Mar 072006
 
Authors: DREW GONZALES

CSU softball opened its home schedule by shutting out the University of Northern Colorado 7-0 in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader at Ram Field.

Freshman pitcher Kim Klabough gave up only two hits in six innings on her way to recording her seventh victory. A perfect 7-0 on the season, Klabough struck out five batters and helped her own cause on offense by going 2-2 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.

Neither team scored during the first three and a half innings, but then the Rams exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third.

"Our hitters started off a little slow, we hadn't seen anything in a while, but our hitters came up with some big hits when they needed to," said head coach Mari Yori.

Junior outfielder Brittany Huerta singled up the middle to get the Rams going before freshman Renee Welty drove in senior Tara Harbert for the first run of the game.

With runners on first and third, junior Stacey Leigh was next up to the plate. Leigh cleared the bases with a double to left center field, before scoring on another double the very next at bat.

Later that inning, Huerta's second single of the inning scored two more runs. The Rams got all the runs they needed to extend their winning streak to six games.

Game two of the doubleheader was more of the same, with CSU again dominating UNC 11-1. Leigh had a career day going 3-3 at the plate and recording a personal best eight RBIs. Junior Jessica Strickland gave up one run in five innings and improved her season record to 6-4.

At 14-4, the team is out to the best start in school history after their dual home opener. Yori attributes this fast start to solid play in all phases of the game.

On offense, heading into Tuesday's games, CSU had seven starters batting better than .300. With a team ERA of 2.83, the Rams' pitching has been dominant, especially compared to their opposition's ERA of 5.07.

Even more impressive about Tuesday's performance was the fact the team hadn't played in over a week due to some universities' withdrawal from last week's tournament.

"It felt good to get back out there and play after having last week off," Yori said. "I'm pleased with the way we played."

The Rams will be in California over Spring Break playing 13 games in nine days.

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