In the final road series of the 2014 season at Fresno State, CSU was two games out of first place with six games left on the regular season schedule. The first three games would be the deciding factor of the Rams’ season.
The Rams needed to win at least one game against the Bulldogs to keep them in competition to win the MW conference and advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 10 years.
“Shae (Rodriguez) had a big offensive game for us, and her getting on base before Chelsea’s home run gave us a big lift early,” Head coach Jen Fisher said in a press release from CSU Athletics.
Despite leading the first two games of the series CSU (31-15, 12-9 MW) was unable to defeat Fresno (30-19, 14-7 MW). With a chance to stay in the conference running on the line, CSU pulled through in the bottom of the seventh inning, ending the series at 1-2.
For the third straight game, CSU came out with the lead over Fresno State. Off the bat of O’Connor, the Rams went up 2-0 with a two run-homer to left center though the lead did not last long.
“Ever since we went 0-3 during our first conference series at Utah State, we’ve looked at all of our conference games as must-wins,” Head coach Jen Fisher said in a press release from CSU Athletics.
CSU continued to swing the bats, leading 4-0 at the end of the top of the second. The Rams left two on base, which came back to bite them in the bottom of the second when the Bulldogs fought back, scoring three runs off one hit and two errors.
The Rams lead 4-3 until the Bulldogs tied it at four, leaving two on base. CSU ended up leading Fresno 8-4 in the bottom of the seventh until a run comeback by the Bulldogs.
CSU defeated Fresno 8-7 despite the Bulldogs’ three-run rally in the seventh.
The difference between game three for CSU was that its early lead paid off. At the end of the second game, the Rams knew game three would determine its standings.
“If we win tomorrow and sweep San Jose State, we can still be in a good position,” Fisher said in a press release from CSU Athletics. “It’s weird to see how close everyone is after today’s games. We need to stay focused and keep making adjustments. It’ll be good.”
The positive mentality thrived the Rams back to a winning streak. CSU will host its last series of the season against San Jose State Thursday March 8 at 4p.m. The Rams cannot afford anything less than a sweep.
Collegian Assistant Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.
Break Out: Game Scores
Game 1: 1-5 Loss
Game 2: 2-7 Loss
Game 3: 8-7 Win