Softball season review: Rams finish 2014 with 5th-best winning percentage

The Colorado State softball program continues to rise under Head Coach Jen Fisher. The CSU alumna led the Rams to 32 victories in 2014, the most in more than a decade.

The Colorado State softball program continues to rise under Head Coach Jen Fisher. The CSU alumna led the Rams to 32 victories in 2014, the most in more than a decade.

June 10, 2014

Season Review (PDF)

2014 SEASON RECAP
The Colorado State softball program continues to rise under Head Coach Jen Fisher. The CSU alumna and former DII National Coach of the Year led the Rams to 32 victories in 2014, the most in more than a decade.

CSU finished the year with the fifth-best winning percentage in program history, and was still fighting for a conference title going into the final day of the season.

“It was a really fun season to be a part of for me” Fisher said. “We had a lot of players step up, which resulted in a lot of wins and overall team success.”

With a veteran group of six seniors, CSU rewrote the offensive record books, ranking third in CSU single-season history for runs scored, fourth for batting average and fifth for slugging. The team’s .964 fielding percentage also ranked fourth. Nationally, CSU ranked in the top 30 for doubles and runs per game, batting average, and slugging.

While the seniors provided the leadership, it was some of the underclassmen who made the largest impact on the field. CSU had three All-Mountain West and NFCA All-Region selections. Two of them will be back in uniform next season.

Freshman second baseman Haley Hutton (Platteville, Colo.) hit .413 from the leadoff spot, drawing 33 walks and scoring 52 times. Her 1.04 runs-per-game average ranked 14th nationally. Meanwhile sophomore pitcher Holly Reinke (Littleton, Colo.) became the ace of the staff, recording 20 wins, tied for the third-most in program history.

Chelsea O’Connor, a Windsor, Colo., native who began her collegiate career at Tennessee before transferring to Boston and then CSU, made the most of her only season on the field with the Rams, leading the nation with 1.41 RBI per game. Her 66 runs batted in tied a CSU single-season record.

The Rams went 15-5 at home, at one point winning 11 straight home contests. Following an 8-43 record during Fisher’s first at CSU, the Rams tied for second place in the Mountain West each of the past two seasons before 2014, when they had their best season in more than a decade and were playing for a conference championship up until the final day.

“Once again, we were right there until the very end,” Fisher said. “The next step is getting over the hump, but we have a lot of talent returning and good players coming in, so I’m optimistic about the future of this program.”

2014 HIGHLIGHTS

  • 32 victories, most since 2004
  • Tied for sixth-most wins in program history
  • .653 winning percentage ranks fifth-in program history
  • Seven-win improvement from 2013
  • Third-straight winning season
  • 15-5 home record, best since 2004


IN THE RECORD BOOK
Both as a team and individual, the 2014 season produced several top performances:

  • 294 runs (3rd in CSU single-season history)
  • 266 RBI (3rd)
  • .313 batting average (4th)
  • .964 fielding percentage (4th)
  • 80 doubles (4th)
  • 13 triples (5th)
  • .485 slugging percentage (5th)
  • 8 wins in a row during March/April (T-4th)
  • Biglow: 121 career RBI (T-5th)
  • H. Hutton: 33 walks (2nd)
  • .413 batting average (3rd)
  • 52 runs (5th)
  • O'Connor: 66 RBI (T-1st with Sarah Fredstrom, 1997)
  • Reinke: 20 wins (T-3rd)


O’CONNOR LEADS NCAA IN RBI PER GAME

The Rams were one of the most powerful offensive teams in the country in 2014, ranking in the top 32 nationally for doubles (fifth), runs scored (23rd), triples (25th), batting average (29th) and slugging (32nd). Not only that, CSU was also dominant on defense and in the circle, becoming the only team in the Mountain West to rank in the top three in the conference for batting average, earned-run average and fielding percentage.

Individually, several Rams ranked high nationally for several statistical categories, but nothing could top senior Chelsea O’Connor, who led the nation with 1.35 RBI per game.

A complete listing of Mountain West and national ranks can be found on Page 3 (right).

ALL-REGION ACCOLADES
Three Colorado State softball players earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region honors in May, the most selections since 2004. Freshman Haley Hutton was named to the Pacific Region second team, while teammates Chelsea O’Connor and Holly Reinke earned third-team selections.

The Pacific Region is comprised of schools from the Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, WAC and West Coast. Voting was conducted by NFCA member coaches from each region.

“I’m thrilled for them, because all three had a great season,” Head Coach Jen Fisher said. “I’m proud of the work that they put in, and all three are all very humble teammates. Each of them made an impact and raised the level of our program.”

Just a freshman, Hutton made an immediate impact for the Rams both on offense and defense. She started all 49 contests for CSU, hitting .413 – the third-best batting average in CSU history. Her 52 runs scored and 33 walks were not only team bests, but her 1.06 runs-per-game average ranked 14th nationally and her walks total was second-most in program history.

From the leadoff spot, Hutton reached base at a .521 clip and was a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen-base attempts. On defense, the Platteville, Colo., native recorded a .970 fielding percentage, making fantastic defensive plays on a daily basis.

Hutton is the sixth freshman in program history to be named to an NFCA All-Region team. Her mother, the former Chris Oglesby, was a two-time NFCA All-Region selection at CSU in 1988 and 1990.

O’Connor, a Windsor, Colo., native who transferred to CSU after stints at Tennessee and Boston, made the most of her lone season on the field with the Rams, tying a single-season CSU record with 66 RBI. Her 1.35 RBI-per-game average was a national best. The senior hit .323, slugged .634 and had a team-most 11 home runs. On defense, the center fielder made numerous highlight-reel catches and threw out four runners on the bases.

As the Rams’ ace, Reinke pitched in 33 games, earning 24 starts and 20 victories. Her win total is tied for the third-most in CSU single-season history. The sophomore from Littleton, Colo., tossed 20 complete games and four shutouts, limiting batters to a .256 batting average and holding a 2.49 ERA. Reinke had 109 strikeouts.

HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE
Between March 28 and April 22, CSU won 11 consecutive games at home. The streak ranked third in program history, trailing only runs of 20 (1996-97) and 15 (1988-89). A big reason for CSU’s success in 2014 was its 15-5 home record.

The 15 wins was the most since 2004, and overall, it was the Rams’ third-most home victories in a season since 1997.

SENIOR PRIDE
The Rams honored their six seniors following the team’s game on May 10. All six made major contributions to the program throughout their careers.

  • Chelsea Biglow - Played in 198 of CSU’s 199 games over the past four seasons, starting all 198... Was a two-time All-Mountain West selection… Earned three Academic All-MW honors through 2013... Holds a lifetime batting average of .290 with 22 home runs and 121 RBI.
  • Kendal Butterfield - Started 138 games for the Rams... Scored 89 times and recorded 18 stolen bases, the most on the Rams’ active roster... Owns a .935 fielding percentage... Earned three Mountain West Scholar-Athlete honors through 2013.
  • Alysa Greckel - Appeared in 194 games, starting 189... Holds a .295 career batting average, including .312 as a senior… Drove in 86 career runs... Holds a career fielding percentage of .978 with nearly 1,100 putouts... Earned Academic All-Mountain West honors in 2012-13.
  • Chelsea O’Connor - In her only season playing for the Green and Gold, is hitting .323 with 11 home runs and 66 RBI... Tied a single-season CSU record for RBI, and led the nation with 1.35 per game… Earned All-Mountain West and NFCA All-Region honors in 2014.
  • Ashlie Ortega - Named to the Easton Fastpitch All-America second team in 2013... Was a two-time All-Mountain West selection... Started 141 games in three seasons with the Rams... Scored 105 runs and driven in 82, including six in one game in 2014.
  • Emily Pohl - Earned All-Mountain West honors in 2012 and Academic All-MW selection in 2013... Started 148 games for the Rams, but was limited her senior season due to an elbow injury... Holds 22 career home runs and 83 RBI.

 

 

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