Feb 242011
 
Authors: Travis Todd

The CSU softball team kicks off its third tournament of the 2011 season today in Palo Alto, Calif. The Rams will look to end its six-game losing streak as they begin play in the Stanford Nike

Invitational.

The Rams (2-7) will have their hands full again this weekend as they face off against two top-25 teams in tourney-host Stanford (No. 16) and Kentucky (No. 24). The team will also take on UC Davis, North Dakota State and Memphis during the three-day tournament.

CSU will look to rebound after a rough weekend in Texas that saw the Rams drop all five games. Senior shortstop Caitlan Stem thinks the team will respond well after the tough start.

“We just chalk it up to last weekend was a bad weekend, but we have a lot of season left,” said Stem, who leads the team with 10 hits.
“I think we’re all mentally and physically prepared to come out and have a better showing this weekend and redeem ourselves.”

With a young team, making mistakes is part of the learning curve. When times get tough, coach Jen Fisher said keeping the team focused and ready to work is paramount.

“The only way you can get yourself out of it is to feel good about the work you are putting in day-in and day-out,” she said.

Fisher said balancing serious and fun attitudes is also key.
“You show up at the field, and you press and press and press to get those players 100 percent focused,” said Fisher, who is in her first year of coaching at the Division-I level. “When practice is over or the game is over, you’ve got to have fun with them and remember that they’re kids.”

The Rams pitching staff has yet to hit its stride in the circle, while the offense has had strong stretches but would benefit from more consistency. CSU’s offense is piloted by freshman Morghan Doughty, who currently leads the team in five categories, including home runs, runs scored and RBI.

In response to its slow start, the team has put losses in the past and taken everything in stride.

“(We’re) taking it one day at a time, one tournament at a time, one game at a time –– just really letting everyone know that there is a lot of season left,” Stem said.

The Rams open the tournament today facing both Kentucky and UC Davis. On Saturday, CSU will square off with North Dakota State and host-school Stanford. The team will close out the tournament on Sunday against Memphis.
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Softball Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at sports@collegian.com._

The tournament

  • Palo Alto, Calif. for their third season tournament
  • Friday opponents: Kentucky and UC Davis
  • Saturday opponents: North Dakota State and host-school Stanford
  • Sunday opponent: Memphis
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