Softball preview: Rams face tough tests at Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

Feb. 20, 2013

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Game 1 (Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic) Colorado State vs. Georgia
Feb. 21, 2013 | Palm Springs, Calif. | 11:30 a.m. MT

Game 2 (Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic) Colorado State vs. Oregon State
Feb. 21, 2013 | Palm Springs, Calif. | 7 p.m. MT

Game 3 (Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic) Colorado State vs. Utah
Feb. 22, 2013 | Palm Springs, Calif. | 11:30 a.m. MT

Game 4 (Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic) Colorado State vs. Virginia
Feb. 23, 2013 | Palm Springs, Calif. | 6 p.m. MT

Game 5 (Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic) Colorado State vs.  Syracuse
Feb. 23, 2013 | Palm Springs, Calif. | 8:30 p.m. MT

Coming up...
The Colorado State softball program travels to Palm Springs, Calif., to compete in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Rams will play five games in three days, competing against nationally ranked Georgia, Oregon State, Utah, Virginia and Syracuse.

Recapping Troy Cox Classic
The Colorado State Rams started out the tournament with a win of 6-4 over Texas Tech. Once again, Kacie McCarthy stunned by recording a career-high 13 strikeouts. The Rams then played against Penn State, downing the Nittany Lions, 10-2. On the second day of the tournament, CSU started off by playing host New Mexico State, holding on for a 10-9 with the help of a three-run homer from Shae Rodriguez. Afterwards, the Rams stayed up late against UMKC, playing nine innings before coming away with the 17-16 win. The Rams closed the tournament with a 9-2 loss to New Mexico State.

Rams second in MW Preseason Poll...
The Colorado State softball program was picked to finish second in the Mountain West standings in the leagues’ preseason coaches poll release on Feb. 5. The Rams were one of three teams to receive a first-place vote, joining preseason favorite San Diego State and Boise State, who was picked to finish fourth.

Continuing to build
The Colorado State softball team continues play this week at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic looking to keep their build on their success at the Troy Cox Classic where they finished with a 4-1 record, boosting their overall record to 6-4.

Current trends
The Colorado State softball team’s offense exploded during the second weekend of action at the Troy Cox Classic, as the Rams posted 4-1 record in Las Cruces, N.M. After averaging just 2.6 runs per game in five games at the Red Desert Classic, the Rams scored 45 runs in at the Troy Cox Classic, averaging 9.0 runs per game. The Rams scored at least 10 runs in three victories over Penn State (10-2), New Mexico State (10-9) and UMKC (17-16). 

Defensively, the Rams also looked sharper duringthe second weekend of action, cutting down from 22 errors at the Red Desert Classic to 14 in the Troy Cox Classic.

Team Leaders
Ashlie Ortega recorded a career-high seven RBIs in the Rams’ 17-16, nine-inning victory on Saturday against UMKC. She also scored four of the 17 runs and hit a three-run homer to center along with a lead-off homer to right center that started a three-run rally to send the game into extra innings.  Ortega currently leads the team with 14 RBIs with a .722 slugging percentage, and defenisvely the Rams’ shortstop has added a team-best 33 assists.

Kacie McCarthy recorded a career-high with 13 strikeouts during the first game of the Troy Cox Classic against Texas Tech. She currently leads the team with a 2.85 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 34.1 innings.

Mountain West Player of the Week
Junior shortstop, Ashlie Ortega, has been named this week’s Mountain West player of the week, the first weekly award of her career at CSU.  Ortega has been recongnized for leading the Rams to a 4-1 record at the Troy Cox Classic. She posted three multi-hit games, and went 8-for-14 (.444) at the plate with two doubles, one triple, two home runs, and four walks during five games. She drove in 13 runs and scored six more. Defensively she recorded 20 assists and five putouts.

Rams vs. the tournament field
The Rams will play five games in three days this weekend against nationally ranked Georgia, Oregon State, Utah, Virginia, and Syracuse. Here is a look at the Rams’ competition:

  • Georgia has posted an overall record of 6-2 to start the 2013 season. The Bulldogs’ freshman infielder and pitcher, Geri Ann Glasco, leads the team with a .520 batting average over 25 at bats, 12 RBIs, four home runs, and four doubles. The team is ranked 13th in the USA Today/NFCA top-25 and 16th in the Softball poll. 
  • Oregon State is 8-3 to open the season. The Beavers’ freshman first baseman, Natalie Hampton, leads the team with 15 RBIs in 36 at bats, four home runs, four walks and two doubles.
  • Utah is 4-6 to start the 2013 campaign. The Utes’ senior infielder, Kelsi Hoopiiania, has recorded a .400 batting average in 30 at bats, has hit four doubles, two home runs, and has notched eight RBIs.  
  • Virginia has started off the season by posting record of 4-4. The Cavaliers’ senior pitcher/first baseman, Melanie Mitchell, has recorded a 0.47 ERA with a record of 3-1, and has notched 40 strikeouts over 30 innings for the Cavaliers. 
  • Syracuse has begun the season with an overall record of 3-1. The Orange’s  freshman third baseman, Corinne Ozanne, leads the team with five hits in 10 at bats, and has recorded three RBIs. The team has recorded shutouts in each of their victories to start the season.

Up next
The Rams return to Fort Collins, March 1-3 for five games in three days at the Colorado State Classic. The Rams will host the first of two spring tournaments, facing Bradley, Brown, Nebraska-Omaha, and nationally ranked Washington at Ram Field.

The Rams will also play host to in-state rival Northern Colorado on March 6, the first of two games against the Bears this season. The teams will also square off April 17 in Greeley.