Trailing 3-2 to defending league-champions BYU with just three innings left to play, the CSU softball team found themselves in jeopardy of falling five games back in the Mountain West Conference standings Saturday.
And then the rain came.
For more than an hour, both the Rams and Cougars waited for the weather to clear, and when play finally resumed, it became clear that the Rams werenâ€™t going to go down quietly. In fact, the Rams (24-15, 2-4 MWC) wouldnâ€™t go down at all, scoring five unanswered runs to secure a 7-3 victory over BYU.
â€œ(The rain delay) obviously did help since we ended up winning the game,â€ said head coach Mary Yori. â€œOur players decided to get hungry and get after it, that was a good victory for us.â€
Leading the charge for the Rams after the rain delay was junior Caitlan Stem, who drove the game-tying run in the bottom of the fourth inning, one of her three hits on the day.
â€œWe didnâ€™t have a very good showing (Friday), and we knew we needed to bring our game against them,â€ Stem said. â€œWe were really determined and focused today, and thatâ€™s exactly what we wanted to accomplish.â€
The win capped off a successful weekend for CSU, who won two out of three games at Ram Field, including Fridayâ€™s no-hitter by sophomore Kelli Eubanks in a win over Utah.
â€œThis was a well-played victory against the conference leader,â€ Yori said. â€œTaking two of three games this weekend gives us a better chance to compete in conference.â€
The 2009 Rams faced a similar weather situation last year, when they were forced to suspend a home game with the Utes, forcing the team to instead play that game later in the year at Salt Lake City.
â€œI think mentally our players really wanted to play on our field,â€ Yori said. â€œHad we not been able to finish the game we wouldâ€™ve had to go play out in Provo. I think our players were inspired to finish this game here.â€
The Rams will play their final non-conference game of the year on Tuesday, when they conclude a four-game season series with the University of Northern Colorado at Ram Field. The MWC schedule will continue for the Rams this weekend, when they travel to Albuquerque to face the New Mexico Lobos, who have yet to win a conference game in 2010.
â€œEvery team in this conference can play unbelievably on any given day,â€ Stem said. â€œWeâ€™re definitely not looking past New Mexico, we donâ€™t look past any team in this conference. You just never know.â€
The Rams and Bears will face off at Ram Field Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Softball Beat Reporter Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.