Going into its third conference doubleheader of the season, junior Ricki Walker thought the CSU softball team would be able to improve its 1-3 conference record.
“I think we can do well,” Walker said. “Last week we were just testing the waters for conference games, but now I think we can do better.”
She was right. The Rams got back on the winning track by sweeping New Mexico 1-0 and 6-3 in a doubleheader Saturday in Albuquerque.
The first game featured what was expected, a pitcher’s duel between sophomore Ram Melanie Mahoney and the Lobo pitching staff. Mahoney threw for 4 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, two walks, and striking out two.
Megan Masser pitched for the win, coming in to relieve Mahoney. Masser only allowed two hits with one strikeout to improve her record to 11-4.
Sophomore Steph Roberts provided the only CSU run after senior Jen Mahoney knocked her in on a single to center. The solo run held up for the Rams, as they went on to win 1-0.
The Lobos took an early 1-0 lead in the second game, but a Rams rally in the fourth inning gave them a lead that would last for the rest of the game. Walker went 3-for-4 with a homerun to lead CSU’s offensive attack.
Freshman Genevieve Kelly pitched her way to another win, going 6 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on eight hits. She also had three strikeouts and improved her record to 5-3.
Masser completed the game, delivering the final two outs of the game and picking up her fifth save. CSU got one more run and improved its winning streak to two games by winning 6-3.
The Ram record now stands at 22-9 and 4-4 in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos drop to 1-5 in the conference and have secured a solo spot in last place. Snow cancelled games for San Diego State, UNLV, Utah, and BYU this weekend and allowed CSU to move up from last to a tie for third in the rankings. San Diego State remains in first place with an undefeated 4-0 record.
With six of their next seven games being against conference opponents, the Rams know how important it will be to win.
“We aren’t going to loose to UNLV again, and when we play San Diego State, we are going to give them a run for their money,” Walker said.
The team will now prepare for its home-opening doubleheader on Friday against Utah, which also currently holds the third place spot. CSU will then face BYU in another doubleheader on Saturday.