On Sunday the CSU softball team won both games of a doubleheader against Mountain West Conference foe New Mexico (11-29, 2-6 MWC). Originally scheduled to play one game on each weekend day, Saturday’s game was postponed because of weather. The Rams (21-20, 4-3 MWC) didn’t seem to mind the delay, and they won the games 2-1 and 4-3, respectively.
The wins meant more than just ‘W’s. The first gave head coach Mary Yori, the winningest coach in CSU softball history, her 700th win.
“It’s a nice milestone,” Yori said. “These kids fought really hard. I’m just glad we could win these two games together.”
The wins also put the Rams above .500 in conference play, slid the team into third place in the MWC and established a three game home wining streak.
CSU started freshman ace Kelli Eubanks in the circle for both games. The Oregon native pitched 12.1 innings and recorded 11 strikeouts in her double-win day.
“It feels great,” Eubanks said. “We all came together as a team today, and it was a great team effort. No one person did it by herself.”
Eubanks was the one who looked great. She hardly fell behind in the count and was able to frustrate batters in both outings.
She also showed poise in the circle. She allowed runs early in both games, making the Rams play catch-up. Eubanks stayed calm, smiled after every pitch and got herself out of sticky situations.
“(I) just stayed in the moment,” Eubanks said.
The Lobos scored their first run of the day after a walked batter crossed home plate when New Mexico’s best hitter, Samantha Hughes, cracked a double.
After the run, things stayed like a family reunion in library: relatively quiet. No more runs were etched in fans programs until a Ram rally in the sixth.
After two walks and two sacrifice outs, the Hanson brothers’ song “MmmBop” played over the loudspeakers. Senior catcher Shannon Causgrove stepped to the plate, took some practice swings and proceeded to win the game with single to the right, recording 2 RBIs in the process.
“It felt awesome,” Causgrove said. “It felt really good to be able to come to up in that clutch spot and have the opportunity to do that for our team.”
The second game of the day also needed a little rally cap action to ensure a CSU victory. The Lobos scored first, but the Rams took the lead in the third. After Christine Thompson plated Caitlan Stem with a sacrifice RBI, Tuesday’s game winner, Allison Majam, hit a two-run homer to put the Rams up 3-1.
For three more innings the game made little progress, until the Eubanks showed a little fatigue and was replaced by senior Kim Klabough. Two outs looming, the Lobos managed to hit three doubles in a row to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and a runner at second, freshman Jenna Krogh, who went 4-7 on the day, hit a RBI single down the left field line to win the game and the day for the Rams. Krogh also extended her hitting streak to eight games.
“We keep finding ways to win, and every time it is someone different,” said Yori.
The Rams will host three more home games this week, one against UNLV and two against second place San Diego State.
Softball beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.