Under the threat of rain, the CSU softball team opened the last weekend of the season by splitting a doubleheader with Brigham Young Thursday afternoon, winning game 1, 3-2 and losing the second game, 11-6.
The Rams (27-22, 7-11) came out swinging in the first inning of game 1 after senior Cayte Billman sent the Cougars down in order in the top half of the inning.
With two on, sophomore Allison Majam homered to right field to give her team the early lead.
Billman found herself in trouble in the fourth inning when BYU came within a run with the bases loaded only to have CSU escape with the lead. Billman pitched a complete game and improved to 9-6 on the season with the win.
“It was exciting to beat BYU in the first game,” Billman said
The second game started out well with the Rams batting around in the first inning to take an early 4-2 lead after the Cougars got to starter Rebecca Penland for two runs in the top half of the inning.
Senior Lauren Cusick led off the game with her 19th home run of the season, extending her lead in the conference. Majam, Penland and senior Julia Kloppe also came around to score, driving BYU (40-18, 12-6) starter Christie Zinanti from the game after 2/3 of an inning.
The Cougars offense knocked Penland out in the second inning, and junior Kim Klabough came on in relief.
In the sixth inning down 8-4, CSU posted a whisper of a rally by scoring two runs.
A three run home run by BYU second baseman Kristin Delahoussaye finished off the Rams.
“I am proud of them for challenging (BYU)” head coach Mary Yori said.
Other Mountain West softball action on Thursday included a doubleheader sweep by New Mexico over Utah. With the Lobos’ sweep and the Rams’ split, CSU and UNLV and now tied for fourth in the conference.
The Rams will look for another win when they open a two-game series against Utah this afternoon at 3.
Sports writer Rachel Knox-Stutsman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.