The CSU softball team went into the aTEN Construction Tournament at 3-3 on the season, hoping to come home with a winning record. However, the Rams couldn’t raise their record over .500, as they finished off the California tournament 2-2, leaving the sunshine state 5-5 overall.
“We played pretty good defensively. We had a lot of errors until we settled in,” said head coach Mary Yori. “I’m very, very proud of our team.”
The Rams lost the first of their four games this weekend to Tulsa on Friday, 4-1. The game was scoreless until Tulsa gained the lead with a run in the third inning and never gave it up. The Rams were able to put two late runs on the board but Tulsa’s extraordinary pitching held the Rams from taking the lead.
The Rams were scheduled to play again later that afternoon against UC-Riverside, but weather cut the game short in the second inning, leaving the rest of the game to be played with CSU up by two. The Highlanders had the advantage, however; play resumed on Saturday with the bases loaded and no outs.
The Rams allowed two runs that inning, but the strong pitching performance by freshman Dani Chaplin allowed no more runs and solidified the win for the Rams, earning Chaplin her first collegiate victory.
The Rams wasted no time coming out for their second game of the day against San Diego. The ball didn’t fly and the Rams didn’t bat their way to victory, but strong defense and great pitching allowed the Rams to walk away with a 2-0 win, sweeping the second day of the tournament.
San Diego also fell victim to strong, young pitching as freshman Kelli Eubanks earned seven strike-outs in her shut-out victory.
“Our two freshman pitchers really stepped up and showed us what they’re capable of,” Yori said. “It was a really big start for our two freshman pitchers who really came up big for us.”
On Sunday the Rams took the field against Tulsa once again with similar results as the first time they played the Golden Hurricanes. The team lost 6-0, a score that seemed to exemplify the biggest hole in the Ram’s game — hitting.
“We didn’t hit the way we’re capable of hitting,” Yori said. “Our hitting didn’t show up. We weren’t very consistent at the plate.”
The Rams hope to correct the hitting stumbling block next week as they travel to San Diego for their next set of tournament games.
Sports writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.