The CSU softball team will look to get back to a winning record this weekend as the team travels to San Diego for five games in the University of San Diego Tournament.
The Rams (5-5) will double-up on Long Beach State (4-5), playing the 49ers to open and close the weekend with games both today and Sunday at 1 p.m. Although their records look the same, the Rams will have their work cut out for them.
“Long Beach is a very fine team,” said head coach Mary Yori. “Year in and year out they’re a top team. They’re going to be a good challenge. But we feel pretty sharp going in.”
The Ram will play two games in a row against San Diego (0-4), a team they beat 2-0 last week behind the shutout performance of freshman pitcher Kelli Eubanks. The Rams will take on the Toreros this evening at 5:30 p.m. and again Saturday at 1 p.m.
Playing the same team twice means knowing them better, a benefit the Rams are looking to exploit.
“We try to focus on never losing two games at a time,” said junior catcher Ashley Munoz. “I think it will be really good to play both teams and know what they have.”
The third team the Rams will face this weekend is old WAC rival Boise State (2-2), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Broncos are coming off an impressive win over Wisconsin on Feb. 8 and will be well-rested and ready to play this weekend.
The Rams struggled last week, going 2-2, despite only being outscored by three runs in four games. If the Rams wish to advance above the .500 mark Yori said the team will have to put together three aspects — hitting, pitching and defense. They have each portion down pat, but it is the combination of the three they battle with.
“We’re just looking to win some games and play more consistently,” said junior Robyn Mask.
Having a young team, the Rams know that more experience is needed to play balanced softball. Last week the bats couldn’t find their way to the ballpark and the Rams felt their absence, getting shut out in their final game. Coach Yori expects that this weekend could be different.
“It’s just gonna take reps,” Yori said. “I think we’re growing as a team. We’re on the positive upswing. We’re good going into the weekend. We certainly haven’t played our best game yet, so we have a lot to look forward to.”
The Rams will return Sunday for another short week of practice before they head out to California for the third week in a row next Friday for The San Diego Classic I.
Sports writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.