Today and the rest of this weekend, the CSU softball team will play host to some hostile conference foes in their last home games of the season.
The Rams will take on the UNLV Rebels on Ram Field at 3 p.m. today, followed by a 3 p.m. Saturday game and a 1 p.m. Sunday game against San Diego State.
CSU has faired well at home lately, establishing a three-game winning streak and a 701st win for head coach Mary Yori last weekend. The Rams will have their hands full this weekend as they take on two very competitive teams, but the team feels confident at home.
“We have been working hard a lot and everyone is ready, dialed in on the ball and ready to go,” said first basemen Christine Thomsen. “We’re ready to bring it and lay it all out.”
UNLV (25-17, 2-6 MWC) is coming off a three-game losing streak. However, the Rebels last victory was over the green and gold, in a series the teams split. Now the Rams are looking forward to the chance to beat them at home.
“We’ve had really great practices this week and we should come out and attack them,” said junior Rebecca Penland. “We’re out for our revenge.”
San Diego State (29-14, 6-1 MWC) recently overpowered conference foe Utah in two games. The Aztecs have some of the best pitching in the MWC and may be starting pitcher Samantha Beasley, who has won four ‘Pitcher of the Week’ awards. The last time the two teams met, the Rams lost in a scoreless effort, 5-0.
Being familiar with San Diego State, the Rams know they need to play almost perfect games this weekend to ensure victory. The Aztecs are known for being a very mobile team, so the Rams have been sharpening their defensive skills in preparation of the games.
“We need to be able to play a really errorless ball game,” Yori said. “They’re going to score some runs. They score against everyone, and they do it by manufacturing runs.”
The Rams will have the advantage of having freshman Jenna Krogh, who has established an eight-game hitting streak. Krogh is also the only Ram to have a hit in all conference games.
“She is kind of a special kid. She has a lot of tools that are making her a great college softball athlete,” Yori said.
The intensity of the games will not be the only reason for attendance of this weekend’s games; Ram Club Appreciation Day is this Saturday. The Spirit Committee will be barbecuing free food for those who are Ram Club members.
Sunday may prove to be the most emotional day of the weekend, as it is senior day. With three weeks left in the season, the Rams will honor the three seniors that will leave their dirt-stained uniforms behind at the end of the year. The honorees are Shannon Causgrove, Kim Klabough and Michelle Reynolds.
“We wish them the best and all that, but we got a lot of games yet to play,” Yori said. “It is a little strange having it with three weeks left in the season, but it is what it is.”
Softball beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at email@example.com.