Apr 142004
 
Authors: Paul Baker

The time has come for CSU women’s softball to defend its home

turf in conference play.

The softball team returns to Rams Field to start an eight-game

conference homestand, beginning with today’s 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

games against Brigham Young (23-12, 3-3 Mountain West). CSU, now

26-11 on the year, sits near the bottom of the Mountain West

standings with a 2-2 record going into this weekend of play. Also

on tilt for the Rams this weekend is the University of Utah (13-22,

3-3), which is tied for third with BYU in the conference

standings.

Leading the Cougars in their first appearance of the season to

Fort Collins is sophomore first baseman Laneta Le’i, who this year

is batting .354 with 17 RBI and two home runs. She is coming off a

great weekend against Utah, where she went 4-for-5 with a double, a

home run and two RBIs.

“We have great team chemistry and we have players stepping up in

all areas,”

said BYU head coach Gordon Eakin, who is in his second year

coaching at BYU. In his first year he led the team to a

school-record 36 wins.

Leading the Cougars from the pitching circle is junior Niki

Anderson, whose 21-4 record and 84 strikeouts lead the team. The

right-hander has also posted a 2.81 ERA and has been a workhorse

for the team for two years.

The Cougars come to Fort Collins fresh off a two-game sweep on

Utah State on

Tuesday, looking to put pressure on the Rams. The Rams hold a

slim lead in the overall series 9-8 coming into today’s games.

“It will be a tough weekend for us,” said junior Steph

Roberts.

After the doubleheader against BYU, the Rams will host Utah for

a two-game

set on Sunday. The Utes also have a tough weekend ahead,

traveling to New Mexico and CSU.

On Tuesday, freshman utility player Devina Quintero was named

MWC co-player

of the week for her efforts in the Utes’ four games last week.

Quintero hit .643 (9-for-14) from, helping the Utes to a 3-1

record. She had a home run, three doubles and five RBIs, while

collecting multiple hits in every game.

“We are playing doubleheaders on the road, but still have a

great opportunity to

pick up some wins,” said Utes head coach Mona Stevens to the

Salt Lake Tribune about Utah’s road games. “If we put our game

together, we can move into second place in the conference

standings.”

A strong weekend homestand could do that and more for the

Rams.

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