The CSU softball team (4-1, 0-0) will be in New Mexico this weekend, participating in the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces Classic in Las Cruces, and junior pitcher Kim Klabough is excited for one game in particular.
“(I am looking forward to playing) Texas San Antonio. They hit a lot of home runs against me freshman year,” Klabough said. “I feel I can do better this time.”
Klabough, an apparel merchandizing major from Sierra Vista, Ariz., has been playing softball since she was 8 and pitching since she was 12. What she likes most about softball is the challenge.
“Being a pitcher, I face a lot of challenges,”she said. “I like being competitive. (I also like) that it’s a team sport. If I am not playing well, my teammates will be there.”
Playing in high school, Klabough earned a varsity letter all four years and made the all-state team three consecutive times.
CSU coach Mary Yori has high praise for Klabough.
“The difference between now and when she came on campus three years ago is (that) Kim has really gained a lot of composure and pitches with a lot of confidence,” Yori said.
When she was a freshman, Klabough played in 40 games, starting in 30. Twenty-three of those 30 she appeared as a pitcher and seven as the designated player. During that 2006 season, Klabough ranked fifth in the conference with an ERA of 2.17 while pitching 175.2 innings. Klabough also struck out 138 batters and pitched a perfect game against Jacksonville, earning MWC Pitcher of the Week honors twice.
As a freshman, Klabough also performed well with the bat. She had six doubles, which placed her fourth on the team. And a batting average of .239 placed her sixth on the team.
Last year, Klabough played in 34 games, leading the team in ERA (2.54), wins (12) and innings pitched (149).
“She’s just worked really hard to lead the team in pitching,” Yori said.
When she is not on the mound, Klabough enjoys kickboxing, reading and shopping.
Today, in Las Cruces, Klabough and her teammates will face Texas Arlington (1-4, 0-0) at 9 a.m. and Texas San Antonio (1-2, 0-0) at 11 a.m. Saturday the team will play New Mexico State (1-4, 0-0) at 2 pm.
The Rams wrap up the tournament on Sunday with games against Illinois-Chicago (2-2, 0-0) and North Dakota State (4-1, 0-0).
Sports writer Rachel Knox-Stutsman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.