With three home-games remaining and just six overall, the CSU softball team takes on the BYU Cougars today at 3 p.m. at Ram Field.
The Rams (7-38, 0-9 MWC) are currently in the midst of an 11-game losing streak, and their schedule doesnâ€™t get any easier from here with all of their remaining games coming against the top-four teams in the Mountain West Conference.
The Cougars (33-15, 7-1 MWC) currently sit atop the Mountain West standings, having won 21 of their previous 22 games and receiving votes in the latest national-ranking polls.
â€œYou canâ€™t let your guard down against any of the (BYU hitters),â€ said CSU head coach Jen Fisher. One player the Rams will keep an especially close eye on is Jessica Fitu, BYUâ€™s catcher and reigning MWC softball player of the week.
Beating BYU is no easy task, said Fisher, â€œTheir pitchers donâ€™t make many mistakes, but we have to capitalize on those marginal pitches that they throw (in order to win).â€
The best way to do this is to work deep into counts and make sure to hit the mistakes hard, Fisher said.
Fitu can hurt you in every aspect of the game, offensively, defensively and on the bases, according to Fisher. She is currently hitting .395 on the season with 10 home runs, which is good for third and fourth in the conference, respectively.
Fitu also leads the conference in runners-picked-off at eight.
Emily Pohl, a catcher and utility player for the Rams, is currently tied with Fitu in home runs, and is tied for second with two runners-picked-off.
The Cougars are also led by Paige Affleck, who was named last weekâ€™s MWC pitcher of the week.
Affleck dominates the leader-boards for conference statistics, leading in opponentsâ€™ batting average (.204), innings pitched (192), strikeouts (185), wins (21), and appearances (37).
After taking on the Cougars, the Rams will begin a two-game series at home with the University of Utah on Friday and Saturday before heading on the road for their final three regular-season games against SDSU and UNLV next week.
CSU plays Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. in the two-game set against the Utes at Ram Field.
Softball Beat Reporter Nick Childs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.