They donâ€™t come around often, but when a pitcher is able to throw one, itâ€™s a moment everyone cherishes.
Thursday, Kelli Eubanks of the CSU softball team pitched her first career no-hitter as the Rams downed Utah (17-21, 0-3 MWC) 8-0 en route to their first Mountain West Conference victory of 2010.
For head coach Mary Yori, itâ€™s only the second no-hitter she remembers during her 10-year stint at CSU.
â€œI think this is only the second one I remember since Iâ€™ve been here,â€ Yori said. â€œI think Kim Klabough had one a couple of years ago â€¦ itâ€™s the first one for Kelli, and we havenâ€™t had one in the past couple of years. Theyâ€™re few and far between, and this will really be good for her confidence.â€
Confidence should be key as the Rams (22-14, 1-3) opened MWC play last week on the road, losing all three games. Eubanks gave up a combined 13 earned runs and was nailed for two losses.
â€œIt feels really good coming out, especially after the three losses we had last week,â€ Eubanks said. â€œBut I couldnâ€™t have done it without everyone else. Itâ€™s not a one-man show, and it never will be.â€
Taking the pressure off Eubanks was sophomore center fielder Jenna Krogh.
Already with a seven-run lead, Krogh stepped to the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs. The slap-style hitter then drove a walk-off solo home run over the right field wall, ending the game in an 8-0 run rule.
Not only was the home run the first of Kroghâ€™s career, but also the first time in her life she had gone yard.
â€œIt was a pitch I probably shouldnâ€™t have swung at to begin with,â€ said Krogh, who bats second in the Ramsâ€™ lineup. â€œIt looked like a pop-up at first, but I never expected it because Iâ€™m little, I slap, I didnâ€™t expect to ever hit a home run.
â€œI started slapping when I was 12. Iâ€™m used to beating out throws.â€
The Rams will have little time to celebrate the milestone for both players as the Cougars of BYU come to Fort Collins today and Saturday.
â€œI think this is a good momentum change for us and should put us in the right direction. I donâ€™t see why we shouldnâ€™t beat BYU this weekend,â€ Eubanks said.
Opening pitch against BYU is scheduled for 4 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free on both days.
Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.