Softball preview: CSU hosts weekend series vs. Fresno State in Colorado Springs

April 18, 2013

SB Weekly Release 11 - 4-18-13 Get Acrobat Reader

Game 38 Fresno State at Colorado State
April 20, 2013 | Colorado Springs, Colo. | 1 p.m. MT

Game 39 Fresno State at Colorado State
April 20, 2013 | Colorado Springs, Colo. | 3 p.m. MT

Game 40 Fresno State at Colorado State
April 21, 2013 | Colorado Springs, Colo. | 1 p.m. MT

Coming up
The Colorado State softball team (18-19, 4-2) hosts a pivotal three-game series against Mountain West newcomer Fresno State (25-18, 6-3 MW) on April 20-21 at Mountain Lion Field on the campus of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Heavy snow fall in the northern Colorado region forced the Rams to change the venue of the weekend series which will now feature a Saturday double header and a single game on Sunday. First pitch both days is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT.

Recapping Nevada
The Colorado State softball's perfect Mountain West record ended last weekend, when the Rams went 1-2 against league newcomer, Nevada.

The Green and Gold were able to take the first game, shutting out the Wolf Pack, 10-0, for the Rams' seventh shutout of the season. It also marked  senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy's sixth complete-game shutout of the 2013 campaign.

The Wolf Pack put up a fight in Game 2, handing CSU their first conference loss, 4-3, in eight innings. The Rams were able to post nine hits against Nevada's ace, Karlyn Jones, and Kendal Butterfield hit her third home run of the season in the Game 2 loss.

The finale of the series was a battle between the teams, as the game spanned 12 innings Nevada pulled out the 5-4 victory to clinch the series.  Freshman pitcher Holly Reinke pitched three scoreless innings, before being relieved by McCarthy in the bottom of the fourth. McCarthy pitched seven innings in the extended-relief appearance, stymieing the Wolf Pack offense before giving up the walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th.

Rams, Bulldogs battle for position in MW
The Colorado State softball program enters play this week in a virtual tie with Fresno State for second place in the league standings.  The Rams are 4-2 (.667) in MW play, a half-game behind league-leading San Diego State at 5-1 (.833). Both SDSU and CSU have four three-game series against MW opponents left on the schedule, including the Aztecs' visit to Fort Collins May 3-5. Fresno State sits at 6-3 (.667) in league play with nine conference games remaining, including this weekend vs. CSU. SDSU, Fresno State and CSU are the only program's in the seven-team Mountain West with winning records in league play.

MW rankings
Heading into this weekend's action vs. Fresno State, several Colorado State players have solidified their standing among the Mountain West's best in a number of statistical categories for all games played
Chelsea Biglow
• The junior third baseman leads the Mountain West in sacrifice flies (4), while ranking eighth with 69 assists at the hot corner.
Alysa Greckel
• The junior first baseman ranks tied for second in the league in sacrifice flies (4), is eighth in putouts (199) and ninth in chances (208).
Jaelyn Manzanares
• The freshman catcher ranks tied for first in the league as 10 players with a perfect fielding percentage on the year.
Kacie McCarthy
• The senior pitcher has allowed the fewest doubles among MW pitchers (9), and ranks third in opposing batting average (.238), innings pitched (149.0), and batters struck out (112), while tying for third in wins (14), fourth in ERA (2.26) and starts (20), fifth in batters struck out looking (28) and sixth in pitching appearances (25). 
Cassy Mosser
• The junior second baseman ranks ninth in the MW for assists (67).
Ashlie Ortega
• The junior shortstop ranks third in the Mountain West in slugging percentage (.657), fourth in batting average (.382), fifth in on-base percentage (.471), tied for fifth in runs scored (30), and tied for ninth in total bases (67).
Emily Pohl
• The junior catcher ranks tied for fourth in walks (19), hit by pitch (7), and runners caught stealing (8). Holly Reinke
• The freshman pitcher is tied for the league lead with one save, ranks tied for eighth in batters struck out looking (27), and is tenth in both total strikeouts (46).
Shae Rodriguez
• The sophomore centerfielder ranks second in the Mountain West with six triples on the season.
Danielle Wikre
• The sophomore first baseman and designated player is tied for second with three sacrifice flies on the year, while her six home runs are tied for sixth in the MW.

Offensive explosion in MW play
In Mountain West play, the Colorado State offense has been impressive putting up league-leading numbers for batting average (.365), slugging percentage (.527), on-base percentage (.493), runs scored (52), RBIs (45), triples (4), walks (38), sacrifice flies (4).

Rams ranking nationally
The Colorado State softball team enters play this week ranked among the top-100 nationally five categories, coming in 13th in triples per game (0.32), 86th in scoring (4.95 runs per game), 96th in doubles per game (1.24), 99th in slugging percentage (.425) and 100th in batting average (.282).
Individually, three Rams rank among the top-25 nationally in a variety of categories, led by sophomore outfielder Shae Rodriguez who ranks fourth in triples per game (0.17) and seventh in total triples (6). Chelsea Biglow's four sacrifice files are the 10th-most nationally, and senior pitcher Kacie McCarthy's six shutouts rank 14th in the country.

Consistent shortstop
Despite the Rams' 1-2 showing at Nevada 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 (vs. Fresno State) riding a seven-game hitting streak, tying for her longest such streak of the season. Ortega has also reach based safely in 15 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the Mountain West, just ahead of Fresno Stat's Paige Gumz who has reached in 14 straight contests.

The show goes on...and on...
The Colorado State softball team put in overtime during the team's last series vs. Nevada, playing extra inning in each of the final two games of the weekend and 25 total innings in three games. Game 3, a 12-inning affair, marked the longest of the season for CSU, surpassing the nine innings played in a 17-16 victory over UMKC on Feb. 16.  Overall, the Rams have played six extra-innings contests this season, posting a record of just 1-5 in those games.

About Fresno State
Fresno State holds a 25-18 overall record and a 6-3 MW record. Freshman catcher Paige Gumz leads the Bulldogs with a .350 average and a .433 slugging percentage, tallying 42 hits in 120 at bats, while notching 13 runs and 17 RBIs. Freshman right-hander Hannah Harris leads the Bulldogs pitching staff with a 2.00 ERA  and an 8-5 record on the season. Harris has notched two saves and striking out 16. Freshman pitcher Jill Compton leads the team with 11 victories and has 91 strikeouts on the season.

Looking ahead
The Rams will continue with Mountain West play, traveling to Boise, Idaho, for a matchup against Boise State. The three-game series between Broncos and the Rams is set for April 26-28.

Schedule change
In addition the schedule changes affecting the Rams' weekend series with Fresno State, Colorado State has also rescheduled a road matchup with in-state rival Northern Colorado. The Rams and Bears were originally slated to play April 17 at 5 p.m. MT at UNC's Butler-Hancock Softball Field, but the game was postponed due to snow in the northern Colorado area.  Instead, the team's will face off May 1 at 5 p.m. MT in Greeley. The matchup will be the second of the season between the programs, as CSU defeated the Bears, 10-0, on March 6 at Ram Field.