Softball preview: 2nd-place Rams battle 1st-place Bulldogs

Winners of 15 of its last 19 games, Colorado State enters its final regular-season road series in second place, with a chance to move up the standings, facing first-place Fresno State.

Winners of 15 of its last 19 games, Colorado State enters its final regular-season road series in second place, with a chance to move up the standings, facing first-place Fresno State.

April 30, 2014

Weekly Release (PDF)

Colorado State at Fresno State | Friday, May 2 | 7 p.m. MT | Video | Stats
Colorado State at Fresno State | Saturday, May 3 | 3 p.m. MT | Video | Stats
Colorado State at Fresno State | Sunday, May 4 | 1 p.m. MT | Video |
Stats

GAUGING FRESNO STATE

The Bulldogs are top dog, sitting in first place in the Mountain West after taking last weekend’s series vs. UNLV. Fresno State is 15-4 at home, and leads the MW with a 12-6 mark (28-18 overall).

Junior outfielder Brenna Moss holds a .356 batting average with team highs in hits (58), doubles (seven) and stolen bases (27). Three players are hitting above .300, and senior infielder Stesha Brazil has a team-most eight home runs and 37 RBI. On the other side of the field, sophomore pitcher Jill Compton holds an 18-8 record with a 2.06 ERA. She is the reigning MW Pitcher of the Week, and has tossed 17 complete games, eight shutouts (13th in NCAA) and 135 strikeouts. On April 23, Compton recorded her second career no-hitter. Sophomore Taylor Langdon has four saves, which ranks ninth in the nation.

All-time, Fresno State has had tremendous success against the Rams, winning 26 of the 28 all-time meetings.

LIVE COVERAGE
All three games this weekend can be streamed live for free through the Mountain West Network.

RECAPPING SAN DIEGO STATE
Entering last weekend in a first-place tie in the conference standings, CSU lost its first series in more than a month, dropping two of three games to San Diego State. The Rams, Aztecs and Boise State Broncos are now in a three-way tie for second-place, one game back from Fresno State.

  • Game 1: The Rams scored an early first-inning run, but couldn’t continue momentum against pitcher Danielle O’Toole, who leads the MW in wins and ERA. The 10-2 loss marked the first time CSU was run-ruled this season. Senior Alysa Greckel went 2-for-3, driving in a run in the fifth inning. Overall, CSU had nine hits, but couldn’t bring them around to score, leaving nine on base. The team’s first-inning run came after senior Chelsea O’Connor tripled to bring in Shae Rodriguez.
  • Game 2: CSU had one of its best defensive games of the season, shutting out San Diego State, 1-0. A rematch between the two aces – O’Toole and CSU’s Holly Reinke – this time, Reinke got the best of her counterpart, tossing her third shutout of the season and limiting the Aztecs to five hits. The Rams scored the game’s first run in the sixth when Greckel tripled and sophomore Jaelyn Manzanares singled to shortstop to plate the run. An inning later, though, the Aztecs had the tying run at third and the winning run at second with two outs. Second baseman Haley Hutton made a great play to save at least one run and turned it into a game-ending double play, running to first base before throwing home to gun down the tying run.
  • Game 3: In the series finale, the Rams again got on the board early, taking a 2-0 lead on an O’Connor home run – her team-best 10th of the season. Reinke pitched effectively, but San Diego State rallied for runs in the fourth and fifth before taking the lead on a couple defensive miscues in the sixth.

MAKING A PUSH FOR FIRST
Despite dropping last weekend’s series at San Diego State, the Rams remain as one of the hottest teams in the Mountain West, winning 11 of their last 15 conference games. With six games remaining – and facing first-place Fresno State this weekend – CSU can still make a strong push for its first conference championship in 11 years.

Here’s a look at the final two series for teams within a game of first place:

Fresno State (12-6) Colorado State, at Nevada
San Diego State (11-7) at San José State, Boise State
Colorado State (11-7) at Fresno State, San José State
Boise State (11-7) New Mexico, at San Diego State

WIN NO. 30
The Rams began the season with four straight 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 15 of their last 19 games.

With a 30-13 overall mark, the Rams have reached 30 victories for the first time since 2007. What’s more, the Rams have done it in the fewest games (43) since 2004. During the 2004 squad’s conference-championship season, it started out the year 30-11 before finishing 40-14.

The 30th victory is also special for Head Coach Jen Fisher, marking the most wins in her four seasons at the helm of the softball program. After going 8-43 during her first year, she had a 21-win improvement the following year – going 29-22 – and a 25-24 mark in 2013.

EARLY START
The Rams rank 21st in the country with 6.26 runs per game, and a large part of that is the team’s ability to score early. CSU has out-scored its opponents 42-16 in the first inning, and is 15-2 when leading after the first frame. Overall, CSU is out-scoring its opponents, 269-167.

Leadoff hitter Haley Hutton is a big part of that. Over the past 15 games, the freshman has reached base during the Rams’ first plate appearance 12 times, scoring on nine occasions. She ranks 20th in the NCAA for runs scored.

SPOTLIGHT ON GRECKEL
Senior Alysa Greckel is playing her best softball as the season winds down. In three games at San Diego State last weekend, the first baseman went 5-for-9, posting a triple and driving in and scoring a run. During conference play, Greckel leads the Rams with a .386 batting average. In 18 games, she has 22 hits – five for extra bases – seven RBI and a .526 slugging percentage.

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. One of the most balanced teams in the league, the Rams rank third in the MW in ERA and opposing batting average, and second in fielding percentage. CSU is the only team in the conference to rank in the top three in all three phases of the game –runs per game, ERA and fielding percentage.

Nationally, CSU’s 6.26 runs-per-game average ranks 21st. The Rams are third in the NCAA with 1.70 doubles per game, 22nd with 0.28 triples per game, 25th in batting average (.315) and 26th in slugging (.495). Individually, several Rams are among the best in the nation, including senior Chelsea O’Connor (1.47 RBI per game; second) and freshman Haley Hutton (1.07 runs per game; 20th).

UP NEXT
CSU will play its final series of the regular season May 8-10 at Ram Field. The Rams will welcome conference newcomer San José State. Saturday’s game is a Green Out, and the team will honor its six seniors. Admission is free.


 

 

Tickets
Hawaii
FOOTBALL

MILITARY DAY

NOV. 8

TBA
CSU vs.Hawai'i

Purchase Tickets
Tickets Icon
FOOTBALL

SINGLE-GAME

TICKETS

2014 Season
On Sale Now!

Purchase Tickets
Volleyball
VOLLEYBALL

MW CONFERENCE

NOV. 13

7:00 PM
#7 CSU vs. AFA

Purchase Tickets
My Account
MY ACCOUNT

LOGIN HERE

RENEW SEASON TICKETS

Update Information

Purchase Tickets
Schedules
Download Schedules: Add to calendar  

More Headlines
Shop
CSU RAMS
Official Store

Follow us!

Instagram