May 9, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Colorado State softball team opened up a 3-0 lead over host New Mexico, and held on for the 3-2 road victory over the Lobos in Game 1 of the final series of the 2013 regular season.
The win brings the Rams’ overall record to 23-24, while keeping alive the team’s hopes of sharing the Mountain West regular-season championship, heading into the weekend’s action with a 9-7 league record.
The Rams and the Lobos remained in a scoreless tie until the top of the third when junior shortstop Ashlie Ortega scored on a Chelsea Biglow double through the left side of the infield. Danielle Wikre would then bring Biglow home on a double of her own, down the left field line, to give the CSU a 2-0 advantage. Biglow and Ortega each went 2-for-3 at the plate in the contest.
"(Chelsea) has really come on strong in this conference season," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "She's a hard worker and that work ethic has been there, along with the positive attitude. It's fun to see things falling into place for her. She's doing a great job and really leading our offense."
In the top of the fifth, the Rams pushed their lead to 3-0 when Emily Pohl’s two-out single brought Biglow home, following the junior third baseman’s leadoff double.
Senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy (18-12) started for the Rams, pitching 5.2 innings before being relieved by sophomore hurler Molly Randle.
Biglow’s second run would prove crucial as the Lobos fought back in the bottom of the seventh to pull within one score on a two-run homer from freshman Naomi Tellez against Randle. Randle gathered herself to strikeout senior Cassandra Kalapsa to secure the 3-2 victory.
"Kacie did really well," Fisher continued. "She was throwing a shutout and she looked solid. She had a little bit of a muscle pulled there in the sixth so that's why we brought Molly in. She'll rest up and hopefully go for a second game on Saturday. She was throwing well and she could have closed out, but we didn’t want to take any risks."
With her 18th victory of the season, McCarthy moved into a tie for fifth in the Rams’ record book for victories in a single season, matching Lisa Mize’s 1992 campaign.
Randle earned the save for the Rams, her second of the season, giving up two runs on two hits and striking out a pair of batters in 1.1 innings of work.
"Molly did a great job, she's done really well these past three weeks when coming in and finishing off a game,” added Fisher. “She's very level-headed and even keel. Even though she gave up a home run in the seventh, she came back and went right back at the next kid and got her out. I like what we see out of Molly late in her sophomore year, she's been very mentally tough and consistent, which can only lead to good things."
The Rams will continue play tomorrow for their second game against the Lobos at 6 p.m. MT. Gametracker live scoring is available at CSURams.com, and streaming video (via subscription) can be found at GoLobos.com.