April 2, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State softball team got revenge over local rival Northern Colorado on Wednesday, earning a 6-5 victory in extra innings.
“Early on we weren’t scoring, but I felt like we were going to get to them,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “As a whole, we played crisper. We played better defense and squared the ball up a little. Our focus was really good because the team wants to win all the time. It’s not a mental thing; it’s more about executing our game plan.”
Northern Colorado (12-25) scored once in the first inning, and plated three runners on five hits in the second for an early 4-0 lead. The Rams (19-9, 3-3 MW) would slowly chip away, however, scoring one run in each of the next three innings, including an Ashlie Ortega solo home run in the fourth.
After a scoreless sixth inning for both sides, the Bears tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh. The Rams were again able to rally, scoring twice in the bottom half of the frame to extend the game into an eighth inning.
Following a Haley Hutton single and Chelsea O’Connor walk, Danielle Wikre singled down the right-field line to score Hutton. With one out, Ortega hit a deep flyout to center, scoring pinch runner Haley David and tying the game.
The Rams showed their defensive prowess in the top of the eighth, ending the inning with a strikeout-throw out double play.
Senior Chelsea Biglow led off the bottom half of the eighth with an infield single, and sophomore Jaelyn Manzanares bunted her into scoring position. The following batter, Kendal Butterfield, singled to center, scoring Biglow for the winning run.
“I felt like Kendal looked solid in her previous at-bats,” Fisher said. “I felt confident that she was going to get it done, and I was proud of her with that clutch hit.”
Four Rams had multi-hit games. O’Connor reached base four times and drove in a run, while Hutton had three hits and scored twice. Biglow finished the game 2-for-3 with the winning run, and Ortega drove in a pair and had two hits.
“Ashlie is looking really good,” Fisher said. “She’s another kid who is determined. They’re all pushing each other and helping each other ,and they all have confidence in one another. There’s not one superstar all the time, and it’s good to have that depth.”
Larisa Petakoff got the start for the Rams, but was relieved by Molly Randle after the Bears took an early lead. Randle pitched five innings and allowed just one run, striking out five.
Holly Reinke earned the win, however, throwing the final one and two-thirds innings, not allowing a batter to reach base.
The Rams continue their home stand with a three-game set against UTEP, beginning with a double header on Saturday. Admission to all home games is free to the public.
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