It was a long Spring Break for the Rams softball team in sunny California as the players competed in 12 games. The week began the March 11 with wins against both Northern Iowa and Sacramento State.
It was a slow beginning for the Rams as they defeated Northern Iowa with a score of only 1-0. However, they sprang back into action for Sacramento State Hornets, winning 8-2.
The second day of the National Invitational Softball Tournament did not prove as easy as the first. The Rams faced Santa Clara in the first game and took an early lead but remained stagnant until the bottom of the sixth inning when an additional seven runs assured the Rams' victory. Sophomore Jessica Strickland took the win, improving her record to 6-3 for the season.
In the next game, No. 24 Arizona State showed no mercy, beating CSU 12-0. The shutout was only the Rams' second in 93 games and led to a consolidation game against Iowa to wrap up CSU's play at the NIST.
Iowa held CSU scoreless until the sixth inning when senior catcher Kerry Farrell brought in junior outfielder Katie Dean on a fielder's choice. The 5-1 loss concluded the Rams' play for the invitational.
The Rams then started non-tournament, doubleheader play against Rhode Island Monday morning. Farrell and sophomore outfielder Brittany Huerta hit RBI singles in the first inning to score junior outfielder Jennifer Gardner and Strickland. Freshman third baseman Lauren Cusick also hit a two-run triple to score Farrell and Huerta. CSU kept pilling on the runs, wrapping up play with an 8-0 win.
Game two began fast and furious as the Rams took an 11-0 lead in the first inning. Four Rams took multiple hits and recorded multiple-RBI games as CSU won 15-3.
Wednesday morning proved to be a little more difficult for the Rams as they took the field against the Princeton Tigers. Game one showed CSU falling back early in the game while the Tigers took five runs in the second inning and another in the third. The Rams managed to get three runs on the board, but couldn't come back, losing 6-3.
The second game against Princeton allowed the Rams to take an early lead with Strickland getting on base because of an error and then being knocked in by Farrell. CSU added another three runs in the third inning and Princeton finally got itself on the board with a single run. The Rams scored two more runs in the top of the seventh bringing the final score to 6-1 CSU.
CSU took a day off and returned to the diamond again for the Spartan Classic to wrap up the week. Day one of the classic was bright as the Rams began the day against St. Francis by taking the win with a score of 7-1.
In the second game versus Dartmouth, the Rams scored first by taking two runs in the first inning. Dartmouth's only run of the game was taken in fourth inning, but CSU responded with an additional two runs. The final score was 7-1 with pitcher Strickland giving only one run on four hits and striking out seven.
Saturday's games against St. Mary's College and San Jose were cancelled on account of heavy rains and were moved to Sunday afternoon. The Rams fell 2-0 to San Jose State but ended the road trip on a high note with a 6-0 win over St. Mary's.
The Rams are now 19-11 on the season and will be back in action on April 1 in their season's first home game with a doubleheader against San Diego State at 1 p.m.