Softball preview: Rams return home to host Nevada

Winners of nine of its last 10 games, including seven straight at home, the Colorado State softball team returns to Ram Field this weekend for a three-game series vs. Nevada, beginning Thursday.

Winners of nine of its last 10 games, including seven straight at home, the Colorado State softball team returns to Ram Field this weekend for a three-game series vs. Nevada, beginning Thursday.

April 16, 2014

Weekly Release (PDF)

Nevada at Colorado State | Thursday, April 17 | 4 p.m. MT | Live Stats
Nevada at Colorado State | Friday, April 18 | 4 p.m. MT | Live Stats
Nevada at Colorado State | Saturday, April 19 | 12 p.m. MT | Live Stats

SIZING UP NEVADA

The Nevada Wolf Pack enters its series against the Rams with a 21-19 overall mark, including 3-9 in Mountain West play. Since sweeping New Mexico in late March, the Wolf Pack has lost six straight games, being swept at San Diego State and at home vs. Boise State. Nevada is 0-7 on the season in true road games.

Senior infielder Erin Jones leads the Wolf Pack on offense, hitting .427 with 38 hits and 28 RBI – both team highs. Sophomore Amanda Weis has seven home runs and is slugging .643, while five batters are hitting above .300. In the circle, Nevada has three pitchers with at least 18 appearances. Megan Dortch has a team-high nine wins, while McKenna Isenberg (7-3) leads the team with a 2.85 ERA.

Despite the Wolf Pack’s 3-9 conference record, it is one of the most productive offensive teams, leading the league in runs scored and RBI, and ranking in the top three in batting, slugging and on-base percentage. On defense, Nevada ranks fourth in ERA but last in fielding percentage.

CSU leads the all-time series, 11-6. The last time the Rams and Wolf Pack met on the diamond, however, Nevada earned two victories in the three-game set, posting extra-inning wins after the Rams shut out the Wolf Pack, 10-0, in the series opener.

LOOKING BACK AT UNLV
Riding a seven-game winning streak – all at home – CSU traveled to Las Vegas, Nev., last week, looking to carry over the momentum. The Rams won the series opener to extend their winning streak to eight, and took the rubber game on Sunday to earn a series win.

  • Game 1: CSU scored five times in the first inning and held off a late UNLV rally to win, 7-5. Sophomore Holly Reinke earned the win, pitching a complete game and striking out four. Senior Alysa Greckel hit her first home run of the season – a two-run shot – and Chelsea Biglow went 2-for-4.
  • Game 2: Leading by seven in the fifth inning, 12-5, UNLV scored seven unanswered runs to tie the game, and won it three innings later, 13-12, with a walk-off in the 10th inning. Chelsea O’Connor had four RBI – including a three-run home run – and freshman Haley Hutton scored three times in the loss.
  • Game 3: The Rams scored nine times in the first three innings en route to a 10-4 victory to win the series. In the win, CSU reached base 22 times, recording a season-high 12 walks. Chelsea O’Connor was again great offensively, totaling three RBI. Ashlie Ortega and Danielle Wikre had two apiece, and Kendal Butterfield stole home. Holly Reinke picked up her second win of the weekend, tossing all seven frames.

 

 

STILL SIZZLING
The Rams began the season with four victories, and after a month of play, sat at 15-5, the team’s best mark in 25 years. Following a four-game slide, they got back on track, and have since won nine of their last 10 games.

With a 24-10 overall mark, the Rams have reached 24 victories faster than any season in the last decade. In 2004, CSU also started the year at 24-10 before finishing 40-14 and winning the Mountain West regular-season title.

MAGIC NUMBER: 1
With four weeks still remaining in the season, the Rams are just one win away from matching last year’s win total. What’s more, with one win this week, CSU can guarantee a winning record for the third straight season.

After going 8-43 in Head Coach Jen Fisher’s first season at the helm of the Rams, CSU had a turnaround season in 2012 with a 21-win improvement (29-22). CSU went 25-24 in 2013, finishing tied for second in the Mountain West for the second consecutive year.

DANGEROUS AT HOME
CSU returns to Ram Field for its next six games, facing Nevada (Thursday-Saturday) and New Mexico (April 22-23). The Rams are riding a seven-game winning streak at home, and on the season stand at 9-2.

Similarly, however, the league is proving to be tough at home as a whole. Of the nine teams, eight have winning records on their home turf, making CSU’s series win at UNLV last week even bigger.

MOVING UP THE RANKS
Both individually and as a team, CSU ranks among the best in the Mountain West in several statistical categories, and is even moving up the charts nationally. On offense, CSU leads the league in runs scored per game, slugging and on-base percentage, and is second in batting average. The Rams rank third in the MW in ERA and opposing batting average, and second in fielding percentage.

Nationally, CSU’s 6.56 runs-per-game average ranks 13th. They rank fifth in the NCAA with 1.71 doubles per game. Individually, several Rams are among the best in the nation, including senior Chelsea O’Connor (1.44 RBI per game; third) and freshman Haley Hutton (1.15 runs per game; 12th). For a complete list, see Page 3 of the PDF.

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