Following a 2-2 split over the weekend, the Colorado State softball team will face Northern Colorado Tuesday in Greeley, followed by the Fresno State Classic.
March 10, 2014
Weekly Release (PDF) | Tournament Central
INTRASTATE RIVALRY | POSTPONED TO MARCH 25 DUE TO SNOW | GREELEY, COLO.
Following a weekend at home hosting the Colorado State Classic, CSU will travel down the road to Greeley, Colo., to face in-state rival Northern Colorado. The game is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. MT, less than 48 hours after playing in its home tournament.
Northern Colorado has struggled early in the season, holding a 4-21 record on the year. Junior utility player Mikayla Duffy leads the team with five home runs, and holds a .316 batting average with 14 RBI. In the last meeting of the series, CSU shut out UNC, 10-0, but overall, the Bears lead the series 37-27.
FRESNO STATE CLASSIC | MARCH 14-16, 2014 | FRESNO, CALIF.
Game 1: Colorado State vs. Cal Poly | Friday, March 14 | 10 a.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Game 2: Colorado State vs. Pacific | Friday, March 14 | 12:15 p.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Game 3: Colorado State vs. Saint Mary's | Saturday, March 15 | 2:30 p.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Game 4: Colorado State vs. New Mexico State | Saturday, March 15 | 7 p.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Game 5: Colorado State vs. Ohio State | Sunday, March 16 | 10 a.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Following the Rams’ road game at UNC, they will travel to Fresno, Calif., for the Fresno State Classic. CSU will play five games over the weekend, facing each team in the tournament except for Mountain West foe Fresno State.
- Cal Poly arrives to Fresno carrying a 13-9 overall record and a six game win streak. Sierra Hyland holds a 1.91 ERA, recording four shutouts and striking out 104 in 15 appearances on the season. The freshman pitcher threw an impressive game against Fairleigh Dickinson on March 7, allowing just one hit in a complete-game shutout. Cal Poly leads the series, 11-4, but CSU won the most recent meeting, back in 2012.
- Pacific enters the tournament with a 7-11 mark. Senior utility player Taylor Petty leads the team with a .431 batting average, eight RBI, 19 hits, a .471 slugging percentage and 16 walks. The Rams and Tigers last met in 2012, with CSU winning, 6-5. Pacific leads the overall series, 7-2, however.
- Saint Mary’s sits at 11-12 on the season, and has won its four most-recent games. Sarah Lira, a junior right-handed pitcher, leads the team in the circle with a 2.11 ERA and one save. The Rams last faced the Gaels in 2012, winning twice. CSU leads the overall series 6-1-1.
- New Mexico State is off to a 15-10 start. The Rams and Aggies met in last year’s Trop Cox Classic, with the teams splitting. All-time, New Mexico State leads the series, 30-22.
- Ohio State is 9-11 on the season. Junior outfielder Caitlin Conrad leads the team at the plate with a .369 batting average, 13 runs and 12 RBI. The last time the Buckeyes and Rams faced was in 2012, Ohio State winning, 9-8. The Buckeyes lead the overall series, 5-2.
While conference play has yet to begin, one month into the season the Rams sit in second place in the Mountain West standings with a winning percentage of .667. Not only is CSU’s 10-5 mark one of the best in the league, but it is also the program’s best in six seasons. After beginning the year 4-0 – the Rams’ best start since their 1997 WAC-championship team went 6-0 – CSU has stayed hot, marking their best start since the 2008 team won 16 of its first 17 games.
CSU is averaging 5.67 runs per game, compared to 3.87 for its opponents. The Rams are efficient all around, ranking in the top four in the Mountain West in batting average (.289), ERA (3.32) and fielding percentage (.964). CSU is slugging .448 and is hitting .591 with the bases loaded, including two grand slams.
RECAPPING THE COLORADO STATE CLASSIC
Mother Nature again got the best of the Rams on Friday, canceling both of CSU’s games during the opening day of the Colorado State Classic.
However, once the sun shined, the Rams were eager to play. On Saturday, CSU faced Southern Utah first, shutting out the Thunderbirds, 8-0. Freshman Larisa Petakoff earned her first collegiate complete-game shutout, allowing just three base runners. Offensively, CSU had a six-run second inning, with junior Shae Rodriguez reaching base twice. CSU came up short in the nightcap, falling to Dayton, 10-7. Rodriguez once again lit it up at the plate, going 2-for-3 for 3 RBI and a run scored.
The Rams got revenge against Dayton on Sunday, earning a 9-5 victory. The Rams scored six times in the first inning and added another run in the third with a Chelsea O’Connor solo home run. CSU was able to hang on for the victory, with Petakoff again earning the win. In the final game, CSU was shut out by Nebraska Omaha, 4-0. CSU recorded four hits – with freshman Haley Hutton and junior Danielle Wikre each reaching base twice.
GIVING IT UP FOR THE DH
Being the designated hitter puts a lot of offensive pressure on a player. Junior Danielle Wikre, who is nicknamed ‘Stud’ by Head Coach Jen Fisher, has been impressive early on, leading the team in batting average (.465), hits (20), doubles (five), slugging percentage (.791) and on-base percentage (.549). The native of Berthoud, Colo., hit .400 with four RBI in four games in the Colorado State Classic.
After six weeks of tournament play, the Rams will enter league play, facing conference-newcomer Utah State for a three-game set in Logan, Utah (March 21-23). The Aggies were picked to finish last in the Mountain West.
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