Feb 192004
 
Authors: Scott Bondy

The 27th annual Troy Cox Classic begins this weekend as the Rams

are back on the road headed to Las Cruses, N.M. To say the least,

it should be exciting for CSU. As the season progresses, so does

the competition. Heading into the three-day tournament, the Rams

have an 8-4 record but look to keep improving.

On Friday, CSU faces the University of Illinois-Chicago (3-10)

in its first game and then faces a tough Texas State (8-2) team.

The Rams play Portland State (1-4) and New Mexico State (1-10) on

Saturday and cap off the weekend with another game versus Texas

State on Sunday. Although Texas State appears to be the only threat

to the Rams in the tournament, the other teams should not be

overlooked.

“The teams are deceiving with their records and we can’t

overlook them. We have to be prepared, but at the same time, we

have a good chance to win,” said head coach Mary Yori.

Both CSU and the Texas State Bobcats average 4.1 runs per game

so it should be a good matchup. Leading CSU is senior Ricki Walker,

who has gotten off to a good start for the Rams. She is first on

the team in batting average (.436), hits (17) and slugging

percentage (.641).

Last week the Rams displayed some great defense, committing no

errors in all five games at a tournament at Texas-San Antonio. This

week the Rams will look to their pitching to win games. Senior

pitcher Megan Masser seems ready for the challenge, although she’s

nursing a sore arm.

“The arm’s good, its a bit of a strain,” Masser said. “But I had

a good week of practice and I can handle it.”

CSU will need a strong outing from Masser to beat a dangerous

Texas State team. In 29 innings this season, she has 33 strikeouts

and a 2.62 ERA. Sophomore Jaycee Wood is doing her best to back

Masser and has a 2-1 record with a 2.72 ERA.

The Bobcats are No. 25 in the USA Today/NFCA poll. Texas State

will be the Rams’ only ranked opponent so far this season. It is an

anticipated game and gives the Rams a chance to show how good they

really are.

“Texas State is definitely the team we’re gunning for,” Yori

said. “It’ll be a good challenge and we feel we are up to it.”

Junior Steph Roberts agreed and feels strongly about the depth

and talent of this team.

“I think we all believe we can beat any team on any given day,”

Roberts said.

This will be the last away tournament for CSU before opening the

home season against Utah State on March 6.

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