April 13, 2007
The Colorado State softball team improved to 23-18 (2-0 MWC), sweeping the San Diego State Aztecs (24-17, 1-5 MWC) in the Rams' conference-opening doubleheader on Friday afternoon at Ram Field. The Rams won 13-12 in extra innings in game one, followed by a 6-3 victory in six innings in game two.
The teams combined for 34 runs including 10 home runs in the two games, but it was 10 errors by the Aztecs that proved to be instrumental in the CSU victories.
In game one, both teams put on offensive showcases, but combined for nine errors, seven committed by the Aztecs. The Rams scored in every inning but the first, and four players recorded multiple hits in the game, led by senior Stacey Leigh who finished 4-for-5 from the plate with three runs, two RBI and a walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Rams the victory.
Junior Lauren Cusick posted a 3-for-5 day from the plate for the Rams and crossed the plate three times, while seniors Brittany Huerta and Jessica Strickland and freshman Ashley Munoz each finished 2-for-4 from the plate. Huerta also added five RBI and one run, while hitting her team-best 10th home run of the season to move to just one homer shy of tying the career-record of 32 held by former All-American, Sara Fredstrom (32, 1995-98). Strickland added two RBI and one run, while Munoz accounted for two runs and two RBI.
With the game knotted at five through four innings, the offenses of both teams exploded, beginning with the Rams. San Diego State captured a 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth, but Munoz responded with a one-out solo homer to left center field to tie the game. Following a single by Leigh and a walk by freshman Robyn Mask, Huerta stepped up to the plate and gave the Rams a 9-6 advantage with a three-run home run to left field.
Two Aztec errors in the sixth inning helped the Rams gain a 10-6 lead, before the San Diego State bats came to life in the top of the seventh inning. With two outs in the inning, Knudson recorded a two-run homer to right field. After junior Cayte Billman
entered the game at pitcher for the Rams, Aztec sophomore Kasey Mytinger stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a grand slam to left center to capture a 12-10 lead heading into the final frame.
Strickland returned to the game to pitch following the Mytinger homer and retired the Aztecs to send the game to the bottom of the seventh where she delivered for the Rams with a two-run homer to center field to score Cusick who led off the inning with a double and tie the game.
After holding SDSU scoreless in the top of the eighth inning, Leigh belted a solo home run to give the Rams the 13-12 victory.
Strickland picked up the victory for the Rams, pitching 2.1 innings and allowing three runs on six hits. Freshman Rebecca Penland pitched 5.2 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits, while issuing three balls and striking out two. Junior Cayte Billman allowed three runs on two hits and walked one batter but was unable to record an out in the game.
In the second game, it was once again Stacey Leigh, along with freshman Allison Majam and junior Julia Kloppe who provided the Rams' offensive spark.
The Rams scored all six runs on three homer runs with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. After Strickland was intentionally walked, Majam made the Aztecs pay with a three-run home run, her fourth of the season, followed by Leigh, who went back-to-back with a solo home run. Following a double by Munoz, Kloppe notched her fourth home run of the season to give the Rams a 6-0 lead.
The Aztecs scored two runs in the fifth inning and added one more in the seventh, before the game was ended in the sixth inning, with the Rams ahead 6-3, to allow San Diego State to make its flight to Albuquerque for scheduled games against the Lobos on Saturday and Sunday.
Leigh finished game two, 3-for-4 from the plate with one RBI and one runs cored. Cusick was 2-for-3 in the game with one run scored and Kloppe finished 1-for-3 with one run and two RBI.
Kim Klabough picked up the victory for the Rams, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out three batters in 5.2 innings.
The Rams will return to the field on Saturday afternoon for one game against the UNLV Rebels. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Ram Field. Colorado State will conclude play this weekend with one game against the Rebels on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m.