May 2, 2014
FRESNO, Calif. – The Colorado State softball team held a 1-0 lead throughout most of the game Friday, but was unable to keep hold of it, falling to Fresno State, 5-1.
Just five outs away from a series-opening win and a tie for first place in the Mountain West standings, Fresno State (29-18, 13-6 MW) overcame its one-run deficit with five runs in the sixth inning.
The Rams (30-14, 11-8 MW) scored their only run of the night in the top of the third – doing so without recording a hit. Outfielder Kendal Butterfield and second baseman Haley Hutton walked, putting two runners on for center fielder Chelsea O’Connor. The senior reached on a dropped third strike, allowing Butterfield to score.
Pitcher Holly Reinke and the Rams’ defense were riding smoothly until the sixth inning. A pair of fielding errors loaded the bases for the Bulldogs with one out, bringing up sophomore Whitney Smith, who hit a two-run single to right field. Three more Bulldogs would reach base in the inning, totaling five runs scored – all unearned.
“We had a couple of errors that were uncharacteristic of Chelsea Biglow and Haley Hutton,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “They were aggressive errors, because we were going for a lead runner and a double play. We’re in a tight game, and we have to play perfect defense, so we end up being a bit too aggressive. That’s how it happens.”
Reinke took the loss, but pitched wonderfully. The sophomore held the Bulldogs scoreless through five frames, and didn’t allow an earned run on the night.
“She pitched a beautiful game and played solid defense,” Fisher said. “She had a comebacker in that sixth inning where the girl ran halfway down, so Holly chased her and got the tag. The fact that she could stay composed and play that great of defense says a lot about her. She’s the type who is so unselfish, because even though the defense made a couple of errors behind her, she stayed composed and she never gets down or upset.”
CSU's conference-leading offense was limited to just two hits – one by junior Shae Rodriguez and the other by Hutton. Fresno State sophomore Jill Compton earned the win, improving to 19-8 on the year. Compton is the reigning MW Pitcher of the Week.
CSU will have two more chances against Fresno State, facing the Bulldogs again Saturday at 3 p.m. MT, and Sunday at 2 p.m. The Rams will need to win both to catch Fresno State in the standings, now sitting two games back. Both games can be streamed for free through the Mountain West Network.
“We can come back and win tomorrow,” Fisher said. “We have to try to not dwell on this and just get back after it. We seem to bounce back pretty well after we see a pitcher. Compton is a solid pitcher, and usually we can adjust on the second day. We’ll watch the film and make the adjustments.”
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