Apr 302006
 
Authors: DREW GONZALES

CSU softball continued its Mountain West struggles this weekend, going 1-3 in a pair of doubleheaders against border rivals Utah and BYU.

The Rams (25-23, 5-13 in conference play) dropped both games against Utah on Saturday, and split a doubleheader the day before, against BYU.

“We fought hard in every game this weekend,” said head coach Mary Yori. “We had opportunities to win, but our pitching didn’t hold up, which has kind of been the story these last few weeks.”

Junior Jessica Strickland went 3-4 at the plate in game one against Utah, but it wasn’t enough for the Rams, as they lost 7-3. CSU was up 6-5 in game two, before the Utes scored six runs in their half of the fifth inning, to win 11-6 and sweep the doubleheader.

The Rams recorded 16 hits in their games against Utah, but the Utes tallied 33. Utah also got key hits late in both games to put the Rams away Saturday afternoon.

“It seemed like they knew what pitches were coming,” said junior Jessica Strickland. “We couldn’t get any important outs.”

CSU had an easier time the day before against the BYU Cougars. A pair of Cougar solo home runs secured a 2-1 victory for BYU in game one, but CSU was dominant in game two, winning its only game of the weekend.

“We were pumped up for that second game against BYU,” Strickland said. “We didn’t get a key hit in the first game, but we knew we could beat them in game 2.”

Two RBIs by sophomore Lauren Cusick, plus a two-run home run by junior Stacey Leigh gave CSU a 4-0 lead at the end of the first. Cusick added two more RBIs in the second to ring her total to four for the game. Freshman Kim Klabough pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on three hits, improving her record to 14-6 with the 9-3 victory.

The Rams will hope to build some momentum next weekend when they will host a pair of games against the University of New Mexico.

“We want to win against New Mexico to make sure we finish above .500 and get a higher seed for the conference tournament,” said Coach Yori.

Saturday’s doubleheader will be the final regular season games before the Mountain West Conference tournament starts May 11.

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