April 18, 2014
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Colorado State softball team kept to its winning ways on Friday, defeating Nevada, 8-3, to earn its third straight series win. The victory, which came during the team's annual Pink Out for breast cancer awareness, is the Rams' ninth straight win at home.
"We're doing the right things, and it's great that we're being rewarded with wins," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "We can't get complacent; we have to keep getting better."
Play was silent on the field for the first three innings as both teams were limited to just two hits apiece. However, in the fourth the Rams (26-10, 7-4 MW) would crack open play with four runs.
Senior third baseman Chelsea Biglow jumpstarted the offense with a double to left. Jaelyn Manzanares and Alysa Greckel followed, each reaching base after being hit by pitches. With the bases loaded and one out, Kendal Butterfield brought in the game's first run. The senior outfielder hit a bloop single to right field, scoring pinch runner Taryn Arcarese from third.
Freshman Haley Hutton just missed a grand slam, singling to score two, and one batter later, Butterfield came in on a Shae Rodriguez sacrifice fly.
"Early on, we hit a couple of hard shots right at them, so I felt like we were going to get to her because we were squaring the ball up well," Fisher said. "Hits started falling in the gaps for us, which was great."
With wheels in motion, CSU would add another run in the fifth, as Ashlie Ortega - who was hit by a pitch - scored on a Greckel single.
The Wolf Pack (21-21, 3-11 MW) cut the Rams' lead to 5-3 in the top of the sixth, scoring on a three-run home run by Amanda Weis, but that's as close as Nevada would get.
The Rams tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to up their lead to 8-3. Hutton and Rodriguez walked and singled, respectively, and advanced with a synchronized stolen base. Wolf Pack catcher Ashley Butera's throw to third sailed into left field, however, allowing both runners to advance another base.
Senior Chelsea O'Connor scored Rodriguez on a single up the middle, and one more would come in after the Rams played small ball with a hit by pitch and two sacrifices.
Junior Molly Randle (5-1) had one of her best outings of the season, tossing a complete game. She held the Wolf Pack scoreless in six of the seven innings and struck out four.
"Molly did really well, and I was very happy for her to stay strong throughout the game," Fisher said. "I thought she worked the zone well, and she did a great job keeping the hitters off balance."
Six Rams drove in runners at the plate, including two by Hutton, who reached base three times. Biglow, Greckel and O'Connor each had two hits, including a double for each player.
In addition to stellar offense, Hutton once again dazzled in the field, teaming up with Ortega and Greckel for two double plays.
"We're playing really good defense," Fisher said. "When Molly gets the groundballs like that it allows for those double plays that are a big-time rally killer. It was big for us."
The Rams will look to complete the sweep of Nevada Saturday at 12 p.m. MT. Admission is free.
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