6-9 hitters were 10-of-13 from the plate with eight runs scored and 14 RBIs. Mosser, Greckel and Biglow all scored three times for the Rams.
"Each hit the ball better today and we were fortunate to come up with timely hits and be able to come onto Oliveto early enough to get her out of the game," Fisher said. "We were proud with our approach and the way the ladies executed today, it was very exciting."
After falling behind 1-0 to open the game, the Rams took control with a two-out rally to bring in six runs in the bottom of the first. Greckel gave the Rams the lead with a double to left field to score Mosser and junior shortstop Ashlie Ortega. Biglow followed with a triple to right center to bring in Greckel and Wikre. Butterfield added an RBI single to plate Biglow and before scoring on a Hutton double to right center to give the Rams a 6-1 advantage.
The Rams repeated their two out feat in the bottom of the fourth to score five runs, to break open a 6-6- tie. Mosser started the rally with a single up the middle, and advanced to second when Emily Pohl reached on an error by the catcher. A Wikre single loaded the bases before a Greckel double to left field plated three. Biglow added another RBI double to plate Greckel, and later scored on Butterfield's single to right, giving the Rams an 11-6 edge.
After a four-run fifth by the Rebels pulled the game within 11-10, the Rams patience at the plate proved to be the difference. UNLV's Oliveto walked in four runs, and the Rams' tallied seven overall, to end the game in five innings, with Ortega drawing the free pass to bring home Biglow for the deciding run with just one out in the frame.
"When Oliveto came back in, we did a really good job with making her pitch," Fisher said. "I was very proud of the ladies for that because yesterday I felt like we were a little too overanxious with her."
The Rams and Rebels close out their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Ram Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. Admission and parking are free.