The old saying goes â€œage before beauty,â€ but the current Rams softball team defeated its former members 1-0 in Colorado Stateâ€™s Alumnae Game Sunday at Ram Field.
Freshman pitcher Alexi Cash hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to score the gameâ€™s only run.
â€œTo have a pitcher that is that powerful on offense is rare,â€ head coach Jen Fisher said. â€œShe didnâ€™t have the best at bat the time before, but sheâ€™s hopefully demonstrating to the other kids that one swing of the bat can change the game.â€
Cash, the winning pitcher, pitched the gameâ€™s last five innings, only allowing one hit while striking out six alumnae.
â€œI think me and (starting pitcher Kelsey Jo Oâ€™Brien) work really well together in games like that where we work with each other,â€ she said. â€œWeâ€™re a good pitching combo.â€
Oâ€™Brien started the game and pitched four shutout innings, collecting three strikeouts and permitting only two hits.
â€œKelseyâ€™s really been working hard, sheâ€™s coming off an injury last year so I think sheâ€™s really feeling good,â€ Fisher said. â€œIt was nice to see her sharp and crisp. I think she really hit her spots very well.â€
CSU assistant coach Dedeann Pendleton also pitched a full inning, throwing slow pitch to 1978 alumnus Dawn Brown for her three at bats.
â€œIt was a blast, I havenâ€™t pitched in probably 15 years,â€ Pendleton said. â€œItâ€™s just fun to have all of our alumni here. Itâ€™s a great experience to get these women back here who have such history in the program.â€
Brown grounded out to third base for the final out of the game, which gave Pendleton the save.
The teams played nine innings, for the most part at the request of the alumnae to have more at-bats, but also to enhance the experience for the current CSU players.
â€œOur benefit there was to get both our pitchers four innings and we wanted to get everybody a couple of at-bats,â€ Fisher said. â€œWe wanted to do that so itâ€™s definitely a benefit for everybody.â€
Regulation NCAA softball games run seven innings.
Fisher was concerned about her offense with only two games left until the end of the fall season.
The Rams only produced four hits, three of which were singles.
â€œWeâ€™ve got to get better,â€ she said. â€œWe hit some balls right at people. Overall, I liked their discipline at the plate, their approach.â€
Sports reporter Kyle Grabowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.