Mar 222004
 
Authors: Paul Baker

While students were out partying for Spring Break in Mexico or

California, the CSU softball team was hard at work in the Rebel

Springs Tournament over the break.

The Rams finished the week 7-2, losing some close games and

beating some quality teams. The team was scheduled to play three

more games, but due to weather the games were cancelled. CSU

started the weekend off slow, losing two of the first three, but

finished the weekend strong with big bats and six straight

wins.

“The players came out flat and with no energy to begin the

week,” said head coach Mary Yori. “As the week went on though, we

played better and were mentally sharp.”

To begin the week, the Rams played a tough game against Yale.

CSU held a 5-0 lead, when Yale started to piece together a

comeback. They strung together a few singles and managed to get the

lead from the Rams 6-5. After tying the game back up in the seventh

inning, the Rams lost 7-6 in extra innings. Junior catcher Kerry

Farrell and sophomore outfielder Jennifer Gardner both went 3-for-4

in the game.

“They never really hit the ball out of the infield, but they had

timely hits and put them together well,” Yori said of Yale’s

comeback.

A bright spot for the Rams this weekend was the play of freshman

pitcher

Jessica Strickland. Not only did she pitch well, but she also

led the team in offensive production. During the week she hit well

over .500, having two games where she hit 3-for-3 and one where she

went 2-for-3. She also recorded four home runs, with one

multi-homer game against Southern Missouri State.

“I felt really good about my pitching this week,” Strickland

said. “Spending time together helped us come together as a team

this week, which will only help us win games.”

In the tournament’s fourth game, the Rams saw the return of

senior pitcher Megan Masser. She had previously sat out eight games

with an injury to her throwing arm. She came in for relief of

JayCee Wood during the game against Southern Missouri State to

pitch two innings and pick up the save.

“It is a big boost for the team to get Masser back in the

rotation and put us back to full strength,” Yori said. “Although,

our three other pitchers responded very well to Masser being

out.”

After their slow start to the week, the Rams outscored their

opponents 39-6 in the six games that they won. Junior second

basemen Steph Roberts also had a good week, recording three home

runs. In the Rams’ 2-1 victory over Columbia, Roberts had a two-run

home run to seal the game. She also went 4-for-5, with a home run

and two RBIs, in the 10-0 win over Buckell. The Rams as a team hit

very well over the week, going .333 in nine games.

“We are very similar to last year’s team, but this year we are

definitely

hitting better,” Yori said.

The team will now have a week off to rest and prepare for

conference play. The Rams will start back up on April 3, with a

doubleheader against New Mexico in Albuquerque.

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