Apr 162012
Authors: Andrew Schaller

In a game full of twists and turns, the CSU softball team had the last laugh against Portland State, winning 10-9 in eight innings Monday afternoon.

The Rams (18-18) jumped out in front early on, scoring four runs in the first inning en route to a five-run lead after three.

Portland State (20-21) got to the Rams in the fifth inning, however, knocking CSU starting pitcher Kelli Eubanks out of the game after giving up a single and two consecutive walks. Portland State scored three runs in the fifth inning and five in the sixth inning against the Rams’ relievers, gaining a 9-7 lead going into the seventh and final inning.

CSU was down to its last out in the bottom of the seventh inning when Chelsea Biglow hit a two-run bases-loaded double down the right field line to tie the game at 9-9.

“I think the team knows and believes in her,” CSU coach Jen Fisher said. “They know that we can battle from behind and so, of course with her in the box, I think, the team felt comfortable, felt like she was gonna get something done for us.”

Following the Rams’ rally, Portland State answered with a rally of its own in the top of the eighth inning, loading the bases with two outs for designated hitter Aubrey Nitschelm.

Nitschelm hit a line drive between first and second base, but CSU’s Haley David made a diving catch to end the threat and keep the score tied.

“I was just thinking about holding on to it at the end,” David said. “I think just the best plays come from when you’re not thinking about anything at all, so nothing at all was going through my mind so I think that kind of helped.”

David then came to the plate to lead-off the bottom of the eighth inning and hit a single before scoring the game-winning run on shortstop Ashlie Ortega’s walk-off double.

“I’ve been getting pitched out(side) lately and so I’ve been really focusing on driving the outside pitch where it’s actually pitched,” Ortega said. “But then I saw she came in, so I just kind of unleashed and pulled real hard and just slammed it.”

The loss for Portland State marks the third loss in its last five games and its third extra-inning loss in the last three weeks.

“I’m just really happy with them,” Portland State coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “Being down especially 4-0 in the first inning you can kind of lay over and die and they did a great job of battling.”

The Rams snap a three-game losing streak with the win and have regained some momentum they had earlier in the year going into a crucial three-game series against Boise State.

“I think it’s really important,” Ortega said of the win Monday. “I think it gives us some good momentum going into the weekend, and since we’re home, it’s gonna be real nice having our home crowd and a lot of people there.”

Softball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

Totals in seventh and eighth innings
Runs: 3
Hits: 5
Extra-Base hits: 2
Portland State
Runs: 0
Hits: 4
Extra-Base hits: 0
Errors: 1

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