Mar 132008
 
Authors: Rachel KnoxStutsman

The CSU softball team, after going 2-1 in its home opening weekend, is spending spring break on the road in Sacramento, Calif., this weekend where they will play teams like Princeton and Ohio State. On Wednesday, CSU (13-3) begins play in the Bank of Hawaii International, facing teams like host Hawaii and Saint Mary’s.

Senior third baseman Lauren Cusick comes off a superb performance last weekend, looking forward to playing teams like Northwestern and Oklahoma, who are ranked in national polls.

“A schedule like this one we have coming up is a challenge every athlete waits for,” Cusick said. “The opportunity to knock someone else off the top. ”

Cusick has been playing softball since she was 9 years old. She loves the atmosphere and intensity of the sport.

“To be a part of a team is one of the greatest experiences someone can have,” she said. “It’s a collection of grit, heart and complete desire towards a common goal that you can’t really find anywhere else.”

CSU coach Mary Yori described Cusick as confident and consistent.

“Lauren has emerged as a positive leader and also is a much more confident player.” Yori said.

A health and exercise science major, Cusick finds balancing life and school with her sport the hardest part of softball.

Cusick’s talent as a hitter was evident last weekend against Utah State, when she hit three home runs and a triple during the three-game series.

“She has always been a good hitter, but coupled with more experience and confidence, she has developed into a consistent and terrific power hitter,” Yori said.

This weekend, Cusick and her teammates will play six games in Sacremento, hoping to continue their momentum having won 11 of its last 13.

Today they will face Nevada (16-8) at 1:30 p.m. and Oklahoma (21-5) at 4 p.m. Saturday, CSU is slated to square off against Princeton (2-5) at 1:30 p.m. and Sacremento State (10-9) at 4 p.m. The Capitol Classic will finish on Sunday with games against Ohio State (16-4) at 10 a.m. and Cal Poly (9-11) at noon.

With days off on Monday and Tuesday, the Rams will travel to Hawaii for seven games starting Wednesday. During the Bank of Hawaii International, they will play games against University of California twice, Hawaii twice, Saint Mary’s twice and Northwestern once.

At the end of this month, CSU returns to Colorado with a doubleheader at Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Sports writer Rachel Knox-Stutsman can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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