Feb 192006
 
Authors: DREW GONZALES

Last week CSU's softball team opened up the season going 3-3 in the Hilton Las Cruces Classic. The Rams got off to a tough start in Las Cruces, NM but fought back to .500 by tournament's end.

Looking to build off the momentum they established Feb. 12, CSU went to Las Vegas over the weekend to compete in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. CSU had five games against a variety of teams, including two from the perennially strong PAC-10, Oregon and Oregon State.

The Rams got off to a great start Friday, beating Notre Dame 5-4 before dominating the University of Central Michigan 10-4.

Freshman pitcher Kim Klabough improved to 3-0 on the season after no-hitting Notre Dame through six innings. The Fighting Irish made it interesting when they put together a late four-run rally, but the Rams held them off for the close win.

Junior Jessica Strickland had a home run in each of the first two games, bringing her season total to six. Her second inning grand slam against Central Michigan gave the Rams the lead for good. Junior outfielder Brittany Huerta secured the lead for the Rams when she belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning.

On Saturday, the Rams had two more games, one against the nationally ranked University of Oregon Ducks. In the afternoon game, CSU won in impressive fashion, shutting down the 24th-ranked Ducks 6-1.

In their second game later that evening, the Rams edged out California Polytechnic State University 5-4, their second one-run victory of the tournament. Sophomore infielder Lauren Cusick went 3-4 on the afternoon, and scored crucial runs for the Rams.

With six consecutive wins under their belt, CSU's lone Sunday game came against No. 12 Oregon State University, perhaps their toughest opponent of the season to this point, where they lost 8-7.

San Diego will be the site of the Rams next tournament, the Aztec Invitational. CSU will compete in five more games against schools such as the University of Kentucky and Indiana State University.

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