The CSU softball team enjoyed a good start to its season this weekend, going 3-1 in Palm Springs, Calif.
The Rams started tournament play Friday by defeating No. 20 Oregon, 3-2. Sophomores Allison Majam and Ashley Munoz and senior Julia Kloppe were pivotal in the win, with Munoz hitting a two-run home run to put the team on top for good.
The season-opening win was the first victory in an opener since 2004 and marked the third time in three years that CSU has beaten a ranked opponent. Last season the Rams beat No. 11 Cal, 2-0, and in 2006 the Rams beat No. 18 Oregon, 6-1.
Friday night the Rams faced off against Portland State, coming away with a 4-0 victory. Senior pitcher Cayte Billman threw a complete game one-hitter, and sophomore second baseman Robyn Mask drove in three runs.
Saturday saw the team suffer its first loss of the season, falling to UC-Davis, 5-3. Munoz played a key role in the game, going 3-for-3. Sophomore Rebecca Penland started on the mound, going 3 and two-thirds innings before Billman came in to relieve her.
In the second game of the day, the Rams got back to their winning ways against Winthrop with a 3-2 victory. Senior Lauren Cusick and Mask were instrumental, and Kim Klabough pitched a complete game for the second time in two days.
The tournament concluded Sunday with a win against UC-Riverside in come-from-behind fashion, 7-6. Klabough started the game on the mound, but got into some trouble, giving up five runs in three innings. Billman came on in relief and got the win.
Kloppe, Majam, Mask and Munoz contributed to send the game into extra innings. Senior Lauren Cusick doubled in Mask from third to win the game in the bottom of the eighth.
“We are satisfied with the first weekend and looking forward to having a few days off,” CSU coach Mary Yori said.
Tournament play resumes next weekend when CSU travels to New Mexico for another five games in three days, facing Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio, New Mexico State, Illinois-Chicago and North Dakota State.
Staff writer Rachel Knox-Stutsman can be reached at email@example.com.