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CSU Softball to make NCAA Tournament debut against Auburn University

After a successful season, winning the Mountain West championship and accumulating the most regular season wins in over a decade, the Rams are heading to Tucson to take on Auburn University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This is the Rams’ first appearance in the tournament since 2003, when they took on Arizona and California State University, Northridge. The Rams are 2-4 all-time in the national tournament and will join host team No. 6, the University of Arizona, as well as Harvard University, in their regional pool. 

“I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of our softball team this season and the leadership of Jen Fisher,” Colorado State University Athletic Director Joe Parker said. “They have had a record year with 20-consecutive wins, signature victories over prominent programs and performed well in the classroom. This is an outstanding group of young women who work extremely hard, and I look forward to cheering them on at the Tucson Regional.” 

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The Auburn Tigers, ranked No. 24, have an overall record of 37-19 and a 10-14 conference record. The Tigers finished their 2019 regular season in the bottom four teams of the Southeastern Conference. Although the Tigers didn’t win their conference, going against some of the best competition in the nation in the SEC plays in their favor.

Heading into the tournament, the Rams are coming off a victory against Brigham Young University, whereas the Tigers are coming off a loss 3-0 to ninth-ranked Florida. The Rams will need to build off of that victory and ride that momentum throughout the tournament.

The Tigers ranked in the bottom half in most SEC statistical categories, including batting average and earned run average. The Rams on the other hand lead the Mountain West in almost every statistical category.

Shortstop Haley Donaldson takes sign from the third base coach outside of the batter’s box. (Joshua Contreras | Collegian).

The SEC has 10 teams in the Top 25, and the Rams are one of two  teams in the tournament representing the Mountain West. The Tigers have played stronger competition, but the Rams are more than capable of taking them down.

In order for the Rams to have success, they will need to rely on their starting rotation. The Rams can swing it with the best of them, but to have success in the tournament, the rotation will need to come up big, as they have all season. 

The Rams have been tested all year long and have found ways to win and overcome adversity. The Tigers are their biggest challenge yet, and we’ll see if they have the answers.

Round one kicks off Friday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN.

Junior Guerrero can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @juniorg45.

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