Softball Preview: CSU steps back into MW play
April 10, 2013
Game 35 Colorado State at Nevada
April 12, 2013 | Reno, Nevada | 4 p.m. MT
Game 36 Colorado State at Nevada
April 13, 2013 | Reno, Nevada | 2 p.m. MT
Game 37 Colorado State at Nevada
April 14, 2013 | Reno, Nevada | 1 p.m. MT
The Colorado State Softball team (17-17, 3-0 MW) steps back into Mountain West play, traveling to Reno, Nevada for a three-game series against the conference newcomer Nevada (23-18, 2-4 MW). The rams and the Wolf Pack are slated to play a three-game series, with one contest scheduled each day, Friday-Sunday at UNR’s Hixson Softball Park.
Follow the action
Gametracker live stats (free) and streaming video (subscription required) for all three games this week is available online at NevadaWolfPack.com.
Recapping Texas A&M
The Colorado State softball team’s six game win streak came to a halt last weekend, when the team was swept in a three-game series at No. 9 Texas A&M. In Game 1, the Rams were shutout 10-0, recording just three hits from Ashlie Ortega, Shae Rodriguez, and Chelsea Biglow. In Game 2 of the series, the Rams battled the Aggies to a 1-1 tie before a walk-off two-run home run vaulted the home team the victory in the bottom of the seventh inning, 3-1. Cassy Mosser drove in the Rams’ run, hitting a two-out double to left field scored Ortega in the top of the third. Senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy held the Aggies to just three hits in a complete-game effort that saw her eight-game win streak snapped. In the finale of the series, the Rams were able to put up more runs on the board, but couldn’t keep pace with the Aggie’s offense, falling by 10-2 final. Kendal Butterfield hit a two-run home run, her second of the 2013 season to score for the Rams.
Streaking in Mountain West play
Despite having the team’s six-game win streak snapped with losses last weekend at then-No. 9 Texas A&M, Colorado State still boasts an impressive win streak against Mountain West opponents that dates back to the close of the 2012 season. The Rams won six straight games against MW foes to close out the 2012 campaign, and opened the 2013 league schedule with a three-game sweep of UNLV, to push the team’s current win streak against conferece opponents to nine games. The Rams’ last loss to a Mountain West opponent came April 22, 2012, an 11-7 decision in the series finale vs. Boise State. However, Colorado State won the series with BSU, 2-1, and has won four consecutive series vs. MW opponents entering This weekend’s three-game series at Nevada.
Despite the Rams’ 0-3 showing at Texas A&M last weekend, Ashlie Ortega continued her consistent play for the Rams. The junior shortstop recorded one hit in each of the Rams’ three contests, and enters play this week (at Nevada) riding a four-game hitting streak, her second-longest such streak of the season. Ortega, earlier this year, recorded a hit in seven straight games for the Rams. Ortega has also reach based safely in 12 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the Mountain West.
Moving on up in the MW standings
The Colorado State softball team returns to Mountain West play this weeek perched atop the league standings after preseason favorite San Diego State suffered its first loss of the season last weekend at Nevada, 4-2, in the series finale. The Rams lead the conference thanks to their sweep of UNLV with a 3-0 record. The Aztecs are the only other team in the league with a winning record, at 5-1 against MW opponents to sit in second place. Nevada, who the Rams face this week, is tied for third in the league standings with Fresno State at 3-3.
Mountain West rankings
Heading into this weekend’s action at Nevada, several Colorado State players have solidified their standing among the Mountain West’s best in a number of statistical categories.
• The junior third baseman leads the Mountain West in sacrifice flies (4), while ranking ninth with 65 assists at the hot corner.
• The junior first baseman ranks fourth in the league in sacrifice flies (2), and is ninth in both chances (185) and putouts (176).
• The senior pitcher has allowed the fewest doubles among MW pitchers (5), and ranks second in opposing batting average (.236), tied for second in wins (13), tied for third in both innings pitched (132.2) and starts (19), fourth in ERA (2.37) and strikeouts (100), tied for fifth in batters struck out looking (25) and tied for sixth with 22 total appearances.
• The junior shortstop ranks third in the Mountain West in slugging percentage (.652), sixth in on-base percentage (.452) and ninth in both batting average (.360) and runs scored (25).
• The junior catcher ranks tied for fourth with 17 walks, is fifth in times hit by pitch (6) and runners caught stealing (7), and eighth in on-base percentage (.448).
• The freshman pitcher centerfielder is tied for the league lead with one save, ranks eighth in batters struck out looking (23), and is tenth in both total strikeouts (43) and games finished (5).
• The sophomore centerfielder leads the Mountain West with six triples on the season.
• The sophomore first baseman and designated player tied for fourth with a pair of sacrifice flies on the year, while her six home runs are tied for sixth in the MW.
Rams ranking nationally
The Colorado State softball team enters play this week ranked among the top-100 nationally three categories, coming in ninth in triples per game (0.35), 81st in slugging percentage (.428) and 94th in scoring (4.88 runs per game).
Three individuals rank among the top-25 nationally in a variety of categories, led by sophomore outfielder Shae Rodriguez who ranks third in both triples per game (0.19) and total triples (6). Chelsea Biglow’s four sacrifice files are the seventh-most nationally, and senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy’s five shutouts rank 24th in the country.
Juniors leading the way
The junior class for the Colorado State softball team has had strong performances. Ashlie Ortega, Cassy Mosser, Chelsea Biglow, Emily Pohl, and Kendal Butterfield top the charts in individual categories for the team.
Shortstop Ashlie Ortega leads the team in slugging percentage (.360), on base percentage (.652), runs scored (25), doubles (7), total bases (58), and has tied with three other juniors for stolen base percentage (1.000).
Second baseman Cassy Mosser leads the team in hits (33), sacrifice bunts (4), total plate appearances (112), at bats (102), and ties with stolen base percentage (1.000).
Third baseman Chelsea Biglow leads the team in RBIs (21), sacrifice flies (4), games started (34), games played (34), and ties with stolen base percentage (1.000).
Catcher Emily Pohl leads the team in walks (17) and times hit by a pitch (6).
Outfielder Kendal Butterfield leads the team in stolen bases (4) and stolen base attempts (5).
Batting all around
With 16 games left in the regular 2013 season, the Rams have posted a .278 batting average as a team overall. Through 34 games here is a look at varying stats for the team when batting.
When facing a left handed pitcher, the Rams have recorded 12 hits in 27 at bats along with a .444 average. On the opposite side of the spectrum, when facing a right handed pitcher, they have recorded an average of .273 over 829 at bats with 226 hits.
When the Green and Gold have runners on base, they have hit a .300 average with 133 hits over 404 at bats. With runners in scoring position, they have posted an average of .316 over 282 at bats with 89 hits.
With two outs in an inning, the Rams have hit at a .260 clip with 72 hits in 277 at bats, while driving in 58 runs in those situations.
Nevada holds a 23-18 record overall for the 2013 season. The Wolf Pack’s junior second baseman, Karley Hopkins, has recorded a .371 batting average with 52 hits in 140 at bats, including 12 doubles and one home run. Hopkins has scored 37 runs and has recorded 21 RBIs, while tallying five walks and a .479 slugging percentage.
Karyn Jones, a junior right handed pitcher for the Pack, has posted a 3.18 ERA over 127.2 innings, completing 15 games, earning one save, allowing 23 hits, 67 runs, 22 walks, and struck out 103 batters.
The Colorado State softball team makes a stop in nearby Greely, Colo. on Wednesday, April 17 for one game against in-state rival Northern Colorado. First pitch between the Rams and the Bears is set for 5 p.m. MT at UNC’s Butler-Hancock Softball Field.