CSU softball pick up two more wins to end weekend 3-1

Jack Starkebaum

Have a day, Haley Hutton.

The senior shortstop smacked three triples total Sunday in CSU’s games against Idaho State and Nebraska-Omaha to help the Rams to two more wins.

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After splitting a double-header with a game against each school on Saturday, CSU won two close ones Sunday to close the weekend 3-1.

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CSU shortstop Haley Hutton fields a grounder during the Rams’ 8-6 win over Idaho State on Sunday. CSU also beat Nebraska-Omaha to end 2-0 on the day. (Javon Harris/Collegian)

The weekend’s sole loss came to Idaho State on Saturday, but the Rams were able to settle the score Sunday by beating ISU 8-6. The teams were tied up at three separate points of the game, with several lead changes.

After Idaho State had the game tied 2-2 at the top of the fourth inning, the Rams were able to make a run and stretch out a lead.

CSU’s Lauren Buchanan batted two runners in while hitting a double to reach second, then Holly Reinke hit a single to bring another runner across home plate. A couple pitching mistakes by Idaho State allowed two more runners to score, giving the Rams a four-run fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Taryn Arcarese was hit by a pitch to move a Ram home, then Madison Kilcrease was also walked, resulting in a runner advancing to give the Rams a 6-2 lead heading into the fifth.

But Idaho State quickly responded, putting four more runs on the board in the fifth, tying the game yet again at 6-6.

Savanah Clark answered with a nice connection resulting in a home run in the sixth inning to regain the lead for CSU, 8-6.

The Rams’ defense kept Idaho State off of the score board the rest of the way. Only two Idaho State players were allowed on base in the final two innings. The Rams were able to pick up three quick outs on the first three players up to bat in the final inning and keep the score 8-6.

In the second phase of Sunday’s double-header, CSU was looking to pick up its third win of the weekend against Nebraska-Omaha, and it wouldn’t be earned without a fight. Nebraska-Omaha was looking for payback following Saturday’s loss, and started with an early 2-1 lead in the first inning Sunday.

The Rams picked up two runs in the second and one in the third to retake a 4-2 lead. But that wouldn’t last long. By the end of the fifth, Nebraska-Omaha had regained the lead, 5-4.

Haley Hutton kicked of a rally for the Rams as she picked up an RBI by connecting for her third triple of the day.  The rest of the team added five more runs to the scoreboard in the sixth inning to establish a commanding 10-5 lead by its end.

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“We have really been playing as a team and that’s really nice,” Hutton said. “Knowing that if I get on base there are people who can hit me in.”

The game was capped off in a spectacular fashion as center fielder Madison Kilcrease caught back-to-back fly balls against the back fence, ending the game 10-6. 

“(It) was one of the best catches I’ve ever seen,” CSU coach Jen Fisher said. “You know it’s an outstanding catch when the other coach takes their hat off.”

With the next home games being against San Jose State, the Rams will look to pick up some wins to start conference play. Fisher stated it is important to keep fighting and getting runs late in the game.

Commenting on the upcoming Mountain West Conference games, Fisher said, “I think we are looking to have a good week of practice and keep fine tuning on the defense but not over fatiguing the kids but just keep them sharp.”

Before conference play starts, though, CSU travels to Greeley for its next game on March 16 against Northern Colorado. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Collegian sports reporter Jack Starkebaum can be reached at sports@collegian.com.