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 Ramsâ€™ 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.
â€œI think the team knows and believes in her,â€ CSU coach Jen Fisher said. â€œThey 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.â€
Following the Ramsâ€™ 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 CSUâ€™s Haley David made a diving catch to end the threat and keep the score tied.
â€œI was just thinking about holding on to it at the end,â€ David said. â€œI think just the best plays come from when youâ€™re not thinking about anything at all, so nothing at all was going through my mind so I think that kind of helped.â€
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 Ortegaâ€™s walk-off double.
â€œIâ€™ve been getting pitched out(side) lately and so Iâ€™ve been really focusing on driving the outside pitch where itâ€™s actually pitched,â€ Ortega said. â€œBut then I saw she came in, so I just kind of unleashed and pulled real hard and just slammed it.â€
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.
â€œIâ€™m just really happy with them,â€ Portland State coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. â€œBeing down especially 4-0 in the first inning you can kind of lay over and die and they did a great job of battling.â€
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.
â€œI think itâ€™s really important,â€ Ortega said of the win Monday. â€œI think it gives us some good momentum going into the weekend, and since weâ€™re home, itâ€™s gonna be real nice having our home crowd and a lot of people there.â€
Softball Beat Reporter Andrew Schaller can be reached at email@example.com.
Totals in seventh and eighth innings
Extra-Base hits: 2
Extra-Base hits: 0