After dropping game one of a double-header against UNLV on Sunday, CSU broke its 10-game losing streak with a 9-2 win in game two.
“We’re very relieved to win,” said junior Jessica Strickland. “It’s a big weight off our shoulders.”
Similarly, head coach Mary Yori said the win got “the monkey off our back.”
Before they ended the streak, the Rams suffered yet another close loss. A late throwing error gave the Rebels a 6-2 lead that the Rams trimmed to 6-5.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded, the Rams had a chance to win the game with a base hit. But UNLV freshman Kendall Fearn made up for her error on the previous play by snagging a line drive off the bat of Julia Kloppe to end the game.
Game two was an entirely different story as the Rams exploded for four home runs and routed the Rebels by the score of 9-2. Strickland had a three-run home run and two doubles in the win.
“I was seeing the ball better and I was more disciplined in my pitch selection,” Strickland said.
Seniors Katie Dean and Rachelle Padeway and freshman Kim Klabough each hit solo home runs to give the Rams some breathing room. Klabough also pitched a complete game giving up two runs on six hits.
“It finally all came together for us out there,” Yori said. “We hit really well out there, didn’t have any errors and Klabough pitched a great game.”
Yori also talked about the frustration of the losing streak.
“We’ve been playing the same way for like eight games now, but we couldn’t get things to go our way late,” she said. “The ball finally bounced our way in the second game.”
Before things went their way against UNLV, the Rams dropped a pair of games against conference-leading San Diego State (SDS) on Friday.
The Aztecs jumped ahead early in game one with a three-run homerun from sophomore Megan McDonald in the first inning. It would prove to be all the Aztecs needed, as CSU only scored two runs dropping the game 6-2.
CSU took control of the second game when sophomore Lauren Cusick’s double drove in senior Tara Harbert. Cusick’s double also moved Strickland to third with no outs.
The Rams could not take advantage of this situation leaving Strickland and Cusick stranded on base. From there the two teams exchanged runs until the game was tied 2-2 at the end of the sixth.
SDS senior Bree Boyer’s seventh inning double drove in two runs giving the Aztecs a 4-2 lead. CSU couldn’t answer in their half of the seventh and extended their losing streak to nine.
CSU wraps up their home stand Wednesday afternoon with a doubleheader against North Dakota State. Yori thinks her team might be back on track after a long-awaited win.
“This game was a good shot in the arm,” Yori said. “We needed this.”
Drew Gonzales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.