Eleven days after losing to in-state rival the University of Northern Colorado in heartbreaking fashion, the CSU softball team returned the favor, coming from behind to defeat the Bears 6-5 Wednesday evening at Ram Field.
The Rams (23-11) fell behind 5-0 in the fifth inning, before scoring six unanswered runs thanks to home runs from sophomore Christine Thomsen and senior Allison Majam.
Senior Rebecca Penland, who has been the teamâ€™s leading offensive producer this season, made her mark on the game, allowing only two hits during a little more than two innings in the pitching circle. The strong performance marked Penlandâ€™s second victory of the season.
â€œI was really proud of how our kids fought back and battled today,â€ Rams head coach Mary Yori said. â€œThis is good momentum for us heading into conference play this weekend.â€
The Rams now lead the season series against the Bears 2-1. CSU and UNC are scheduled to conclude their four-game season series on April 20 at Ram Field.
With the win, the Rams preserve a perfect record at home moving to 6-0 this season at Ram Field.
CSUâ€™s 23 non-conference victories this season are the most for the program in six years, when the 2004 squad won 24 games. Consequently, the 2004 squad is the last CSU softball team to win a conference championship, something the 2010 team hopes to work toward, beginning Friday.
CSUâ€™s Mountain West Conference schedule begins this weekend, as the Rams will face both UNLV and San Diego State on the road. The Aztecs and Rebels combined for a 17-13 conference record a year ago, finishing second and third respectively in 2009.
The Rams are set to host their first conference games beginning April 15, as the team will look to extend their home winning streak against visitors BYU and Utah next week.
Softball beat reporter Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.