Colorado State (23-17, 8-10 MW) at Nevada (23-19, 8-7 MW)
Reno, Nev. | Hixson Park | April 28-30
Friday, April 28 | 5 p.m. MT/4 p.m. PT | Live Stats
Saturday, April 29 | 2 p.m. MT/1 p.m. PT | Live Stats
Sunday, April 30 | 12 p.m. MT/11 a.m. PT | Live Stats
The Colorado State Rams are visiting Nevada for their final road series in Mountain West play, beginning with a 5 p.m. MT tilt on Friday in Reno.
CSU currently holds the fifth-best league winning percentage in the Mountain West, and is one of only two teams (Boise State) to have played 18 league games to this point.
Sophomore pitcher Bridgette Hutton earned MW Pitcher of the Week honors for the first time in her collegiate career on Tuesday, following a pair of winning, complete game performances last week. Hutton shutout UNLV on Sunday, and posted a personal-best eight strikeouts at Northern Colorado on April 18.
Five of CSU’s last six wins have been shutouts, and the team has a combined 0.17 ERA over those victories. The Rams have recorded 10 shutouts this season (44 percent of their wins). Comparatively, the Rams had three shutout victories in 2016.
The Rams have only three weekends remaining in their regular season. CSU has a winning record in all three months of the season to this point.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
NEVADA (23-19, 8-7 MW) - Nevada is currently 8-7 in league play, good for fourth in the Mountain West. Nevada has won its last three league series, taking 2-of-3 against UNLV, New Mexico and Fresno State (UNM and FS on the road). Most recently, Nevada went 1-2 in a three-game set at Big 12 foe Kansas.
Nevada is hitting .283 as a team, but does have five starters hitting above .300 on the year. Erika Hansen has nine homers and a MW-best 47 RBI to pace the team. The Wolf Pack also has the league’s worst ERA at 4.65. McKenna Isenberg has made the most starts in the circle, holding a 14-10 record with a 4.12 ERA and 149 strikeouts.
CSU and Nevada were scheduled to play in Fort Collins in the second-to-last weekend of the MW slate last year, but the entire three-game series was cancelled due to weather.
LAST TIME OUT - RAMS DROP 2-OF-3 TO UNLV
CSU went 1-2 against UNLV at Ram Field this past weekend, dropping the first two games of the series before bouncing back to take the final game, 5-0. Bridgette Hutton notched a complete game shutout for the Rams, allowing only three hits. Hannah McCorkhill drove in two runs offensively, as CSU scored all five runs across the fourth and fifth innings. UNLV jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first game of the weekend, but the Rams rallied to cut the lead to just one. Ultimately, CSU could not complete the comeback, falling 7-6. It was CSU that shot out to a 4-0 lead quickly in game two, but the Rebels successfully rallied to take the win, 7-4.
RAMS IN MW PLAY
CSU is 8-10 overall in MW play, owning 2-1 series wins over San Diego State and San Jose State this season. Unsurprisingly, three-time all-conference shortstop Haley Hutton has been a standout in league action, toting a .403/.486/.500 slash line with 25 hits and 26 runs in 18 games. Amber Nelson and Hannah McCorkhill have each registered three home runs, and Lauren Buchanan boasts a team-leading 16 RBI. CSU has a team ERA of 3.85, led by Bridgette Hutton (3.09) and Larisa Petakoff (3.34). Kaylynn Pierce has the most wins, however, owning a 4-2 league record.
HUTTON SETS RUNS RECORD, CONTRIBUTES TO WINS
Senior shortstop Haley Hutton set the all-time runs scored record at CSU over the Rams’ series against San Diego State in late March, and now has 185 for her career. What’s more, when Hutton scores, CSU is typically successful. The Rams hold an 88-44 (.667) record over her career when she’s scored at least once, and a 35-10 mark when Hutton has crossed home plate at least twice.
PETAKOFF’S PITCHING PROWESS
Redshirt junior Larisa Petakoff has had a great season, currently holding the team’s best ERA at 2.18 across 74.0 innings pitched. Her ERA also ranks second in the MW, and would be the best for a CSU pitcher since Jessica Strickland posted a 2.04 mark in 2005.
EARLY SCORE GETS THE WIN
The Rams have outscored their opponents 47-23 in first innings this season, and the production has led to wins. CSU holds a 16-6 record when they score any amount of runs in the first inning this season.
GREEN AND GOLD GOING YARD
CSU has hit 28 home runs in 40 games this season. Amber Nelson leads the team with 10 long balls, and Hannah McCorkhill is second with eight. Lauren Buchanan has added four of her own including a grand slam in her first plate appearance of the season against Maryland on Feb. 10. Nelson’s 10 dingers already exceeds the top total by any CSU player from a year ago (8). It took CSU six games to get its first round-tripper last year, whereas the Rams had three in their first game of 2017. Even pitchers have gotten in on the long-ball action, with Bridgette Hutton (3) and Kaylynn Pierce (1) combining for four.
PUTTING ZEROES ON THE BOARD
The Rams won nine of 10 games between Feb. 17-March 8. They also had a stretch of five shutout victories in a six-win period for the first time since 2006. Four of CSU’s five wins at its Colorado State Classic I were in shutout fashion, leading to a minimal 1.09 team ERA. Pierce, Petakoff and Bridgette Hutton each had at least one shutout at the Colorado State Classic I.
GAMBOA HEATING UP AT THE HOT CORNER
Freshman Corina Gamboa has established herself as a threat at third base. Gamboa posted 8 RBI in her first nine MW games, with three doubles. The Chino, Calif., native had 4 RBI during a 3-for-4 outing against San Diego State on March 26, leading the Rams to the series-clinching victory.
INCREDIBLE CONSISTENCY FROM HUTTON
Senior shortstop Haley Hutton has made getting on base a habit during her career, holding an on base percentage of .502 in 191 games in a CSU uniform. She has a .487 mark in the category in 2017. The Colorado-born product has safely reached base at least once in 177 of her 191 career games, equaling 93 percent of her appearances. She has reached base in 38-of-40 games (95 percent) this season.
MCCORKHILL SHOWCASING POWER
Junior Hannah McCorkhill has started every game at first base for the Rams in 2017, and has shown significant pop at the plate. McCorkhill entered her third season with three career homers, and she has already more than tripled her career total with eight this season. The 5-10 righty also ranks second on the team in RBI (32) and slugging (.587).
PITCHERS DOMINATE IN LAS VEGAS
CSU’s pitching staff was stellar at the DeMarini Desert Classic (Feb. 17-19), combining for a lowly 1.30 team ERA. The trio of Kaylynn Pierce, Larisa Petakoff and Bridgette Hutton allowed only five earned runs over 27 innings pitched. Opposing batters only hit .160 against the group and drew only five walks. Pierce was particularly effective in her start against Weber State, throwing a complete game, two-hit shutout.
HUTTON LEAVING A LEGACY
Senior Haley Hutton, a three-time All-MW honoree and shortstop extraordinaire, has already left her mark on the CSU record books. She is currently the all-time career batting average leader (.392), and holds two of the top five single-season marks in school history, including her .411 average in 2016, which ranks fourth. She also set the career bases on balls record last season, and now has 115 in her career, making her the first player in program history with 100-plus walks. Hutton broke the career runs scored record on March 26 vs. SDSU, and now has 185 for her career. Hutton is now fourth in steals (44). She ranks fourth in total hits (241), and needs just 11 to tie the all-time record currently held by Sarah Fredstrom, who had 252 between 1995-98.
SENIORS LEADERS IN THE MIDDLE
CSU’s two seniors will hope to lead the team from their middle infield positions. Haley Hutton (shortstop) and Taryn Arcarese (second base), both Colorado natives, will give the Rams one of the best middle infield duos in the conference. The pair combined for 48 RBI and 100 hits last season, and both ranked in the top 10 in the MW in defensive assists. “They have been crucial to us for three years,” head coach Jen Fisher said about the duo. “They are crucial to us in the way they play, but they are so much more to us than their arm or their range. They are competitors and they want to win. It is so neat to see them work together and be great friends like they are. They have incredible instincts and competitiveness, and they are coachable. Their attitudes are great. As good of players as they are they are even better people. It is exciting to be going into this season with those two.”
CSU will return home for the final two weekends of the season, including the Ram Classic on May 6-7 against Texas Tech and South Dakota. The Rams will close their 2017 regular season with a series against Fresno State at Ram Field, May 11-13.
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