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Rams lead comeback win to cap off 5-0 weekend

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Collegian | Samantha Nordstrom
Colorado State University senior Maya Matsubara runs to third base during the CSU softball game against Iowa State University at Ram Field March 3. CSU won 9-6.

A comeback win led by a grand slam to finish off a flawless home-opening weekend. Things couldn’t seem to get more picture perfect for Colorado State softball Sunday afternoon. 

After being down by five runs against Iowa State, the Rams rallied to come back and score nine runs in just two innings and win the final game of the weekend 9-6.

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For the Rams, who previously lost five games in a row at the Lone Star Invitational in Austin, Texas, the return to the home crowd was a welcome sight.

“(The home crowd) was awesome,” infielder Peyton Allen said. “It’s really good to be here. I’m glad we had nice weather, and our fans always show up. … We want to protect this field. We want to defend it.”

Defend the field they did.

In the five games they played in their home-opening weekend, — three against Iowa State and two against Manhattan College — the Rams outscored their opponents 42-18.

“Going 5-0 on the weekend at home — I think it’s huge,” Allen said. “(Playing Iowa State) was a conference-level matchup, so I think we’re in a good spot for that. We’re just going to keep growing and keep improving.”

Going 6-for-13 in her at-bats for the weekend, Allen’s benefit to her squad cannot be understated, particularly against the Cyclones Sunday afternoon. 

After the Rams loaded the bases down two in the bottom of the fourth, Allen hit a grand slam to deep left center field to give CSU the lead. The squad would then add on two more runs with a sacrifice fly from Molly Gates and a left-field single from Brooke Bohlender.

While a four-run lead unquestionably gives a pitcher a lot of breathing room, right-handed pitcher Giselle Bentley made certain that her team would come away with the win.

Bentley entered the game after the Rams’ starter Reagan Wick gave up five earned runs, four hits and five walks in 1.2 innings. From then on, Bentley was dominant, only giving up one run off of a home run by Angelina Allen in 5.1 innings.

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Coach Jen Fisher said she credits Bentley’s willingness to persevere and work hard with her success over the weekend. In Bentley’s first two appearances longer than one inning this season, the pitcher picked up two losses in a row, which Fisher said Bentley refused to let define her.

“What I loved about her response to the first weekend (was) she just said, ‘Coach, that’s not going to define me,’” Fisher said. “She’s always a hard worker.”

Supplemented by her team’s stellar offense, Bentley walked away with a win and dropped her season ERA to 2.10.

The Rams’ first blow of the contest was dealt by outfielder Hailey Smith, who hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to get the ball rolling for CSU’s offense, which then went on to score six more runs in the following inning. 

“I saw it, and I was ready to go,” Smith said. “I knew right off the bat that that thing was gone.”

CSU will stay at Ram Field for their next series March 8-10, and they hope that home field magic will continue to follow them.

“Last year, we didn’t have the opportunity to play at home this early because the field was still being finished,” Fisher said. “So having these two home weekends is just huge for us.”

Will Engle can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @willengle44.

Interested in more sports content? Sign up for Ram Report here for weekly CSU sports updates!
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