The struggles continue for a young CSU softball team, losing 12-4 to Portland State University at home Monday. The loss is the teamâ€™s eleventh straight defeat as the season begins its final weeks.
The Rams (7-38, 0-9 MWC) have lost 19 of their last 21 games.
Junior Lyssa Roberts continued her solid season going 3-for-3 at the plate, but there wasnâ€™t much more to cheer about after the third inning.
The Rams scored all four of their runs in the third inning started by freshman Alysa Greckelâ€™s leadoff home run, her seventh of the season. Another freshman, Cassandra Mosser, scored the second run on an error and later in the inning designated hitter Brittany Palish hit a two-run single to right field that scored Kelli Groy and Caitlan Stem.
Palish received high praise from CSU coach Jen Fisher after the game.
â€œSheâ€™s a tough out,â€ Fisher said. â€œSheâ€™s been a pleasant surprise. Sheâ€™s getting some time behind the plate and when sheâ€™s not, she is DH-ing. (Palish) helps a lot with the pitchers and obviously is helping us at the plate.â€
Freshman pitcher Alexa Cash started for the Rams, giving up nine runs on seven hits in five innings. CSUâ€™s pitching has made improvements recently after coaches decided they need to reconsider the teamâ€™s approach in the circle.
â€œThe last couple of games the pitchers have started to limit their walks a little bit more and that has really helped us,â€ Fisher said. â€œWhen they do that and they have better quality innings, weâ€™re at least in the game a little bit more, but we canâ€™t give up those big hits with runners on base.â€
The defense played well behind Cash and reliever Desiree Laswell, other than a throwing error in the second inning by third baseman Chelsea Biglow. The outfield threw one Viking runner out at third on a relay from center field and came close on another attempt at second base.
â€œWe also made some strides (defensively),â€ Fisher said. â€œWe made a few plays like the cut here at third, so we were making some better plays that weâ€™ve been working on, between the outfield and the infield â€¦ so I thought weâ€™re improving on that.â€
The Rams are back at it on Thursday when they welcome conference leaders Brigham Young to Ram Field. The game will start at 3 p.m., one hour ahead of the original scheduled time.
Softball Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org