The CSU softball team continued its struggles into conference play this weekend, dropping three games at Ram Field.
The Rams (7-30, 0-3 MWC) played host to UNLV on Friday and ended the weekend with two games against Mountain West Conference leader San Diego State.
CSU started the weekend with promise as the Rams led early and scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to come within one run of UNLV but never got any closer as they fell to the Rebels, 9-8. Despite falling short, the team remained optimistic about the effort.
â€œI was happy with our patience, and I think, obviously, we were right in that game and thatâ€™s all we can ask for,â€ said head coach Jen Fisher.
Senior Caitlan Stem led the Rams at the plate, going 2 for 3 and connecting on her fourth home run of the season. The eight-run performance was the most runs generated by the Rams since March 6.
CSU would come painfully close yet again on Saturday. The Rams took an early 9-1 lead after three innings against San Diego State before the Aztecs began chipping away at the lead. CSU led 11-8 going into the seventh inning before allowing seven Aztec runners to cross home in the frame.
CSUâ€™s freshman Chelsea Biglow led the offense by hitting a grand slam in her first at-bat. She went 2 for 3 on the day and collected five RBI. Fisher continues to be happy with the success Biglow and other Rams freshmen are having.
â€œIâ€™m just real proud of (Biglow),â€ said Fisher. â€œSheâ€™s a team leader for us by example, and she has such a positive attitude, works hard and, we have such a good core of freshmen that are just on the same page. Iâ€™m just real proud of her.â€
Fellow freshman Alexa Cash picked up the loss for the Rams, allowing 11 earned runs in 4.2 innings of work.
â€œItâ€™s just they were squaring stuff up, and if we can do a little better at changing speeds, working corners and maybe get a couple calls, I think weâ€™ve just got to get better on the mound,â€ Fisher said.
The weekend ended with a game to forget as the Aztecs routed the Rams 17-2 on Sunday. CSUâ€™s next game is at home against the University of Northern Colorado on Wednesday at 4 p.m. MT.
Even though the Rams were winless over the weekend, the offense is progressing, and Fisher believes that will eventually translate into victories.
â€œI feel good about how we hit the ball against [SDSU], one of the top pitching teams in the conference. They were tops last year, theyâ€™re at the top this year,â€ Fisher said. â€œNow weâ€™ve got to put all three together: defense, pitching and hitting.â€
Softball Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._