Softball welcomes back ace

 Uncategorized
Mar 242011
 
Authors: Travis Todd

Sometimes it takes a small spark to ignite a midseason turnaround in sports.

The CSU softball team remains confident despite a tough opening to the season. The Rams hope getting former all-conference junior pitcher Kelli Eubanks back in action will give them a much needed spark.

“I think (her experience) can bring a new energy to the team,” said Eubanks. “We have a lot of girls on the team who already bring that good positive energy so I feel like, if anything, I’ll be adding to the good energy we already have on our team.”

The Rams (6-26) return to the field Saturday after losing 11 of 13 games on a 10-day roadtrip in Florida over spring break. CSU will travel much closer to home this weekend as they head to Greeley to face the UNC Bears (9-23) in a double-header.

Eubanks (1-0) made her first appearance of the season over the break, facing Jacksonville and throwing four innings of no-hit softball while striking out four.

“It felt great. It kind of felt like I hadn’t really skipped a beat, which is always a good feeling,” said Eubanks.

With the return of their ace, CSU now has a pitcher that is experienced and can provide the Rams with steady performances from the pitching circle moving forward.

“Even just her presence on the mound, regardless of how many strikes she’s throwing, she’s a big leader for us,” said Fisher. “She does it just in the way that she carries herself. She plays good defense and hammers the zone.”

Eubanks went 23-13 with a 3.55 earned-run average last year in 45 appearances on her way to becoming an all-MWC performer. Her ERA was good for seventh in the MWC while leading her team in innings pitched, strikeouts and games started.

“Getting to see Kelli out there was really a huge pickup for our team,” said first-year coach Jen Fisher. “She’s got the leadership and she can demonstrate what we’re asking from the younger kids.”

Although the Rams have struggled to this point in the season, Fisher believes the attitude of the team remains a positive one.

“I really think they have the right approach, that they’re coming back to the yard every day ready to work and ready to improve,” Fisher said. “They know what they need to work on and they’re really keeping their spirits up.”

CSU has faced UNC once already this season, an 8-3 win,in the Hotel Encanto Invitational. The Bears are in the midst of a tough stretch, having lost 17 of their last 18 games.

Softball Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

The Next Game

  • Time: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Opponent: Northern
    Colorado (9-23)
  • Where: Greeley, Colo.
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