May 022011
 
Authors: Travis Todd

The struggles continue for a young CSU softball team, losing 12-4 to Portland State University at home Monday. The loss is the team’s eleventh straight defeat as the season begins its final weeks.

The Rams (7-38, 0-9 MWC) have lost 19 of their last 21 games.

Junior Lyssa Roberts continued her solid season going 3-for-3 at the plate, but there wasn’t much more to cheer about after the third inning.
The Rams scored all four of their runs in the third inning started by freshman Alysa Greckel’s leadoff home run, her seventh of the season. Another freshman, Cassandra Mosser, scored the second run on an error and later in the inning designated hitter Brittany Palish hit a two-run single to right field that scored Kelli Groy and Caitlan Stem.

Palish received high praise from CSU coach Jen Fisher after the game.

“She’s a tough out,” Fisher said. “She’s been a pleasant surprise. She’s getting some time behind the plate and when she’s not, she is DH-ing. (Palish) helps a lot with the pitchers and obviously is helping us at the plate.”

Freshman pitcher Alexa Cash started for the Rams, giving up nine runs on seven hits in five innings. CSU’s pitching has made improvements recently after coaches decided they need to reconsider the team’s approach in the circle.

“The last couple of games the pitchers have started to limit their walks a little bit more and that has really helped us,” Fisher said. “When they do that and they have better quality innings, we’re at least in the game a little bit more, but we can’t give up those big hits with runners on base.”

The defense played well behind Cash and reliever Desiree Laswell, other than a throwing error in the second inning by third baseman Chelsea Biglow. The outfield threw one Viking runner out at third on a relay from center field and came close on another attempt at second base.

“We also made some strides (defensively),” Fisher said. “We made a few plays like the cut here at third, so we were making some better plays that we’ve been working on, between the outfield and the infield … so I thought we’re improving on that.”

The Rams are back at it on Thursday when they welcome conference leaders Brigham Young to Ram Field. The game will start at 3 p.m., one hour ahead of the original scheduled time.

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

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