In the final tune-up game before Mountain West Conference play begins, the CSU softball team will face the University of Northern Colorado at Ram Field today at 4 p.m.Â
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The game will conclude the season series between the Rams (21-11) and Bears (8-22), after the two sides split a double-header in Greeley two weekends ago.
The Rams, who trail the all-time series against UNC by a count of 34-19, blew out the Bears in the first frame of the double-header 10-2. Junior lead-off hitter Caitlan Stem starred in the victory, collecting three hits, including one home run, four runs batted in and a stolen base.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
â€œShe had a really good day at the plate,â€ said head coach Mary Yori. â€œShe is a very capable hitter. We have been getting production from several different parts of our lineup this season.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
In the final game of the double-header, the Rams gave up a two-run lead in the final inning as the Bears rallied to win 9-8.
In a season where the Rams have made a routine of comeback victories, the walk-off defeat to their in-state rival served as a reminder to finish every game strong.Â Â Â
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â€œWe were disappointed and kind of disgusted with ourselves by not finishing the game,â€ Yori said.Â â€œThatâ€™s how it goes, weâ€™ve won a lot of late-inning games and sometimes youâ€™re going to lose.â€Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The Bears feature a trio of pitchers who have logged more than 40 innings pitched so far this season, and after piling up 23 hits in two games against UNC, Yori said she believes the team will be ready for whichever pitcher they face today.Â Â Â
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â€œWeâ€™ve seen all of their pitchers a lot,â€ she said. â€œWeâ€™ve hit them all pretty well, itâ€™s not really been an issue of our offense not scoring runs against them.â€Â Â Â
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Todayâ€™s home game is only CSUâ€™s sixth at Ram Field this season, after going a perfect 5-0 in last monthâ€™s Colorado State Classic. The home stand will be short lived, however, as the Rams will again travel west this weekend to begin conference play.
The weekend road trip will start in Las Vegas against the Runninâ€™ Rebels on Friday, before taking on the Aztecs of San Diego State on Saturday and Sunday.
Softball Beat Reporter Joel Hafnor can be reached at email@example.com.
Next Game: CSU vs. UNC
Time: 4 p.m.
Where: Ram Field