With the cold weather moving in, the Rams of CSU softball are moving out.
The team will conclude its fall exhibition season this weekend at the Triple Crown Sports Complex in Fort Collins, playing a doubleheader Saturday, followed by another twin bill on Sunday.
The games begin Saturday at 8:30 a.m. when the Rams take on Dodge City Community College of Dodge City, Kan. In game two, the Rams face the University of Northern Colorado at 2:30 p.m., in what should be a tight game between two evenly matched teams.
CSU heads into the tournament looking to break a five-game losing streak and improve upon a dismal 1-6 fall record.
Though the team’s record suggests otherwise, head coach Mary Yori said the Rams appear to be further along this fall than CSU teams of the past.
“We are further along than last year,” Yori said, “but we still have six freshmen, and it takes a lot of time to train them and get them some playing time.”
Yori said she plans to continue to use the freshmen this weekend like she has done during the entire fall season up to this point: working them into the lineup gradually.
However, she added the team’s coaches are intent on playing regulars for longer periods of time, as opposed to pulling them out after a few innings of work.
“We hope to solidify the lineup a little this weekend,” Yori said. “We’re going to go with the strongest lineup and give (the starters) more time to play.”
With starting shortstop, sophomore Brittany Burtner, back from the sprained ankle she suffered last weekend at the Nebraska Fall Classic in Lincoln, Neb., Yori said the Rams should come out Saturday healthy and ready to play.
“Everyone should be at full speed this weekend,” she said. “This should be a good test for us, to get out there and play against some experienced teams.”
Apart from CSU, Dodge City CC and UNC, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Regis University will play in the tournament, Yori said.
“All of the teams are strong and capable of beating anybody,” the coach said of the competition. “Regis is a good Division II team and Northern Colorado has some quality players.”
The tournament concludes Sunday when the Rams face UCCS at 2:30 p.m. and Regis at 4:30 p.m.
Triple Crown Sports Complex is located at 3930 Automation Way at the Triple Crown Sports business site.