Player of Game 1: Kerry Farrell 3-for-5 Two RBIs
Player of Game 2: Jessica Strickland 1 for 3 with a three-run homer
New Mexico (13-20, 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference) couldn't match what the Rams (25-13, 4-2 in MWC) brought to the softball diamond Saturday as CSU took two conference games from the Lobos at Rams Field.
The Rams needed more than seven innings to take game one of the doubleheader. Behind two runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Rams decided they wouldn't go down without a fight.
Senior second baseman Steph Roberts walked to start the rally. She moved to second when junior outfielder Jennifer Gardner was hit by a pitch. Each runner then advanced on a passed ball. With runners on second and third, sophomore pitcher Jessica Strickland converted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring one run.
Senior catcher Kerry Farrell then singled through the left side of the infield, scoring Roberts. The inning ended with the score knotted at 4, sending the game into extras innings.
The eighth inning was unsuccessful for both teams as there were no hits or runs scored. The ninth came and went for the Lobos as three came to the plate and three went down.
Gardner and Farrell got another chance to shine in the bottom of the ninth. Gardner singled and Farrell brought her home with an RBI double. The hit gave CSU the victory by a score of 5-4.
"That's the kind of team we are," said Strickland (10-6), who picked up the win with seven strikeouts.
Farrell's senior leadership certainly helped the Rams as she went 3-for-5 in game one with two RBIs. Sophomore Ryanne Hodgins, hitting .361 on the year for the Lobos, had an impressive outing. She went 4-for-5 from the plate with one run and one RBI.
Game two proved to be a little easier for the Rams. They came out swinging from the start, dropping three runs in the first inning on the Lobos.
With Roberts and Gardner on base, Strickland belted a shot over the fence for a three-run home run. Neither team scored until the bottom of the sixth, when the Rams added an insurance run. Farrell singled to center, followed by sophomore Brittany Huerta's double. Farrell scored as junior Melanie Laffoon sacrifice flied to left field. Score after six innings was 4-0.
New Mexico's junior third baseman Cassie Chavez hit a lead off homerun to start the seventh, making that her fourth on the year. The next three batters went down without a fight and the game ended 4-1.
Junior Genevieve Kelly picked up the win for the Rams, moving to 11-5 on the season. She pitched six scoreless innings (the only run coming in the seventh) striking out four and allowing only four hits throughout the game.
"I thought we fought really hard today," said head coach Mary Yori. "All games are nip and tuck. And every conference game is a challenge."
Huerta, who went 3-for-6 from the plate on the weekend, was encouraged by her team's play.
"It was awesome to come back in that first game," Huerta said. "Those two wins will keep us rolling."
The Rams hit the road next week with five games in three days. They will play Utah State, followed by double headers versus conference opponents Brigham Young and Utah, respectively.