Softball preview: CSU returns to Ram Field for 3-game series vs. Boise State

CSU and Boise State will play a three-game series at Ram Field this weekend. Admission is free.

CSU and Boise State will play a three-game series at Ram Field this weekend. Admission is free.

March 27, 2014

Weekly Release (PDF)

Colorado State returns to Ram Field Friday for its first conference home series. The Rams and Boise State Broncos will meet for a three-game set, extending through the weekend.

Colorado State vs. Boise State | Friday, March 28 | 4 p.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Colorado State vs. Boise State | Saturday, March 29 | 1 p.m. MT | Live Video | Stats
Colorado State vs. Boise State | Sunday, March 30 | 1 p.m. MT | Live Video | Stats

SIZING UP BOISE STATE
The Broncos sit at 17-13, with a 2-1 mark in conference play. Four players from the Boise State roster have recorded 10-plus RBI, and three have at least 30 hits. Ashley Palmer leads the team with a .380 batting average. She also has six doubles, five home runs, 26 RBI and 18 walks. In the circle, senior pitcher Rebecca Patton holds a 2.72 ERA over 24 appearances. She has two shutouts, 83 strikeouts and a pair of saves.

Boise State was picked just ahead of CSU in the Mountain West preseason poll. The Broncos beat preseason No. 2 Boise State two out of three times last weekend. The Rams lead the all-time series, 4-2.

ALL THREE GAMES STREAMED FOR FREE
For fans attending games this weekend, admission is free. For those not in the area, all three games will be streamed for free through the Mountain West Network.

RECAPPING UTAH STATE
Following a 15-5 start, the Rams stumbled to begin conference play, dropping a three-game set at Utah State. During the first game, the Rams played strong, but fell to the Aggies, 1-0, in extra innings. Sophomore Holly Reinke threw a complete game and struck out a season-high eight batters, but allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth. Senior Chelsea O’Connor went 2-for-3, recording two of CSU’s four hits. During Day 2, the Rams fell, 5-4, despite an attempted rally in the seventh. Sisters Haley and Taylor Hutton contributed with an RBI each, while O’Connor went 2-for-4 with an RBI. During the finale, CSU made big plays, but was not able to lock down Utah State, falling 7-2. Both O’Connor and Jaelyn Manzanares hit solo home runs.

RECAPPING NORTHERN COLORADO  
On Tuesday, Colorado State faced intrastate rival Northern Colorado, for a makeup game which was originally scheduled for March 11. The Rams led early, 5-0, and late, 8-5, but UNC rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh – two unearned – to win, 9-8. For the Rams, Danielle Wikre and Kendal Butterfield homered, while Shae Rodriguez went 3-for-4. CSU used its entire pitching staff, with sophomore Holly Reinke starting and closing the game.

RECORD-BREAKING START
Twenty games into the season, CSU stood at 15-5, the program’s best record through 20 games in 25 years. In 1989, the Rams went 16-4 to start the season before winning their conference. Even with last week’s setback, CSU is on pace for its most wins since 2007 (30-28), and best winning percentage since 2004 (.741).

STAYING STRONG
Every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the Rams’ 0-3 weekend at Utah State, several positives could be found.

CSU recorded season highs in strikeouts (8), putouts (25) and doubles (4). Additionally, despite going 0-3 over the past four games, Holly Reinke recorded a 0.98 ERA, being hindered by a lack of offense and defensive errors.

The Rams, which entered last week ranked second for runs per game and in fielding percentage, are hoping to brush off the past week, and continue their hot start to the season. They still rank high in the conference slugging percentage (.441; fourth) and fielding percentage (.959; fourth), and in the circle. CSU ranks second in the MW in ERA (2.95), third in opposing batting average (.265), and leads the league allowing just 160 hits.

ALL FOR ONE
With a team backing you up, it makes the ups and downs easier. Each member of the CSU softball team has stood out in their own way. As of Saturday, Hayley Hutton had reached base safely 14 times in a row and had an 11 game hitting streak. Designated hitter Danielle Wikre leads the team in two categories. With plenty of experience, the seniors hold top spots among the team. Ashlie Ortega takes first for walks (15) and second for runs scored (15). Chelsea O’Connor has lit up the team, leading in home runs (6) and runs batted in (28). Alysa Greckel has recorded five doubles, placing her in a tie for first and holds her own spot for 179 chances and 173 putouts. Chelsea Biglow holds first with 53 assists.

SEEING ONES
During the final game against Utah State, Chelsea O’Connor recorded stats worthy of Vegas. O’Connor recorded one at bat, one run, one hit, one RBI, was hit by one pitch and earned one walk.

UP NEXT
The Rams continue their home stand and step out of conference play for a week. CSU will look to get revenge over Northern Colorado (Tuesday, April 2), followed by a three-game series against UTEP (April 5-6).


 

 

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