Softball Preview: New Mexico

Junior Lauren Cusick

Junior Lauren Cusick

May 9, 2007

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Leading Off...
The Rams head to Albuquerque, N.M., this weekend for the final set of conference games. Colorado State will face the Lobos in a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 5 p.m. Colorado State and New Mexico will then face off again on Saturday in a doubleheader that begins at 12 p.m. The first two games will be considered home games for the Rams since the original games, scheduled for April 7-8, were cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Rams vs. New Mexico...
The Rams are 35-41 against the Lobos all-time, but since the Mountain West Conference was formed in 2000, the Rams are 19-9 against New Mexico. Last year. The Rams went 3-1 against the Lobos, winning 12-7, 9-3, 6-1, and losing 3-2.

Last Weekend...
Colorado State went 1-2 in their final home stand of the season against Utah and BYU this past weekend. The Rams lost to the Utes on Thursday, 3-2 (8) before a storm forced the second game of the doubleheader to be cancelled. The Rams went on to split the series against BYU, winning 6-4 on Friday, but losing 11-10 on Saturday.

More Long Balls...
Colorado State continued to add to its home run total this past weekend by hitting six more home runs. The Rams enter Friday's match up with New Mexico with 70 round-trippers through 54 games. Colorado State's 70 home runs has set a team single-season record by surpassing the 2004 team which hit 58 home runs. If the Rams keep up the pace, they are on track to launch 75 out of the park this season.

Home Run Queen...
Senior Brittany Huerta now has 32 home runs for her career, tying the Colorado State career-record. The record-tying home run came in the fifth inning in the final game of the series against Utah on April 21, and tied former NFCA 1st Team All-American Sara Fredstrom (1995-98). Huerta's home run was a lead off home run that started a three-run fifth inning.

Off and Running...
Colorado State's offense so far this season has hit a conference leading 80 doubles. Senior Jessica Strickland and freshman Allison Majam each have 14 doubles this season while junior Lauren Cusick has 12 so far.

The .300 Club...
Five Rams boast batting averages of .300 or better this season. Freshman Allison Majam leads the Rams with a batting average of .353 and junior Lauren Cusick is not far behind with a batting average of .330. Strickland and Leigh each boast a batting average of .309 and freshman Ashley Munoz rounds out the top five with a batting average of .303. Four of these five are also batting over .300 in MWC play.

Outscoring the Opposition...
Through 54 games, Colorado State has outscored its opponents 255-245. The majority of the Rams' damage has been done in the third and sixth inning where CSU has scored 48 and 56 runs, respectively. Opponents have scored 36 percent of their runs (89) in the first inning (49) and seventh innings (40) against the Rams.

Strick-tly Business...
Jessica Strickland has left an indelible mark in the Rams record book. The senior from Lakewood, Colo. already ranks in the top-five on Colorado State's career records in 15 different categories including first in doubles and saves and pitching appearances (118).

Freshman Ashley Munoz enters this weekend's match ups with New Mexico riding a 12 game hitting streak. She is one game shy of tying Lauren Cusick's season-high hitting streak of 13 games.

Freshman Fury...
Freshman outfielder Ashley Munoz ranks second on the team in conference-play, hitting .422 (19-for-45) in 15 games played. Munoz also has three doubles, seven home runs and 13 RBI in those 15 games. This past weekend, Munoz went 3-for-10, hitting .300 with three home runs, one of them a walk-off, two-run shot to beat BYU, 6-4.

In Good Company...
The Colorado State Rams are one of three teams in the nation to have 13 different players who have hit home runs this season. The Rams join No. 1/1 Alabama and No. 14/13 Hawaii on that list. The Rams are also one of five teams to have eight different players with four or more home runs (Alabama 10, CSU 8, Tennessee Tech 8, Illinois State 8 and Arizona State 8).

Back-to-Back Jacks...
The Rams have hit back-to-back home runs four different times this season with all four coming in MWC play. The first came against SDSU on April 13th at home. Freshman Allison Majam and senior Stacey Leigh hit the first set and only two days later junior Julia Kloppe and sophomore Kim Klabough hit a pair against UNLV. The next set came against UNLV in Las Vegas on April 27th when freshman Ashley Munoz and Kloppe went back-to-back. The most recent pair came this past weekend against BYU when sophomore Shannon Causgrove hit a pinch-hit grand slam to take the lead 7-6. Cusick added to the lead when she hit a solo shot to left-center field. The Rams are 2-2 when hitting back-to-back home runs.

Nationally Ranked...
Colorado State is nationally ranked in several categories this season. The Rams are ranked in the top 10 for home runs per game with an average of 1.3. Freshman Ashley Munoz is ranked 49th in the nation averaging .26 home runs per game. They are also ranked in the top 50 for doubles per game and slugging percentage. The Rams are ranked 27th in the nation in doubles per game with 1.48. Freshman Allison Majam and senior Jessica Strickland are ranked 76th and 94th, respectively, with an average of .26 doubles per game. Colorado State is also ranked 27th in the nation with a slugging percentage of .474.

Team Player...
Senior Brittany Huerta leads the team in sacrifice bunts and is ranked second in the Mountain West with 12. She also has two sacrifice flies on the season and is tied with teammate Ashley Munoz for fourth place.

Klabough's Ks...
For the second consecutive season, sophomore Kim Klabough leads the Rams' pitching staff in strikeouts. Klabough struck out 138 batters as a frehsman in 2006, ranking fifth all-time in a single season at Colorado State. This season, Klabough leads the team with 86 batters fanned. Through 137 innings and 18 starts, Klabough also leads the Rams in the circle with an overall ERA of 2.55.



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