April 11, 2014
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Colorado State softball team got on board early and stayed two steps ahead of UNLV Friday night, winning the first game of the series, 7-5, and increasing its win streak to eight games.
“We like playing at home, but it’s a win on the road,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “We needed to get out and get a win to convince ourselves that we can win on the road. I think we had good plays and people didn’t panic.”
After dropping the first three games of conference play, all on the road, CSU (23-9, 4-3 MW) has since gone 4-0 in Mountain West action.
The Rams scored five times in the first to stake an early lead. Freshman Haley Hutton led off for the 32nd consecutive time this season, singling to center to begin the team’s fast start. The reigning Mountain West Player of the Week would score on a Chelsea O’Connor single. O’Connor and Danielle Wikre would come around to score on a two-run double by Chelsea Biglow. Senior Alsya Greckel brought in the next two runs, hitting a home run to left field, her first of the season.
“Alyssa has been steady and playing well,” Fisher said. “She’s been working hard and playing hard; she’s one of those seniors who comes to the field ready to play and ready to work. I was really happy for her to get the home run. She’s been putting in extra time and trying to take extra at-bats in the cage. It was fun to see her do that.”
Senior Kendal Butterfield scored an inning later on a passed ball to give the Rams a 6-0 lead, which held until the bottom of the fourth when UNLV’s Samantha Juarez hit a solo shot. The Rebels (16-22, 6-4 MW) would cut the score to 6-3 in the fifth, before CSU tacked on an insurance run when Ashlie Ortega drove in O’Connor with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh.
The Rebels would again rally, scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh, but CSU’s Holly Reinke held off the home team for the 7-5 victory.
Rienke (12-4) pitched a complete game for the Rams, allowing six hits and one walk while striking out four.
“Holly really did a good job, and Coach (Dedeann)Pendleton-Helm talked with her to calm her down a little bit,” Fisher said. “She knows that she might give up a home run here and there, but overall that’s not going to be make or break every single game. She had a good lead and was making good pitches.”
CSU continues play on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT for their second game of the three-game series.
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