Apr 092009
Authors: Keith Robertson

Today the Rams softball team (17-18, 1-1 MWC) travels to the west coast for the seventh time this season to take on the hottest team in the Mountain West Conference, San Diego State (25-13, 2-0 MWC).

After that game the Rams will hop on a plane and travel to shiny Las Vegas for two games against UNLV (23-13, 0-2) on Saturday and Sunday. A 3-0 record this weekend would put CSU at the top of the Mountain West and “send a message to the rest of the conference,” said junior outfielder Kayla Kreutzman.

The Rams are coming off their first conference win, beating Utah last weekend, and are ready to get back on the road after two weeks of Colorado weather. The team now feels like their progression this season has lead up to this point — a spot where dynamite could be involved.

“Our team is at a place where they’re really ready to explode,” head coach Mary Yori said. “I think we have a chance to have a great weekend.”

CSU will have their mitts full with San Diego. The Aztecs have some of the best pitching in the MWC, giving up only three runs in their last seven games, all of which ended in victory.

The Aztecs are like a kite in Wyoming, always in motion. Hitters, runners and defenders are constantly moving on the plate, stealing bases and crowding the infield, which San Diego will use to their advantage.

“We have to go up and attack at the plate,” Yori said. “We need to put pressure on (San Diego) early.”

The impressive winning streak doesn’t scare the Rams, who hope their opponents will be overconfident and lose their aggressiveness.

“I think any team can come out any day and beat someone,” catcher Shannon Causgrove said. “We prepared really hard at practice. I think if we put together the game we know we can we can go out there and beat them.”

The Rams haven’t announced who will make the start Friday. Most likely they will send one of the two ace freshmen, Kelli Eubanks (7-7) or Dani Chaplin (5-5), into the circle against the Aztecs.

In Sin City, the Rams plan on getting some more conference wins when they take on UNLV. The Rebels are currently on a four-game skid, during the last two of which they were knocked around by the defending national champions Arizona State. The Sundevils outscored the Rebels 35-12.

The Rams are weary of sinking teams righting themselves after losing a couple, but feel that if they get a good combination of hitting, pitching and defense they can outlast the Rebels.

“They’re always a real scrappy team,” Kreutzman said. “If we bring our game, then there’s no way to defend against us.”

Softball beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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