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Softball game notes: Rams begin 2014 season in Arizona

Senior Chelsea Biglow is one of six seniors on CSU's roster.

Senior Chelsea Biglow is one of six seniors on CSU's roster.

Feb. 5, 2014

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SEASON-OPENING WEEKEND

The Colorado State softball program kicks off its 2014 season on Friday, facing five teams in the Kajikawa Classic, held in Tempe, Ariz.

Game 1: Colorado State vs. Portland State | Friday, Feb. 7 | 5 p.m. MT
Game 2: Colorado State vs. Bradley | Friday, Feb. 7 | 7:30 p.m. MT
Game 3: Colorado State vs. Oregon State | Saturday, Feb. 8 | 7 p.m. MT
Game 4: Colorado State vs. Utah | Sunday, Feb. 9 | 11:30 a.m. MT
Game 5: Colorado State vs. Cal State Northridge | Sunday, Feb. 9 | 2 p.m. MT

  • Portland State posted a 25-31 record in 2013, and returns 12 letterwinners including six starters. The Vikings made their fifth NCAA tournament appearance over the last eight years in 2013, and were picked to finish fourth in the Big Sky Conference preseason poll. CSU is 3-2 all-time vs.  Portland State.
  • Bradley went 23-29 in 2013, and was picked seventh in the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll. The Rams and Braves met twice in last season's Colorado State Classic, splitting the series.
  • Oregon State, out of the Pac-12, notched a 32-24 record in 2013, and returns nine letterwinners. The Beavers appeared in last year's NCAA tournament, going 1-2. CSU is 1-6 all-time vs. Oregon State.
  • Also out of the Pac-12, Utah went 24-30-1 in 2013, and returns 13 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's roster. The Utes were picked tied for eighth in the Pac-12 preseason poll, along with Oregon State. CSU is 43-58 all-time against its former Mountain West foe.
  • Cal State Northridge ended its 2013 season with a 24-29 mark, and were picked to finish seventh in the Big West's preseason poll. CSU is 1-13 in its history vs. the Matadors.

 

 


PLENTY OF PROMISE FOR 2014
With a 25-24 overall record in 2013, including an 11-7 mark in Mountain West play, CSU finished with its second consecutive winning season and tied for second in the conference standings for the second straight year. The Rams are expected to again compete for the conference crown, as they return 12 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad, including the team's best hitter, top scorer, and home run leader. In all, CSU returns 81.1 percent of its runs scored, 94.2 percent of its home runs, 89.2 percent of its RBI total and 85.8 percent of its total bases.

CSU ended the 2013 season on a three-game winning streak, and throughout the year, tallied 10 contests with at least 10 runs scores and eight games shutting out its opponents.

CSU PICKED FOURTH IN MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON POLL
The Rams were picked tied for fourth in the Mountain West preseason coaches' poll, earning 38 points, along with newcomer San Jose State. Two-time defending champion San Diego State earned seven of the nine first-place votes, followed by Fresno State and Boise State.

ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST HONORS
The Green and Gold return two All-Mountain West performers from 2013. Chelsea Biglow started all 49 games for the Rams and tied for the team lead with 28 RBI. Additionally, she ranked second on the team in total bases (71), runs scored (25) and doubles (9), and third in home runs (5), triples (3) and slugging percentage (.504). Ortega started 44 games at shortstop, slugging .647 (third in the MW), scoring 39 runs (fourth), hitting four triples (fourth), holding a .472 on-base percentage (fourth) and drawing 24 walks (fifth).

EASTON FASTPITCH ALL-AMERICAN
In addition to conference honors, Ashlie Ortega earned All-America recognition over the summer, being named to the Easton Fastpitch second team. It was CSU's first All-American since Lauren Cusick, in 2008. All-time, nine players have earned 10 total All-America accolades.

NEW FACES
In addition to the team's veteran returners, the Rams welcome six newcomers, including Haley Hutton - younger sister of Ram Taylor Hutton - and Larisa Petakoff. Hutton won two state championships and was twice named the Colorado 3A Player of the Year. Petakoff helped her team to the CIF-Southern Section state title in 2011, and throughout her four-year career went 67-9 with a 0.70 ERA in the circle.

CHALLENGING SCHEDULE
The Rams have their eye on returning to the postseason for the first time in more than a decade. In order to prepare them, Head Coach Jen Fisher has designed a challenging schedule which includes six teams that competed in last year's NCAA tournament. Included in the mix are two conference opponents - San Diego State and newcomer San José State - in addition to the 2013 NCAA runner-up and preseason No. 1, Tennessee.

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