May 5, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - After recording a 3-0 victory on Saturday afternoon to open a key Mountain West series with San Diego State Aztecs, the Colorado State softball team dropped both games of a Sunday double header to fall two games behind the league-leading Aztecs heading into the final weekend of the season.
The Rams dropped the first game of the twin bill by a final of 12-4 in six innings, before being ousted 4-0 in the series finale at Ram Field. With the losses, the Rams fall to 22-24 overall and 8-5 in the MW, while SDSU improves to 32-18 (10-5 MW).
The Rams close out the regular season next weekend with a three-game series at last-place New Mexico.
"I think we've felt good all year that we've controlled our destiny and lost eleven games by a run," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "What I said to the team is that we move forward from here. I think what we've got to take away from it is that killer instinct, putting it all together with defense and offense. I'd like to our team close the deal like their team did today, to come out after it."
Game 1: CSU: 4, SDSU 12
The Rams found themselves in an early hole, as the Aztecs started off strong, scoring four runs on a pair of home runs - two of the five long balls hit by the Aztecs in the game - in the top of the first inning against Rams' senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy. SDSU added two more runs in the third inning on another home run, to push the lead to 6-0 and chase McCarthy, who was relieved by sophomore hurler Molly Randle.
"I think Kacie did a really nice job, we knew that we were going to need her at some point so we elected to start her in game one and that's definitely on us," Fisher added. "Molly came in and handled things well and we're starting to see good things from her. Going up against a team like that and do her job with as many innings as she did, she did a good job."
The Rams were able to get on the board in the bottom of the third when junior Ashlie Ortega singled up the middle with two outs, before sophomore Shae Rodriguez homered to left field.
The Aztecs pulled away in the next two frames, with a solo home run in the fourth and a two-run shot in the fifth to stake to a 9-2 lead.
The Rams would add two runs as well in the bottom of the fifth when freshman Michaela Good recorded a one-out, pinch-hit double up the middle before advancing to third as Ortega reached on a throwing error. Shae Rodriguez added her third and fourth RBIs of the game just moments later with a two-RBI single up the middle to pull the Rams to within 9-4.
Going into the sixth, San Diego State would face senior pitcher Kailey Snyder, who came on in relief of Randle. The change of pace in the circle was not enough to slow down SDSU's bats, as the Aztecs plated three more runs to push the lead to 8-4.
McCarthy would be tagged with the loss after two innings of work, allowing six runs on six hits. Randle pitched three innings, allowing three runs on four hits and Snyder closed out the game giving up the final three runs, while allowing just one hit in the sixth inning.
Game 2: CSU 0, SDSU 4
In the series finale, the Rams' and Aztecs were locked in a defensive battle behind McCarthy and SDSU ace Rebecca Arbino, but the Aztecs were able to muster four runs on seven hits, while CSU was held to just two hits and only four baserunners in the shutout loss.
The Aztecs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Patrice Jackson came through with a two-out double and advanced to third in a passed ball by CSU's freshman backstop Jaelyn Manzanares before scoring on designated player Lorena Bauer's single to right field.
McCarthy kept San Diego State scoreless for the next three innings, but the Rams were unable to record their first hit until the sixth inning, when the team already trailed 4-0.
"It was huge for me, getting that chance to come back and show that first game was out of the ordinary for us, especially for all of our pitchers," McCarthy said. "They came out hitting and our pitches were paid for, but to come back that second game was motivation for me to go at them and attack."
The Aztecs scored two in the fifth, aided by a passed ball, and added their final run on an RBI-groundout in the sixth inning.
The Rams threatened with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, when Ortega broke up the no hitter and stole second before Rodriguez drew a walk. But the rally was cut short as junior third baseman Chelsea Biglow became Arbino's fourth strikeout victim of the game to end the inning.
Manzanares attempted to spark a rally again in the seventh with a two-out single to third base, but second baseman Cassy Mosser flew out to deep right field to end the contest.
McCarthy pitched a complete game in the losing effort, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits.
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