May 11, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Colorado State softball team concluded its series sweep of New Mexico on Saturday afternoon, coming back for a 10-5 win to secure a winning season and tie for second place in the final Mountain West standings.
After surrendering one run to the Lobos in each of the first two innings, the Rams struck back in the top of the third, scoring four runs to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Ashlie Ortega led off the inning with a double to center field and was joined on the bases by Danielle Wikre who drew a two-out walk. Emily Pohl stepped up to the plate, hitting a single to left field that would plate Ortega and advance Wikre. Pohl was then replaced on the bases by freshman Michaela Good before Shae Rodriguez hit the first of her two home runs on the day, a three-run shot to right center.
"We need that depth," Head Coach Jen Fisher said. "It is important to get everyone firing on all cylinders at the same time because offense seems to be so contagious. It was neat to see a lot of our big sticks come alive at the same time. It's what we’re going to be striving for from this year into next."
In the bottom of the third, New Mexico would score one run, pulling within one run, 4-3. But the Rams added six runs in an offensive explosion in the top of the fourth to put the game out of reach.
After a Cassy Mosser double and a Kendal Butterfield bunt single to lead off the inning, Ortega stepped to the plate an connected on a three-run home run of her own to center field. Wikre followed with the Rams’ second home run of the inning, a solo shot with two outs that pushed the Rams lead to 8-3.
Pohl kept the inning alive for the Rams, reaching on an error, before Rodriguez notched her second home run of the game to give the Rams a 10-3 cushion.
The Lobos would attempt to rally in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a pair of runs in the frame, but CSU held UNM scoreless in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to secure the victory, 10-5.
The Rams tallied 12 hits at the plate with Rodriguez going 4-of-4 and Ortega 2-of-3. Rodriguez brought in five of the ten runs while Ortega brought in three runs.
Freshman pitcher Holly Reinke (6-6) earned the win in a complete game, allowing seven hits, five runs, and striking out seven.
"(Holly) really got in the groove," Fisher said. "In the fifth, sixth, and seventh, she was close to three-up and three-down, which was good to see. They did have seven hits and a home run, but everything else was singles. Even when they were hitting her, it didn't feel like they were driving the ball. She got in her zone, was really hammering the outside corner, and proved to the umpire that she could put it there."
The Rams end the regular season with a 25-24 overall record, and an 11-7 mark in the Mountain West, to tie for second with Fresno State, the second straight year that CSU has finished tied for second in the league title race.
"We're really excited to have finished another season in second," Fisher said. "We're thrilled with that because of the work ethic with this team, but at the same time we're ready to get right back to work because we were one game away from first. The conference is growing; we're adding two more teams next year. We like the direction that we're going with these ladies."