April 6, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – The Colorado State softball team completed a three-game sweep of the UTEP Miners with a 9-1 victory in six innings on the series finale Sunday afternoon at Ram Field. The Rams scored at least one run in each inning. With the win the Rams have run their win streak to seven games and return to conference play next week with a 22-9 overall mark.
“It was a good weekend, but we don’t want a big head,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “We want to take care of business in conference. We saw some good things out of different people and we saw our whole pitching staff. The ladies have been working hard and are each taking care of their own jobs and focusing as a team.”
In the bottom of the first, CSU was able to get on board early with two runs as Chelsea O’Connor doubled to plate Shae Rodriguez. O’Connor would then score on a passed ball to give the Rams a 2-0 advantage.
The Rams’ lead grew to 3-0 in the second when Haley Hutton tallied an RBI double to score pinch runner Taryn Arcarese from second.
UTEP was able to manufacture it’s only run of the game in the third inning, cutting into the Rams’ 3-0 lead with a sacrifice fly from Kawehiokalani Netane. That was the only damage the Miners were able to produce for the game as they were held to just four hits by freshman pitcher Larisa Petakoff and the stout Rams’ defense.
Colorado State responded to the Miners’ run and raised them three as Jaylen Manzanares hit a three-run homer to left field to bring in seniors Ashlie Ortega and Chelsea Biglow. Manzares would record her fourth RBI of the day in the fourth inning, hitting a sac fly center for one run. She finished the day 1-for-1 from the plate with a walk, a run scored and four FBIs.
The final runs for the Rams would be brought in on two solo home runs. Hutton hit the first solo homer in the fifth, setting the stage for Ortega’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the sixth to end the game, 9-1.
“I was waiting for my pitch and she threw two, the first was a strike and the second was in, but I was calm,” Ortega said. “Then I saw it and decided I’d go for the drive. It was a good feeling especially with a big crowd and family.”
Both Ortega and Hutton went 3-for-3 during the day. Hutton added a walk, one run and two RBIs, while Ortega walked, scored twice and notched one RBI.
Petakoff improved to 7-4 for the season, striking out two batters while allowing just four hits and one earned run.
The Rams will step back into conference play for a three game series against UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., next weekend.
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