April 14, 2013
RENO, Nev. – Despite a strong defensive effort, the Colorado State softball team suffered its second straight loss on Sunday afternoon, falling at Nevada, 5-4, in a 12-inning showdown at the Wolf Pack’s Hixson Park.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 18-19 overall (4-2 MW) and now sit in a virtual tie with Fresno State (25-18, 6-3 MW) for second place in the Mountain West standings, a half-game behind league leading San Diego State (26-14, 5-1 MW).
The teams battled to a scoreless tie through three innings before the Rams took the lead with a three-run fourth inning. Kendal Butterfield knocked in the Rams’ first run, singling to left field to score Chelsea Biglow from third base. Cassy Mosser also scored on the play, thanks to a throwing error from the Pack second baseman Karley Hopkins. Shae Rodriguez drove in the Rams’ third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field that brought in Ashlie Ortega.
Freshman pitcher, Holly Reinke, started the game for the Rams, pitching 4.2 innings before being relieved by senior Kacie McCarthy in the bottom of the fifth, during a Nevada rally that gave the Pack a 4-3 lead.
"I think that the defense was strong," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "In the fifth inning, they had four runs and there was a close play at second that could have gone either way. So that was frustrating, but I was proud of the team for keeping their heads up and not letting things get outside their control."
The score remained 4-3 until the top of the seventh inning when Danielle Wikre
doubled and scored on a throwing error by Nevada catcher Ashley Butera.
"We're battling and going toe-to-toe," Fisher said. "I feel like we did well, but we couldn't get a key hit when we needed one."
The game headed into extra innings but neither team was able to take an advantage until the bottom of the 12th when the Wolf Pack right field Megan Fincher hit a two-out solo home run down the left field line to end the game.
"They were fighting," Fisher continued. "I've never had a team that worked this hard and cared this much. I feel bad for them because we’ve lost some tight games, but they're pulling each other and staying positive.
“I think we have to continue to take it as experience and they are doing that. The tighter the game, the more they're getting used to playing under pressure. They're breathing and staying a little bit looser each time. We as coaches tried to loosen them up more today because they care so much."
McCarthy took the loss after pitching seven innings and allowing eight hits, one run, three walks, while striking out four.
Next up, the Rams play their final non-conference game of the regular-season, traveling to nearby Greeley, Colo., for a matchup against in-state rival Northern Colorado on Wednesday night. First pitch between the Rams and the Bears is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT at UNC’s Butler-Hancock Softball Field.
The Rams then play host to Fresno State next weekend in a pivotal Mountain West showdown. The Rams and Bulldogs play one game each, Friday-Sunday at Ram Field.