In what will be its final road trip of the season, the well-traveled CSU softball team heads to the Beehive State to take on BYU this evening.
The trip will end on Friday and Saturday with a two-game set against the Utah Utes, who the Rams no-hit on April 15, when the two sides met last.
The Rams (26-16, 4-4 MWC) sit just a game and a half behind both UNLV and San Diego State for 2nd place in the conference. A year ago, the Mountain West qualified its top three teams to the NCAA Tournament, making this weekend all the more important.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a couple teams ahead of us in conference that only have two losses,â€ head coach Mary Yori said. â€œWe are going to have to continue to play well.â€
The conference-leading Cougars (33-10, 6-2) visited Fort Collins on April 16-17, splitting a two-game set with the Rams. The Cougars lead the all-time series 24-17, but head Yori believes the Rams familiarity with their conference rivals this weekend will help them.
â€œWeâ€™ve already played them, which is always a little bit of an advantage,â€ Yori said. â€œThereâ€™s not going to be a lot of unknowns going up against them.â€
Christine Thomsen, who plays first base for the Rams, enters the weekend with an 11-game hitting streak. The sophomore slugger has collected three home runs and 31 runs batted in, including last weekendâ€™s game-tying RBI against New Mexico.
The Rams have played just 10 games at home this season, and after this weekend, will host MWC competition for two consecutive weeks to end the 2010 regular season.
Finishing the season at Ram Field should benefit the green and gold, as CSU has recorded an 8-2 record at home this season.
The action gets underway tonight, as the Rams face the Cougars at 5 p.m. at Gail Miller Field.
Softball Beat Reporter Joel Hafnor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.