Softball preview: Rams open league play, host Lady Rebels at Ram Field
March 26, 2013
Game 29 Colorado State vs. UNLV
Mar. 27, 2013 | Fort Collins, Colo. | 4 p.m. MT
Game 30 Colorado State vs. UNLV
Mar. 28, 2013 | Fort Collins, Colo. | 4 p.m. MT
Game 31 Colorado State vs. UNLV
Mar. 29, 2013 | Fort Collins, Colo. | 1 p.m. MT
Mountain West Action
The Colorado State softball team opens play in the Mountain West this week, hosting a three-game series against the UNLV Lady Rebels at Ram Field. The Rams and Rebels will play one game each Thursday (4 p.m. MT), Friday (4 p.m. MT) and Saturday (1 p.m. MT).
Recapping the CSU Spring Tournament
Even though snow caused a cancellation of four games for the Rams, it didn’t stop them from shutting out Marist 17-0 in their first, and only, game of the tournament. Junior third baseman Chelsea Biglow knocked out a one-run home run, her second of the season, while junior infielder Alysa Greckel hit her first solo shot of the season and freshman catcher Jaelyn Manzanares hit her first home run of her collegiate career, a three run blast to left.
Defensively, senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy, who now boasts an 11-6 record, faced 19 batters and struck out seven while allowing just three hits and one walk.
With this win the Rams boosted their record up to an even 14-14, heading into Mountain West action.
Hot entering MW play
The Colorado State softball team is playing some of its best softball of the season heading into this week’s Mountain West opener vs. UNLV. The Rams (14-14 overall), have won three straight contests – vs. Seton Hall (3-1), at Long Beach State (2-1) and vs. Marist (17-0) – and have captured victories in six of their last eight games dating back to a 10-0 win over in-state rival Northern Colorado on March 6. During that stretch, the Rams have also defeated Fairfield (2-0) and UMass (2-0), while suffering close losses to Harvard (4-3) and Miami (3-2, eight innings). During the stretch, the Rams have outscored their opponents 41-9, hitting at a .306 clip as a team, while holding foes to just .181 at the plate.
Rams streaking vs. the MW
The Colorado State softball team closed the 2012 season on a seven-game win streak, including victories in the team’s final six games against Mountain West opponents. During that stretch, the Rams have recorded sweeps of UNLV and New Mexico. The Rams’ last loss against an MW foe came on April 22, 2012 in the final game of a three-game home series against Boise State. The Broncos, who dropped the first two games of the series, downed the Rams 11-7 in the final outing. Including the 2-1 series win over BSU, the Rams have won three consecutive series vs. Mountain West foes. The Rams’ only series loss of the 2012 league season was a three-game sweep at the hands of eventual conference champion San Diego State, April 13-14.
All about shutouts
The Rams earned their fifth shutout of the season on March 21, a 17-0 win over the Marist Red Foxes. This is the second time the team has scored 17 runs, the first against UMKC on Feb. 16, but it is the most runs they have scored in a shutout this season.
This season, the Rams have also recorded shutout victories over Brown (4-0), Northern Colorado (10-0), Fairfield (2-0) and UMass (2-0).
Senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy has accounted for four complete-game shutouts on the season, leading the Rams in victories over UNC, Fairfield, UMass and Marist. Combining the games, McCarthy has faced 87 batters over 24 innings of work, allowing just 11 hits and four walks, while striking out 24 batters.
McCarthy’s scoreless streak
Colorado State’s senior ace Kacie McCarthy, the reigning Mountain West Pitcher of the Year, put together an impressive streak of scoreless innings earlier this season. McCarthy pitched three straight shutouts - vs. Northern Colorado, Fairfield and UMass - building a streak of 21.2 consecutive innings without allowing a run. The streak began over the final 1.1 innings of the Rams’ loss to No. 18 Washington on March 3, and carried into the Rams’ 3-1 victory over Seton Hall on March 17. McCarthy captured the win vs. the Pirates, despite allowing a run to cross the plate with one out in the second inning of action.
Score some more
The Colorado State offense has produced several high scoring games in 2013, and the Rams are 6-4 this year in games when the two teams combine for 10 or more runs, including five games in which the Rams have scored at least 10 runs on their own.
The Rams highest scoring outputs of the season are:
• 17 runs vs. Marist (3/21) - W, 17-0
• 17 runs vs. UMKC (2/16) - W, 17-16
• 10 runs vs. Northern Colorado (3/6) - W, 10-0
• 10 runs vs. New Mexico State (2/16) - W, 10-9
• 10 runs vs. Penn State (2/15) - W, 10-2
Rams ranking nationally
As of March 24, NCAA updated their national rankings for softball, the Rams taking four spots. The team is ranked 22nd for triples in a game (0.31 per game). Shae Rodriguez takes two spots for triples, 11th in triples per game (0.17) and total triples (4). Chelsea Biglow takes third with five sacrifice flies.
Sizing up UNLV
The UNLV Rebels have posted a 14-18 overall record for the 2013 season. The Rebel’s junior pitcher, Amanda Oliveto, leads the team with a 2.14 ERA over 144 innings with 107 strikeouts, giving up 64 runs and walks. Oliveto was named Mountain West pitcher of the week on March 19 for her performance in the San Diego Classic II tournament, where she threw a no hitter on March 17 against the Massachusetts Minutewomen and ended the Classic with a 0.93 ERA over 22 innings of work.
The Lady Rebels offense is led by junior outfielder Stefany Valentino, who leads the team with a .386 batting average, and has tallied a team-best 20 runs on the season.
Recent history vs. UNLV
The Colorado State softball team earned a season sweep of UNLV during the 2012 campaign, winning three straight at the Lady Rebels’ Eller Media Softball Stadium. The Rams opened the series with a 5-2 win, before downing the home team 8-0 (5 innings) in Game 2 of the series. The team completed the series sweep with a 5-3 win in the finale.
The sweep for the Rams’ evened the series under head coach Jen Fisher, who dropped three decisions to the Lady Rebels in 2011, her first at the helm of the Rams’ program.
Following the action
Colorado State softball fans unable to attend this week’s home games at Ram Field can follow all the action live on CSURams.com. The Rams will offer Gametracker live scoring for each of the team’s three home games. Gametracker can be accessed from the CSU Softball schedule page at CSURams.com. In addition, twitter updates are available by following @CSUSoftball and @CSURamsGameday.
The Rams hit the road once again, stepping out of conference play for a trip to College Station, Texas, to play a three-game series against the Texas A&M Aggies, April 5-7.
The following weekend, April 12-14, the Rams return to Mountain West action, traveling to Reno, Nev., for three games against conference newcomer Nevada.