Though their season started nearly a month ago, the CSU softball team is only now beginning their home schedule, celebrating its home opener today at 1 p.m. with the 2010 Colorado State Classic.
After three straight weekends of traveling, the Rams will finally get to enjoy the role of hosts, welcoming South Dakota State, North Dakota State, Utah Valley and Utah State to the familiar confines of Ram Field.
â€œOur competition is going to be tough this weekend,â€ said Mary Yori, CSU head softball coach. â€œAll four teams have some significant wins against good teams this season, so we know every team is challenging and capable of beating us.â€
The Rams (7-7) are one week removed from the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., where the team managed victories in three out of its five games against some of the best teams in the country.
The west coast trip proved that the Rams can hang with anyone in the country, beating the likes of Cal State Fullerton, Pacific and Long Beach State.
â€œThose were all really good, competitive softball teams,â€ Yori said. â€œWe competed hard and came from behind in some games to win. Those were three very significant wins for us.â€
Sophomore Christine Thomsen led the Rams offensively over the weekend, driving in seven runs while batting .438 in the five games.
As the case has been for the bulk of the season, Kelli Eubanks led the Rams in the pitching department, winning all three games the team collected during the weekend.
â€œThe tournament last weekend was really good for us,â€ said junior infielder Caitlan Stem. â€œWe performed really well with the exception of the last game against Cal.â€
The Rams may have been at their most impressive state during last weekend amid defeat, managing to stick within a run of the UCLA Bruins, ranked No. 3 in the country, in a 4-3 loss.
â€œIn the UCLA games our kids fought really hard but just came up a little short,â€ Yori said.
The Colorado State Classic will continue through Sunday. The Rams have double-headers today and Sunday and one game scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Softball Beat Reporter Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.