The love between college students and free stuff is as timeless as college itself. There is nothing poor Colorado State attendees love more than receiving something free of charge. This weekend, Ram softball is offering three days worth of entertainment — for free.
They are hosting three teams for the annual Colorado State Classic. The tournament will span across three days and will feature 11 games, all of them with free admission at Ram Field near the CSU intramural fields.
Thus far in the season, the Rams are off to an impressive 8-3 start; tops in the league and the best CSU has seen in six years, and they couldn’t be more excited to play in front of their home fans for the first time this season.
“It will be nice to actually play on our home turf,” junior Danielle Wikre says. “We want to show everyone who comes to support us who we really are, and how great of a season we are going to have.”
The team has not been able to play a full game in two weeks, thanks to a rained-out tournament last weekend in San Diego. Above all else, they are simply excited to get back on the field.
Head coach Jen Fisher says the long drought between games might actually serve as a benefit, making the girls hungrier for competition.
They will take on Southern Utah, Dayton and Nebraska-Omaha each twice, playing two games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Both Utah (4-10) and Dayton (3-12) head to Fort Collins with losing records, but Nebraska (12-7) will be coming off of an eight-game winning streak, making them the Rams’ toughest opponent.
“Nebraska-Omaha has been tough, we typically go out and play a little red-robin scrimmage in the fall,” Fisher said. “We know them well and they know us well, so we are really looking to play well against them.”
CSU did not make the trip to Nebraska over the fall, so the last time the teams squared off was during last year’s classic. The Mavericks took that game 3-2, evening up the series at 7-7.
In order to break the tie, the Rams will depend heavily on pitchers Holly Reinke, Larisa Petakoff and Molly Randle to contain Nebraska’s power hitters — senior infielder Amber Lutmer, who has hit 9 homers and driven in 30 runs and junior Allie Mathewson, who boasts a .409 batting average.
But, Randle is not concerned with the individual batters she will face; she has her routine and she treats each player the same way.
“They always come out strong, you never take anybody lightly. But I expect our team to come out strong, too,” Randle says. “It doesn’t matter who we are playing, we always want to come at them hard, like they are the top-ranked team.”
CSU weekend schedule
1:30 p.m. against Nebraska-Omaha
3:45 p.m. against Southern Utah
1:30 p.m. against Southern Utah
3:45 p.m. against Dayton
11:15 a.m. against Dayton
1:30 p.m. against Nebraska-OmahaCollegian Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @c_rasta5.