The Ram softball team snapped their five-game losing streak Saturday, winning the back half of a two-game series against the Utah Utes in definitive fashion, 20-5. The win moved the Rams to 24-23 on the season and 3-5 in conference play.
The Rams scored 17 runs in the last three innings to jump in front of the struggling Utes, who fell to 2-8 in the Mountain West with the loss.
CSU had 15 hits in the game, including eight extra-base hits. Seven different players in the lineup had multiple hit games and five of those players had multiple runs.
The offensive explosion was led by seniors Jessica Strickland and Britney Huerta, who each homered in the contest. Strickland was 2-4 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs, and Huerta finished 2-4 with 2 RBIs and 3 runs.
Huerta’s solo home run in the top of the fifth is the 32nd of her career, tying her with former NFCA 1st Team All-American Sara Fredstrom for the most all time in school history. Strickland moved into a tie for third on that list with 30 career home runs.
The team now has 60 home runs on the season, breaking the school record of 58 held by the 2004 team.
Sophomore Kim Klabough picked up the win for the Rams, moving her to 9-8 on the season. In three innings Klabough gave up seven hits and five runs, striking out two and not allowing a walk.
Friday’s game one of the two game series was significantly less productive for the Ram offense, as they managed just 5 hits in the game and lost by a score of 8-4.
Freshmen Allison Majam and Ashely Munoz continued to add to their impressive debut seasons, hitting back to back home runs in the top of the 6th inning to bring the Rams within four of the last place Utes. The offense would not be able to get anything going in the seventh, going quietly with two groundouts and a fly out.
Majam and Munoz’s home runs give them each eight on the season, six away from the single season record set by Britney Huerta in 2004.
Senior Jessica Strickland suffered the loss for the Rams, dropping her record to 7-8. In four innings Strickland gave up six runs (four earned) on six hits, striking out two and walking one.
The Rams will be away again next weekend when they travel to Las Vegas for a two game stint against UNLV on Friday. They will then head to California to take on the San Diego State Aztecs in a two game series on Saturday and Sunday. Next home action for the Rams is scheduled for March 3 against Utah.
Softball beat reporter Nick Hubel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOFTBALL ON THE ROAD AGAIN
What: CSU (24-23, 3-5) vs. UNLV
Where: Las Vegas, Nev.