CSU Softball repeats a second place finish in MW after season ending sweep

Freshman pitcher Holly Reinke catches the ball and makes a play to first base at practice last week. The Rams will play their next game on Thursday May 9th at New Mexico.
Freshman pitcher Holly Reinke catches the ball and makes a play to first base at practice last week. The Rams will play their next game on Thursday May 9th at New Mexico.

The CSU Softball team held up their end of the bargain with a sweep, but were unable to be number one for the second season in a row.

Headed into their last series, the Rams knew it would be a long shot to overcome the distance between No.1 San Diego State and previously ranked No. 3 CSU. With only three games left in the season, the Rams needed a sweep against New Mexico and more importantly, needed San Diego State to be swept by UNLV.

Setting the pace for a winning season and a shot at the MW title. CSU clinched game one in the bottom of the seventh inning 3-2 and continued on winning game two 11-5. With one game left in the season, the Rams took the diamond like any other day: one pitch at a time, one out at a time and close the game early on.

“It was just a great win,” senior Kacir McCarthy said. “It just goes to show that the dedication and hard work can pay off.”

Game three concluded the season for the Rams at 25-24 and 11-7 in the MW. Trailing the Lobos after the second inning by two, CSU rallied back in the top of the third scoring four runs, and ultimately defeat New Mexico(21-35,3-15) 10-5.

While the Rams were continuing to swing the bats and rally the bases against the Lobos, in San Diego, the Aztecs clinched the first place spot on friday night with a win over UNLV.

This is the Rams second season tied for second place in the final Mountain West standings. Securing another winning season, CSU finishes behind San Diego State for the second year in a row: this season by two games.

“Anytime on the road and you can sweep a team, shows your guts,” CSU Coach Jen Fisher said. “We played good defense and we put up runs.”

Although New Mexico was ranked last in the MW and only won three game during  conference play, CSU came out and showed the conference that they are a competitor to be reckoned with no matter the opponent.

“We are really starting to have the caliber defense,” Fisher said. “With everybody returning, we just get that much stronger. We really need to re-work offensively to jump out of the gate quickly and get people to notice us.”

Continuing to pull high numbers not only in the MW, but in the regular season. CSU is ready to get back out on the diamond and work new players, improve with returning veterans and incoming freshman.

Losing senior Kacie McCarthy on the mound and Kailey Snyder in the field, CSU Softball would not where it is today without them. Setting the pace of each game from start to finish on the mound, McCarthy has been a pivotal player in her two years as a Ram.

“It has just been a great opportunity to be able to play at the D1 level,” McCarthy said. “I am truly grateful for what they have given me and the knowledge I have been able to give them.”

Pitching against top ranked Georgia, Texas A&M, and Nebraska, McCarthy held strong and was able to keep CSU in many close games throughout the season. With big shoes to fill by the spring, McCarthy influenced how  CSU is known and what they can do in softball nation wide.

Although the Rams finished in second place behind San Diego State, be prepared for another competitive season next year, as CSU hungers for a NCAA appearance. The Rams have a long off season to prepare the bats and swing them hard in the spring.

“I think we just keep growing as a team,” junior Ashlie Ortega said. “Next year is gonna be our year to shine with seven seniors…We are really going to prove what Ram-Ball is all about.”

Sports Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at sports@collegian.com.