Rams Steal First Place

 Uncategorized
May 092004
 
Authors: Scott Bondy

After an unpredictable weekend in the Mountain West Conference,

the CSU softball team has taken sole possession of first place with

four wins against New Mexico. San Diego State, the conference

leader for most of the season, collapsed in its last two games

versus Brigham Young. Here is a look at the MWC heading into the

conference tournament:

No. 1 Colorado State (39-13, 15-4 in MWC)

The Rams have won 14 of their last 16 games. Not only do they

have the best conference record but also the best overall record.

Hitting .331, best in the conference, the Rams are dominating

opposing pitchers. Senior Ricki Walker leads the conference in

hitting with a .399 batting average. CSU’s pitching staff ranks

second with a 2.03 ERA. Head coach Mary Yori recorded her 100th

victory on Friday and continues to improve the program each

year.

No. 2 San Diego State University (35-22, 14-6 in MWC)

Utah split two games with SDSU and snapped the Aztecs 15-game

home winning streak this past week. BYU then took two games from

SDSU as the Aztecs dropped three of their last four games on the

season. Although they hold a No. 2 seed in the tournament, the

Aztecs have beaten first-place CSU three of four times this season.

Aztec pitchers have amassed a conference-best 1.43 ERA. CSU and

SDSU will enjoy first-round byes.

No. 3 Brigham Young (34-17, 11-8 in MWC)

With victories against many quality opponents, such as

then-No.23-ranked Pacific, BYU boasts a very capable team. The

Cougars are led by sophomores Paige Paramore, hitting .361, and

Ianeta Le’i with a .355 batting average. Pitcher Brooke Boyce went

13-8 with a 1.74 ERA on the season. The Cougars finished first in

the conference in on-base percentage (.384) and runs scored

(269).

No. 4 Utah (20-31, 8-12 in MWC)

The Utes lost their final two games of the season to UNLV. The

two teams meet again May 13 to start the Mountain West tourney. For

the second-straight season, Utah finished fourth in the conference.

Senior Glennis Donnelly hit .391 with 17 homeruns this season and

should give pitchers plenty of trouble this week.

No. 5 UNLV (25-34, 7-13 in MWC)

With only three active pitchers on the UNLV roster, the Rebels

faced tough challenges this year. Junior Jacque Kerrigan pitched a

conference-high 220.1 innings and struck out a conference-leading

195 batters. Heading into the postseason, the Rebels have won their

last three of four games. They won their final game of the season

versus Utah in extra innings. UNLV will be looking to ride their

momentum deep into the tournament.

No. 6 New Mexico (29-34, 3-16 in MWC)

Last-place New Mexico has struggled all year in the conference.

Losing the last eight games of the season, including four to CSU,

the Lobos will need to raise their level of play in order to win.

Their first game will be played versus BYU, a team that swept the

Lobos in the regular season. The one bright spot for New Mexico may

be that they are a heavy underdog and hope to take teams by

surprise.

Anticipate CSU and San Diego State in the conference title game.

The Rams look to have enough to take the struggling Aztecs this

year and will likely be MWC Tournament Champions for the

second-straight year.

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