Apr 162006
 
Authors: DREW GONZALES

It wasn’t much of a happy homecoming for Rams as they dropped all four conference home games over the weekend. CSU dropped to 22-16 on the season after losing two games apiece to Utah and BYU. The Rams were in contention to win all four games, but strong finishes by their opponents extended CSU’s losing streak to seven.

“We fought hard this weekend, but we couldn’t get people out and we couldn’t get any hits when we needed to,” said CSU head coach Mary Yori.

The Rams dug themselves an early hole in Saturday’s first game against BYU, down 5-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Katie Dean poked a double over the center fielder’s head to get the Rams going. Sophomore Lauren Cusick capped a two-out rally with a two-run home run that tied the game at five.

In the top half of the third, BYU took control of the game for good with a pair of two-run home runs by junior Jodi Norton and senior Ianeta Le’i. The Rams couldn’t cut into this four-run deficit, losing 14-10.

“Our pitchers gave up hits, and we just couldn’t get anybody out. We played close, it just wasn’t enough,” Yori said.

Game two saw the Rams fall behind early off the strength of Le’i’s second and third home runs of the day; both hitting almost the exact same spot on a light post past the left field wall. CSU cut the Cougars’ eight-run lead in half in the bottom of the second, before exploding for seven runs in the third, to take an 11-8 lead.

A pair of errors by junior Brittany Huerta and freshmen Kim Klabough allowed BYU to score three runs on their way to taking a 12-11 lead. CSU kept it close, but couldn’t overtake the Cougars who won the game 16-13.

Saturday’s losses came less than 24 hours after another pair of losses against Utah. Game one was tied 4-4 entering the seventh inning before Utah freshmen Staci Hemingway belted a solo home run over the left field wall. It became the game winning home run when the Rams couldn’t answer, losing 5-4. In the end, errors cost the Rams the game, as the Utes got two runs off of errors in a one-run game.

The second game of the double-header against Utah was more of the same. Heading into the late innings, it was a tie ballgame at 4-4, but Utah scored the last three runs of the game to win 7-4.

Jessica Strickland did everything she could to keep the Rams in Friday’s games with her pitching and hitting. Over four games, Strickland pitched more than 14 innings, recorded six hits and six RBIs. A frustrated Strickland spoke after the game.

“We’re getting on base and scoring runs, we just have to do it when it’s important,” Strickland said, “Errors gave runs away. We need to snap out of it.”

CSU will get a chance to end its losing streak Friday, when they host a double-header against the San Diego State Aztecs.

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