Lyssa Roberts came off a sophomore campaign with the CSU womenâ€™s softball team in which she started only eight games, not knowing how important her role would be for the 2011 season.
When the Rams get back on the field next season, they will have only three seniors on the team. Two of the seniors (Ashley MacQueen and Kelli Eubanks) have been hindered by injuries, essentially leaving them without the opportunity to play this year.
The third is Roberts, whoâ€™s coming off her best season donning the green and gold.
She will now prepare for her senior season knowing she will play an important role.
â€œI owe a lot to coach Fisher,â€ Roberts said. â€œSheâ€™s taught me a lot, and I need to keep preparing this summer and listening to her advice and wisdom to keep it up for next year.â€
Roberts has come into her own of late. Roberts is third on the team hitting .292, and tied for third in RBI with 22. Roberts is also second on the team with hits, smashing 38 this year.
Roberts currently has a five-game hitting streak and she has hit safely in nine of CSUâ€™s last 11 contests. Her recent success has seen her move from the bottom of the lineup up into the number two spot.
With 10 freshmen returning for their second season next year, Roberts preached the importance of improving, and believes the teamsâ€™ chemistry is gaining ground everyday.
â€œI think weâ€™re improving everyday, just chemistry building,â€ Roberts said. â€œIâ€™m really excited for next year because I think our chemistry is there.â€
Being that she will be one of only three seniors on the squad next year, Roberts also realizes the importance of taking on a leadership role.
â€œI like to lead by example, and at the college level people are there because they want to be there,â€ Roberts said. â€œItâ€™s really just making sure the team is together and nobodyâ€™s fighting against each other, and I think weâ€™ve done a good job of that and I think that is how I want to continue to lead.â€
Roberts and the Ramsâ€™ season got a little better over the weekend. CSU finally got their first conference win. They beat the University of Utah in a thriller on Friday afternoon 15-14.
The Rams once again got out to a big lead only to see themselves trailing going in to their final at-bat, but this time they were able to score three runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning.
â€œIt shows that we have talent,â€ Roberts said. â€œWeâ€™ve had some injuries, weâ€™ve had a lot of adversity for our team. That win felt so good to show that we do have talent.â€
On Saturday, the Rams followed it up by battling the Utes once again, only to come up short by a score of 6-3. Overall Fisher was happy with how the team performed this weekend.
â€œWe so needed to play well this weekend,â€ Fisher said. â€œRegardless of what you do, that frustration sets in and those question marks creep in. We really needed that going in even if itâ€™s only for momentum going into next year,â€ Fisher said.
Softball Beat Reporter Travis Todd can be reached at email@example.com