Apr 012004
 
Authors: Scott Bondy

The eve of the Mountain West softball season has arrived and the

women of CSU softball are ready.

The Rams take their 22-9 record to New Mexico this weekend in

hopes of getting off to a strong start in conference play.

Meanwhile, the Lobos (25-18) are doing better than expected. They

were picked to finish last in the Mountain West in preseason

coaches’ poll, but they are currently third. Both teams anticipate

the matchup.

Conference play is extremely important to the Rams, and they

will be challenged immediately by a strong slate of teams,

including New Mexico. Coach Mary Yori gives the Lobos credit and

expects them to be tough.

“They’re a good team and are much improved from last year. It’ll

be a fun couple games but at the same time it’ll be challenging,”

Yori said. “We’ll need to be ready to play.”

Going into the double-header with a healthy team will benefit

the Rams. Senior pitcher Megan Masser returned from an arm injury

and will be ready to provide some strong innings.

“The arm’s great,” Masser said. “I felt really confident while

at the Florida tournament and I’m ready for conference play. And as

a team we are pretty injury-free.”

Offensively, the Rams look potent. As a team they are hitting

.333 for the season while their opponents are hitting .235 against

them. Along with hitting, CSU leads the MWC in slugging percentage

(.539), runs (169), hits (287), home runs (33) and RBIs (156). The

Lobos are batting .252 as a team.

Senior first baseman Ricki Walker continues to lead the team in

hitting percentage (.447), hits (42) and slugging percentage

(.638). Pitching has been just as productive, as every starting

pitcher has a winning record.

It has been two weeks since the Rams played last (in The Rebel

Spring Games in Florida) and anticipate getting back into

competition.

“We’re very excited about the games this weekend. We scheduled

the weeks off to rejuvenate but now we’ve done that and are ready

to play,” Yori said.

The Lobos hold a 39-27 series lead overall between the two

teams, but lately the Rams have been dominating. Last year CSU won

all four games.

Masser and the rest of the team know what it takes to compete in

the conference. Last year the Rams won the conference tournament

and finished second, to this year’s favorite San Diego State, in

the regular season. They look to improve on that this year and it

all starts with conference wins.

“We’re in a good spot right now, hitting well, scaring people

and getting some recognition,” Masser said.

Saturday’s games in Albuquerque swing into action at 1 p.m.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.