The Rams softball team was scheduled to play three conference games last weekend, but just one would go their way. The first, against BYU, ended in an 11-0 loss. The second landed CSU at 1-1 in conference play with an 8-5 win over Utah, leaving the Rams with a 17-18 overall record. The final game was cancelled due to fluffy white snow pouring from the dark grey sky.
After the loss to BYU the Rams were able to pull their heads up and fight from behind to get the win over 13-21 Utah with the help of some personnel changes and a desire to win.
“The team played with a lot of energy and played well after (Thursday’s) thumping,” said head coach Mary Yori.
The Rams started freshman pitcher Dani Chaplin, but after a shaky first couple of batters, Yori made the switch to freshman Kelli Eubanks (7-7). Eubanks began her part in the game by getting the final out of the inning, leaving three Utes stranded on base. She ended with her seventh win of the season.
“Kelli stopped the bleeding,” Yori said. “She settled in and gave us what she is capable of.”
The Rams were able to score their first run after catcher Shannon Causgrove, who finished the game 1-2 with 2 RBIs, singled to right field, scoring sophomore Caitlan “Bug” Stem.
The Rams kept the Utes from scoring until the fourth but got one more run when freshman Jenna Krogh crossed the plate in the third.
Inning number four was full of fireworks. Utah was able to plate two more of their own, by way of homers, before taking the field as the Rams got their chance to bat. Allison Majam tied the game at four with a double to center field that brought in Ivory Allen and Stem. Majam finished 1-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
After tying the game at four, the Rams took advantage of Utah’s pitcher once again, when junior Rebecca Penland drove home a run with a single, giving the Rams a 5-4 advantage.
“We fought and battled a lot better,” Yori said. “(Utah is) always a good hitting team. You just have to hold on to the ship and ride it out.”
They did hang on, scoring three more runs in the sixth inning to make the score 8-4. The Rams had a little help; Utah’s Brittany Parker advanced six batters with two wild pitches and four walks.
After scoring one run in the seventh, the Utes childlike dugout cheers were silenced. The Rams claimed victory but had no time to celebrate as the rain started to fall and the team helped push the tarp onto the field.
Despite the drizzle, the importance of the win that leaves the Rams even in conference play was not lost on the team.
“It feels really good,” Stem said. “Utah gave us a great game and we handled our business; it was just fun.”
Because of the cancellation, the second game against Utah will now be played on May 7. The Rams will travel to the West Coast to play San Diego State Friday.
Softball beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.