The CSU softball team (9-1) continued its winning ways over the weekend at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces Classic, earning a tournament championship title.
The tournament started Friday with a 9 a.m. game the Rams defeated the University of Texas Arlington Mavericks, 12-7.
Tied at five after the regulation seven innings, the game went into extra innings. CSU came away from the 10-inning, three hour and 16 minute contest with a victory thanks in part to senior pitcher Cayte Billman, who got the win.
In the second matchup of the day, which was slated to begin at 11 am, the Rams shut out the Texas San Antonio Roadrunners, 6-0.
Senior Lauren Cusick and freshman Caitlan Stem each went 3-for-4 in the game. Cusick scored two of the six runs, including a home run. Billman and sophomores Robyn Mask, Sara Sullivan and Allison Majam accounted for the other four runs.
The CSU winning streak reached five games Saturday when the Rams beat the New Mexico State Aggies, 9-6
In the sixth inning, the Rams put together a two-out rally, busting the 3-2 lead wide open. Eranne Daugharthy singled home fellow freshman Ivory Allen. Daugharthy later scored on an error. In the seventh, Billman hit a two-run home run, giving the team a 9-3 lead. The Aggies were able to score three final runs before Billman slammed the door to bring home another win.
“It’s nice to score enough runs to distance ourselves late in the game,” CSU coach Mary Yori said in a university press release. “Our offense is really hitting the ball well and defensively we played very well again.”
The Rams concluded the tournament Sunday with a pair of convincing victories. They beat Illinois Chicago 9-5 and North Dakota State 9-1. They finished 5-0 on the weekend, and Stem, Cusick and Billman were named to the all-tournament team. Cusick was named tournament MVP.
The team will travel to San Diego for the University of San Diego Tournament next weekend. There, the Rams will face UC Riverside, San Diego, Loyola Marymount, Nevada and Marshall.
Sports writer Rachel Knox-Stutsman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.