April 14, 2012
By Meredith Danner
Athletic Media Relations
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Rams began their 2012 conference schedule a day late after Friday’s game against the San Diego State Aztecs was postponed due to rain, but on Saturday they lost both decisions in a doubleheader by one run each. CSU nearly staged a comeback in the first game, but lost, 4-3, and built an early lead in the nightcap before the Aztecs came back to pick up a 6-5 win over the Rams.
With the two losses, CSU’s overall record dipped back below .500 to 19-20, snapping a three-game winning streak. The Rams are also now 0-2 in the Mountain West after the first day of conference action. San Diego State, meanwhile, improved to 20-19 with the doubleheader sweep.
“I was really happy with the way the team fought,” CSU Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “To put up double-digit hits on this team with such a good pitching staff, I felt really good. Everybody in the lineup was getting it done. They keep fighting, that’s for sure.”
The Rams collected six hits off of SDSU starter Bailey Micetich over the first six innings of the first game, but could not push a run across. In the final frame, however, CSU put three on the board and threatened to come back. The team got things going when senior Lyssa Roberts and sophomore Cassy Mosser singled to begin the inning. Sophomore Kendal Butterfield singled two batters later to load the bases and force a pitching change.
Roberts later came around on a Shae Rodriguez RBI single. Mosser scored next, when sophomore Emily Pohl reached on a fielder’s choice. Butterfield came around to represent the Rams’ third run, but was tagged out at home on the play. Rodriguez then rounded out the inning by scoring on a throwing error by the SDSU catcher, but the last-inning offense was ultimately not enough to complete the rally.
CSU junior Kacie McCarthy pitched her 11th complete game of the year, giving up three earned runs, walking two and striking out one. The losing decision was McCarthy’s first since March 10, when she gave up five runs, two earned, against Ole Miss in a 5-2 loss at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic.
In Game 2, the Rams struck first, this time putting up three runs in the first inning. Butterfield, Mosser and sophomore Chelsea Biglow all singled to knock in a run apiece. Sophomore Alysa Greckel added her 25th run of the season with an RBI double in the third.
The Rams led, 4-2, going into the bottom of the fifth, but the Aztecs responded with a single and a three-run home run off of CSU reliever Kelli Eubanks to take a 6-4 lead that they did not relinquish. Eubanks took the loss, dropping to 1-7 on the season. Freshman Molly Randle made her 11th appearance of the year and seventh start in the circle for CSU and gave up five hits and two runs over 2.1 innings of work.
Pohl singled in the sixth with the bases loaded to bring in Roberts and cut SDSU’s lead to one run, but the Rams left three on base to end the inning and did not collect a hit in the seventh.
“I think we were right in both of those games,” Fisher said. “We made some great plays on defense, but we’ve just got to put all three sides of it together. You can tell that San Diego State is an experienced team with their leadership. They know what they’re trying to do and they know what their goals are, and we’ve got to get our kids playing that way.”
The Rams will look to pick up their first conference win on Sunday as they take on San Diego State to close out the weekend series. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. MT.
“I think we’ve just got to keep after them and string seven innings together of really strong, tough, hard-nosed offense,” Fisher said. “They’re getting there. They’re learning to treat every pitch the same, every at-bat the same and not waste them.”
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