Feb 232004
 
Authors: Paul Baker

The CSU women’s softball team returns home after competing in

the Troy Cox Classic over the weekend. CSU improves on its

impressive start to the season, now at 11-6. In the classic, the

Rams faced tough competition that included 25th-ranked Texas

State.

The classic started Friday with the Rams defeating

Illinois-Chicago by a score of 6-1. Freshman pitcher Jessica

Strickland (4-1) recorded the win, allowing five hits and striking

out three batters, in a complete-game victory. Five Rams had

multi-hit games, junior Steph Roberts and senior Ricki Walker each

recorded three hits. Roberts went 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Walker

hit 3-for-4 with an RBI.

In Friday’s second game, the Rams matched up against probably

their toughest competition yet this season in Texas State. CSU was

held to just three hits early in the game, until the bottom of the

sixth inning when sophomore designated hitter Melanie Laffoon

stepped up to the plate. With two runners on base, Laffoon hit a

deep shot over the right field fence to put the Rams on top for

good. The home run made it 5-3 and capped a come-from-behind

win.

“It feels really good to hit the ball over the fence,” Laffoon

said. “I really do it for my pitchers, because it’s hard for them

out there and I just want to give them something to work with.”

In Saturday’s first game, CSU faced Portland State in a game

that would be decided in the final inning. The Rams used junior

catcher Kerry Farrell’s two-run home run and a three-run inning to

tie the game at 5-5. But in the seventh inning, Portland State

scored on a single to the shortstop to win the game 6-5.

In Saturday’s second game, sophomore pitcher Genevieve Kelly

(2-1) picked up the complete-game victory over New Mexico State.

She struck out six batters and held the Aggies to only three hits

in the 5-0 win.

“Genevieve played really well this weekend, it’s very positive

for her and the team,” said head coach Mari Yori. “The pitching was

definitely better this weekend.”

The Rams offense was again led by Laffoon, as she went 3-for-3

in the game with two RBI’s and two runs scored, including a solo

home run in the second inning. Walker hit her team-leading sixth

double of the year and went 1-for-3 in the game.

On Sunday, the Rams faced Texas State in a rematch of Friday’s

game. Texas State jumped to an early 2-0 lead, with a home run in

the first inning. CSU responded in the fourth, with a solo home run

by Laffoon to cut the lead in half, but that’s as close as the Rams

got. A seventh-inning rally came up short and the Rams lost

2-1.

CSU finished the tournament 3-2, and now has a week off to rest

before its first home stand of the season. The Rams face Utah State

and Southern Utah March 6, 7 and 9 at Rams field.

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