The Colorado State softball team was off to its best start in 25 years before it lost three straight games to Utah State over the weekend. With a 15-5 record heading into Logan, Utah, the Rams were riding a five-game winning streak before it was ripped away.
Being unable to recover from errors, strikeouts and unearned runs was the story of the road series for the Rams. CSU went 0-3 (1-0,5-4,7-2) over three consecutive days, falling to a 15-8 record on the season also earning its first losses in the Mountain West.
The 36th-ranked CSU offense, which averages 5.8 runs per game, was held to just four hits, no runs and was struck out 14 times in game one. Utah State sophomore pitcher Noelle Johnson did not hold back, powering the Aggies past the Rams in the 1-0 win.
“It’s an unfortunate way to start the conference season, but it’s just game one,” CSU head coach Jen Fisher said.
But the first loss was just the start of a struggling weekend for CSU. In the second game of the series, the Rams continued to suffer at the plate, leaving 10 runners on base in a match-up that was decided by only one run.
“We had a couple hits that we all thought were gone,” Fisher said. “(Ashlie) Ortega’s flyout in the fifth was at the track, and when the ball came off O’Connor’s bat in the seventh we all jumped up thinking she had just hit a three-run home run.”
In the series finale, CSU gave up three runs in the first inning from a lead-off single, an error followed by a three-run homer for Utah State. Runs piled in for the Aggies from all across the line-up, which led to a 7-2 defeat.
CSU will open its home series in the Mountain West conference Thursday against Boise State. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. on the CSU softball fields.
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.