April 27, 2014
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Despite taking an early lead, the Colorado State softball team fell to the San Diego State Aztecs, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon. The loss drops the Rams (30-13, 11-7 MW) into a second-place tie with San Diego State and Boise State, one game back from first with two weeks to play.
“Our kids are working really hard and will continue to be extremely tough,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “I was proud of them for coming back after a rushed start Friday night. We came back really hard and we were right in the game. However, their pitching really helped them and we couldn’t put many runs on the board.”
The Rams jumped on the Aztecs (34-15, 11-7 MW) early, scoring two first-inning runs. With one on and one out, senior outfielder Chelsea O'Connor homered to left field. The home run was O'Connor's 10th of the season, a team best.
CSU led for the majority of the game with Holly Reinke (18-7) in the circle. The sophomore threw three scoreless innings before the Aztecs were able to get on the board in the fourth on a solo home run by Jaylene Ignacio. San Diego State scored again in the fifth, tying the game on a bases loaded walk, and twice in the sixth.
Reinke allowed three earned runs on seven hits over five-plus innings before freshman Larisa Petakoff took over pitching duties in the bottom of the sixth.
“I think Holly had a gutsy performance since we rolled her out there again,” Fisher said of Reinke, who started all three games this weekend including Saturday's complete-game shutout. “She did a really good job holding them scoreless for three innings and stayed tough even after giving up the home run in the fourth. She didn’t have quite enough gas to finish it off, though. It was tough.”
The Aztecs also had opportunities to score in the second and fifth, but Reinke and the Rams' defense got out of bases-loaded jams both innings.
In the sixth, however, San Diego State took advantage of several CSU miscues, including a walk, passed ball, illegal pitch and two throwing errors.
Offensively, freshman second baseman Haley Hutton went 4-for-4 on the day. Senior Alysa Greckel and O'Connor also had hits for CSU.
The Rams remain in the hunt for their first Mountain West title since 2004, facing first-place Fresno State this coming weekend in Fresno, Calif. The Bulldogs sit one game ahead of CSU entering the series.
“All year we’ve been fighting and battling, and it doesn’t change the fact that we need to go to Fresno and take two of the three games," Fisher said. "That's the nature of the game. It’s coming down to the last two weekends, and we’re in a position to take the wins from Fresno State. If a team is tied or ahead of you, you can play them and make up ground. It’s a good opportunity, and we’re playing our best ball right now. We continue to improve so it’s a good time for us.”
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