April 26, 2014
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - After falling in the series opener on Friday, Colorado State earned an impressive 1-0 victory over San Diego State on Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Rams' record to 30-12, 11-6 MW.
CSU can finish the day in first place in the Mountain West standings depending on Fresno State's results vs. UNLV. The Bulldogs (26-17, 10-5 MW) and Rebels play a double header Saturday night.
"It's funny how things snowball, because yesterday we didn't have the start that we wanted so things got out of hand quickly," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "Today, we had a better first inning and Holly (Reinke) was getting ahead. Plus, our defense was making incredible plays."
In a rematch of two of the conference's top pitchers, this time CSU's Holly Reinke got the best of SDSU's Danielle O'Toole.
On Friday, O'Toole - who leads the Mountain West in wins and ERA - was brilliant, limiting the Rams to two runs over seven innings.
Both were great on Saturday, combining for just one run allowed over 13 innings. Reinke, though, was just a little bit better.
The CSU sophomore from Littleton, Colo., threw a complete game shutout, allowing just six SDSU (33-15, 10-7 MW) batters to reach base and striking out four. Reinke ranks second in the league in ERA and third in wins (18-6). It was her fourth shutout of the season.
"Holly did a good job keeping herself out of trouble, keeping the traffic off of the bases, working ahead and being able to make her pitches," Fisher added.
The victory didn't come without drama, though.
After CSU took the lead with the game's first run in the top of the sixth, the Aztecs' first two batters reached base in the bottom of the seventh inning. They moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but with the tying run at third and the winning run at second, Reinke got Dominique Dinner to ground out to second baseman Haley Hutton.
Hutton quickly ran to first before firing home. Catcher Jaelyn Manzanares applied the tag to Sydnee Cable, completing the double play and game.
"Haley Hutton was doing her thing," Fisher said. "She ranged over, made an incredible catch, sprinted in and stepped on first before the girl (Dinner) could get there. The girl on third (Cable) was so confused on whether she should go or stay, and since Haley kept it in the infield, there were now two girls on third, forcing the one to run. Haley threw it to Jaelyn, and she got it to make the play. It was awesome!"
Kendal Butterfield, Alysa Greckel and Hutton had two hits apiece for the Rams, while Manzanares had one.
After scattering four hits through the first five innings, CSU was finally able to crack O'Toole in the sixth inning.
With two outs, Greckel tripled to right-center. Manzanares followed with an infield single to shortstop, bringing in the game's only run.
"Greckel's hit was really big, and Jaelyn followed it up, which is exactly what we need against a team like San Diego State," Fisher said. "We need to string a couple of things together."
CSU had another scoring chance in the seventh, having runners on second and third with one out. Almost identical to the double play which ended the game, though, San Diego State was able to turn two on a 5-3-5-2 double play to end the threat.
The Aztecs were limited to five hits on the day, and didn't have a runner reach third base until the final moments of the game.
The series finale will be Sunday at 2 p.m. MT. A win would give the Rams their sixth straight series victory. The game can be streamed for free through the Mountain West Network.
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