Softball recap: Rams sweep Lobos, finish second in MW
May 11, 2012
By Nic Hallisey
The win was CSU’s seventh in a row, and with it, the team upped its conference record to 8-4. The finish is tied with Boise State for second in the Mountain West. The Rams defeated the Broncos twice out of three tries this spring to earn the tiebreaker and take second place in the league. It is the highest conference finish since 2004, the last time the Rams earned a winning conference record.
“We’re really excited to have locked up second place,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “It’s a big turnaround for us, and it’s a credit to the buy-in of our student-athletes, and how far we came from last year.”
The Rams finished with just eight overall wins a year ago.
Prior to the start of the game, the team honored seniors Kelli Eubanks and Lyssa Roberts. The upperclassmen did not disappoint, as Roberts went 3-for-3 with three runs and an RBI at the plate and Eubanks earned the win.
“We felt like Kelli matched up well with them,” Fisher said. “I was really happy for her, because she battled and pitched well. She had a little rough spot in the second inning, but she settled in through that and did a tremendous job. For her to get that win, it’s really important for us. Her heart and mind have wanted to be that competitive for the past two years, so I’m happy she can go out on that note.”
Eubanks, who ranks second in CSU history in strikeouts, pitched five innings, striking out five and surrendering five runs on eight hits. She picked up her third win of the seaon and 38th of her career. She has been limited over the past two seasons because of injuries.
Kacie McCarthy, winner of both games Thursday, pitched the final two innings, allowing just two walks.
The Rams took the lead early, scoring twice in the first inning after Ashlie Ortega led off with a single to left field and Roberts hit an RBI double down the right-field line. Four batters later, Alysa Greckel hit an infield single to score Roberts.
New Mexico would score one run in each of the next three innings, but holding a 4-3 lead, the Rams blew the game open with a five-run fourth inning. At one point, six consecutive batters reached base for CSU, which set up a bases-clearing triple for Emily Pohl, scoring Ortega, Roberts and Shae Rodriguez. Pohl then scored on Chelsea Biglow’s single to right.
As a team, CSU collected 14 hits, including at least one from eight different players. Ortega, Roberts and Biglow each had three knocks.
“You really saw our team come together against a very solid team,” Fisher said. “Our bats were going all weekend, and I’m really proud of the defense and pitching against a very good offensive team.”
The Rams, who more than tripled their win total from a year ago, will look to build off their success in the 2013 season.
“I think we started to show what we’re capable of doing,” Fisher said. “It’s good to get CSU softball closer to where we expect to be, so I think all of us are really excited.”