The Ram softball team’s 13-game winning streak was stopped by UNLV on Friday when it split a doubleheader in the first Mountain West Conference match-up of the year.
CSU then lost both games against San Diego State, dropping the Rams’ record to 20-9 overall and 1-3 in the MWC.
“We played well at times,” head coach Mary Yori said. “Being off for two weeks without games really hurt us and our bats were a little asleep. We lost three games by a total of four runs. If we had a few more hits, things could have been different.”
The first game versus UNLV was controlled by dominating pitching performances from two of the top arms in the conference, CSU junior Megan Masser and UNLV ace Jacqueline Kerrigan. Kerrigan ended up with the victory, pitching a complete game, one-hitter for her sixth shutout of the year. Sophomore Steph Roberts’ leadoff single in the first inning provided the only Ram offense as Kerrigan shut down the next 21 batters.
Masser’s performance was equally as impressive, with four strikeouts and one run on four hits in a complete-game effort. An error in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs by leftfielder Carly Allen allowed Rebel Lisa Moses to score the winning run.
“We lost a heartbreaker to UNLV because we did not swing our bats aggressively,” Yori said.
CSU’s bats came alive in the next game, scoring one run in the first inning and four more in the third for the 5-1 win. Centerfielder Katie Dean smacked two singles and got two RBIs.
Freshman Genevieve Kelly threw for the win giving up one run on five hits, walking two and striking out five in five innings of work.
The Rams then headed to San Diego State for another doubleheader, but fell in two close games. In game one, Kelly and junior Ricki Walker each had two hits and knocked in one run apiece. Roberts scored twice as CSU managed to score three runs, but it was not enough to beat the five that the Aztec scored.
Masser took the loss, going six innings, giving up five runs on six hits and striking out four. Her record now stands at 10-4.
“We left a lot of runners stranded,” Yori said. “We were really close. We were knocking on the door, but just never executed the hits.”
CSU came out and took a 1-0 lead in the second game when Brittany Burtner’s double scored Kelly, but it would turn out to be the only Ram run in the contest. Kelly gave up two runs in the sixth inning that sealed the game. She gave up two runs on seven hits in five innings and now has a 4-3 record.
The Aztec ace, sophomore Bre DeSanta, struck out the side in the first inning en route of her 10-strikeout, three-hit, complete-game performance. The win was DeSanta’s 12th of the season.
“DeSanta is the best pitcher in our conference and she struck us out a lot,” Yori said. “It was our first time seeing her this year and for the freshmen, it was their first time ever.”
CSU will now prepare for another conference test at New Mexico on Saturday. Yori hopes a few days of practicing outside will make the team ready to go.
“We are going to practice some team defense and pretty much go over everything,” Yori said. “It will be good to play outside and be able to hit fly balls to the outfielders and work with them. Hopefully, we can avoid some of the errors we made this weekend from happening again.”