The excitement of CSU softball swings into action today with a
doubleheader versus Cal Poly in Pomona, Calif. With a loaded roster
of experience and talent, the team looks to start where they left
off last season. After finishing 37-15 and making the NCAA
tournament for only the second time in school history, the Rams’
sights are higher this year.
Lead by their ace, senior Megan Masser, and other seniors such
as first baseman Ricki Walker the Rams are confident heading into
their seven-game stand in San Louis Obispo, Calif. After facing Cal
Poly, CSU will begin the Mustang Round-up, with opponents
Sacramento State, University of Nevada-Reno, Cal Poly, UC Santa
Barbara and the University of San Diego.
The Mountain West Conference preseason coaches’ poll has CSU
picked to finish second in the conference, but head coach Mary Yori
said that might be exactly the place for them.
“It is a good place to be, but rankings are just something they
have to do. It gives us room to step up,” Yori said.
Yori was named MWC Coach of the Year in 2003 for her guidance.
She will be looking for certain players to step up if the team is
destined to make the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
Freshmen third baseman Melissa Giesler and left fielder Britney
Huerta will be asked to make immediate contributions with their
play. Besides Huerta and Giesler, the diamond will be full of
returning starters from last season, which can only mean good
“We are working hard and are ready to play,” Walker said. “We’re
more aware of what we’re capable of this year.”
Last year’s MWC Co-Player of the Year junior Steph Roberts,
along with Walker, led the team in hitting. “Hitting and pitching
are definitely our team’s main strengths this year,” Walker
She batted .377 last year and finished with nine home runs, 46
RBIs and 105 total bases. All team highs.
Though a strength, the Rams’ pitching will need to improve from
Masser, who tallied 154 strikeouts last year, finished with a
record of 20-7.
She will be relied on heavily again this year but needs some
“Another pitcher besides Megan will need to step up, possibly
Genevieve Kelly or JayCee Wood,” Yori said. Those two players seem
ready for a breakout year. Wood finished 2003 with a 4-0 record and
a 1.63 ERA while Kelly went 9-4 and tallied a 3.34 ERA.
After beginning the season with a few tournaments, the Rams will
return home to play Utah State and Southern Utah March 6 to 8.
Conference play begins April 3 against New Mexico at Rams