CSU will return to conference play this afternoon with television cameras focusing on them for the first time ever at Ram Field. Today’s doubleheader against UNLV starts at 1:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the Mtn.
Conference play will then continue through the weekend with a two-game series against San Diego Stare starting Saturday.
Though a softball game has never been broadcast at CSU, the Rams aren’t complete strangers to the cameras.
“I don’t believe there will be a lot of added pressure with a TV game,” Rams coach Mary Yori said. “Most of our players are used to TV coverage when we have played away games both at BYU and SDSU in the past two years.”
The Rams (21-16, 1-5) started their current seven-game homestand with an 11-3 victory Wednesday against Northern Colorado surrounded by snow flurries.
UNLV will be looking to rebound against the Rams after losing to UNC 5-1 on Thursday in Greeley.
The Rebels (21-27-1, 1-5) have good hitting and good pitching, Yori said. Leading the UNLV pitching staff in appearances is sophomore Stephanie Bregante.
She has made 34 appearances with a 12-13 record and a 2.77 ERA, while Traci Odergard boasts a 2.60 ERA, the lowest on the team.
The Rebels’ offense is lead by sophomore shortstop Jaci Hull with a .313 batting average, 10 home runs and 28 RBIs.
“Our hitters will need to challenge their pitching staff and be able to come up with the key hit with runners on base.” Yori said. “Defensively, our pitchers will need to work ahead in the count and we need to play solid defense with minimal physical or mental mistakes.”
San Diego State is 31-13 overall this year, with a 3-3 record in the Mountain West. Junior Tonye McCorckle leads the Aztec offense hitting .329 with 29 runs and 25 RBIs. Senior Christina Ross is the ace of the team’s pitching staff with a 19-10 record in 34 games and an ERA just under one at 0.96.
After finishing the four games in three days this weekend, the Rams will continue the homestand when the New Mexico Lobos come to town next weekend. CSU was swept by UNM last weekend in Albuquerque.
Sports writer Rachel Knox-Stutsman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.