Youth was ever-present at Rams Field Sunday afternoon, as the CSU softball team took on the Yellow Jackets of Montana State in a fall season double-header.
With only two seniors on their roster, the Rams fielded a group of young, inexperienced players against an equally young opponent. The result was as could be expected: a split between the two teams with the Yellow Jackets taking game one 5-2 and the Rams taking game two.
“The first game we were a little lackluster,” said head coach Mary Yori. “We weren’t playing with the intensity we should, that is what usually happens in the fall.”
Sophomore Melanie Mahoney, who earned several Mountain West Conference honors last season as a freshman, pitched the first four innings of game one giving up two runs. The Rams managed to erase a 2-0 deficit before freshman Genevieve Kelly gave up three runs in her three innings of work.
“I think they got one good hit off Genevieve,” Yori said. “They got a couple of bleeders and that was it. She did okay and that’s what we expected.”
Junior Megan Masser, who led the Rams in strikeouts last season, took the circle in game two and came away victorious. Another freshman, JayCee Wood, pitched three innings in relief to help seal the victory.
Though the Rams split, Yori said she was impressed with the play of the team’s freshmen and underclassmen considering their lack of quality playing time.
“We had a lot of inexperience out there,” Yori said. “But they played well and made routine plays. That’s all you can expect after two weeks of practice.”
Montana State head coach Jeff Aumend said he was impressed with the Rams’ composure and the way Yori has rebuilt the team during her three-year tenure with the team.
“Coach Yori is gonna get this program turned around,” Aumend said. “We worked together at the Division II level and I know she has a knack for recruiting talent and getting the most out of her players.”
The Rams will continue the fall season this weekend as they head to Lincoln, Neb., to play a triple-header.