After losing the first three conference games of the season over the weekend, the CSU softball team aims to get back on track against the University of Northern Colorado on Wednesday.
The Rams played very well Friday and Saturday, said Brittany Palish, a sophomore catcher, even though they donâ€™t have any wins to show for it.
â€œWe are looking forward to playing UNC. If we play like we did this weekend, we will be fine,â€ Palish said.
The Rams (7-30, 0-3) and Bears have met three times this year, and CSU has come away with two victories.
Even though this isnâ€™t a conference game, head coach Jen Fisher said they still have to go in doing everything possible to win.
The Rams match up well against UNC, she said, and they see this as a crucial game.
â€œEvery game is important for pride, especially with the tough season that we are having. Our main goal is to keep pushing and playing as well as we can,â€ Fisher said.
While CSU is coming off a three-game losing streak to open conference play, the Bears (7-28, 4-0) are riding a four-game sweep of Pacific Coast Softball Conference foe Idaho State University.
The Rams have had a difficult season, Fisher said, but they are continuing to try to improve every day.
The biggest area for improvement is the teamâ€™s pitching.
â€œWe have to have someone on the mound that can go out and close the game for us,â€ Fisher said.
The Rams are currently ranked last among Mountain West Conference teams in ERA allowing 9.25 runs per game and most walks given up with 6.9 per game.
CSU was hopeful that Kelli Eubanks, the teamâ€™s ace from a year ago, would be healthy and ready to contribute for conference play, but she has had some more setbacks from the elbow injury that caused her to sit out until Spring Break.
Eubanks tallied two wins in her three starts this year, which is already good enough for second on the team.
However, her injury has flared back up, and the Rams donâ€™t know when to expect her back, Fisher said.
This leaves the pitching duties to sophomore Kelsey Jo Oâ€™Brien, freshman Desiree Laswell and Alexa Cash.
The lack of experience continues to hurt the Rams, but they are improving.
â€œThey understand the system much better, and they are becoming smarter and smarter ballplayers,â€ Fisher said.
Softball Beat Reporter Nick Childs can be reached at email@example.com.