Hamblin: CSU softball can cure spring fever

Hamblin
Hamblin

If Colorado State University was anything like UCLA, Alabama or Arizona State, the softball fields outside of Moby Arena would be packed with die-hard fans lining the stands, extending into grassy area.

In the warmer areas of the country, softball is one of the core collegiate sports. While many Ram fans are looking forward to the start of football and basketball seasons several months away, there is plenty of action taking place on the diamond at Ram Field.

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Home runs over the fence, players diving into home plate and games so intense it’s OK to jump up from the stands. If you did not know this about CSU softball, you can not call yourself a die-hard Ram fan.

Softball has a special place in my heart as I not only grew up playing it at a young age, but also watched my sister travel playing competitive softball on top of drooling at the television every May for the NCAA Softball World Series.

The image I have in my mind of family and friends cheering at softball games, banging on the fence, joining the team cheers and traveling outside of state lines just to watch a game is the same hope I have for this program one day.

The CSU softball program is not what is used to be. And when I say that, it’s a good thing. It’s about this year’s team winning games in extra innings, having the best program start in 25 years and standing at the fifth spot in the Mountain West Conference.

The reasoning behind the Rams’ low standing in the MW is more a fact of being three games behind in the conference.

It’s a drastic change from last season’s 25 total wins. Already the Rams have 24 victories and 15 more games left in the season. Rams softball is becoming a contender and the CSU community needs to know it. Unlike main athletic teams on campus, softball posts a record above .500 in conference play.

Despite being faced with one of their tougher schedules in many years, the Rams defeated Ohio State, Cal Poly, Wichita State and Rutgers. Also on the 2013-14 schedule were games againstTennessee, Oklahoma State and BYU teams, though they were cancelled do to weather during February and March.

Now, the Rams have lost only two games this year when going into extra innings, evening out their pair of victories in added frames. Last season’s struggle at swinging the bats productively, has changed to CSU coming out strong this season with 31 home runs and 198 RBIs.

It’s all because head coach Jen Fisher has been the foundation of this team for the last four years. She’s been the turning point for the program, for which she has brought in several pivotal recruits as well as broadened the skills of current players.

While Fisher heads into each game with the mindset of one pitch at a time, her team is looking to take that next pitch to the national level and break out into the spotlight.

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At the top of the NCAA tournament every year are the usual contenders with multiple appearances in the World Series and top-10 rankings in the country. But, from the first pitch of the season, CSU is slowly climbing to that point with the conference in mind first.

Take a moment to think if you have ever been to a softball game once in your time at CSU. It’s like green eggs in ham, if you try it you will like it.

Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.