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Rams reduce Cyclones to evening breeze in home-opening wins

Senior+Maya+Matsubara+%282%29+prepares+to+swing+during+Colorado+State+Universitys+first+game+of+the+day+against+Iowa+State.
Collegian | Cait Mckinzie
Senior Maya Matsubara (2) prepares to swing during Colorado State University’s first softball game of the day against Iowa State University March 1. CSU won 6-2.

A fresh start at home.

Colorado State softball took home both games against Iowa State in their home-opening doubleheader on Friday, winning 6-2 and 5-4, respectively. 

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Fans really showed out at Ram Field for the season debut at home. After dropping their last five games — though four of them were against No. 2 Texas and No. 12 Stanford — being back in front of a friendly crowd that continues to grow is something to behold.

“I think we’ve continued to see an increase in attendance the past two years ever since we got a new field,” Danielle Serna said. “And it’s amazing just to hear people come up to us around campus talking about our games and talking about how they want to come out.”

First game

For Iowa State, it felt like the sixth inning might never end, but for Colorado State, that’s when the fun began. 

Cycling through the entire order, the Rams ran circles around the Cyclones in their five-run sixth inning.

Ashley York got the inning started with a double to right center field for just a small part of her 3-for-6 overall batting day.

After York’s hit, Maya Matsubara drew a walk, and the fun began from there. 

Serna, who started the day on the mound, got her first home run of the season, bringing in two RBIs. Getting that first homer of the season in front of such a big crowd for the home opener was definitely special.

“It’s amazing,” Serna said. “I just try to do as much as I can on both sides of the field, and I just want to do everything in my power just to help the team.”

Peyton Allen continued her excellent hitting streak Friday afternoon, going 2-of-3 at the plate in the first game, helping the Rams continue that excellent sixth inning. 

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Allen now has five hits in her last nine at-bats. 

“It’s great because (Allen and Serna) are both fifth-years, and they’re just very near and dear to my heart,” coach Jen Fisher said. “They put in work, and they really want to win.”

Second game

Who do you call when the bases are loaded, you lead by only one run and all you need is one out to win the game? 

For Fisher, that person was freshman Reagan Wick

“(Sydney Hornbuckle) wanted to finish that game, she looked good, everything was there,” Fisher said. “Sometimes, I think we just got to give the umpire a different look in that situation, and (Wick’s) been nails for us all year. She does her job.”

Hornbuckle continues to be an iron woman on the mound. 

Throwing 129 pitches — 28 more than her season high — Hornbuckle had a nice day on the mound. While she couldn’t quite finish out the seventh, there was no doubt as she was walking off what Wick was about to do.

“I think she’s going to be really good,” Hornbuckle said. “I’m glad we finally have a lefty in the program. I remember that feeling as a freshman coming in on those bases-loaded situations with two outs and just needing to get the one more, so I’m glad she’s taking on that role.”

Laughter and light spirits were themes of the day. 

A pitch count of 129 is a shocking number, at least to Hornbuckle. Despite being out there for nearly the entire game, it can be hard for a pitcher to notice how much they’re actually throwing, especially when the camaraderie is always an important part of the game.

“I’m always laughing on the field,” Hornbuckle said.

Reach Damon Cook at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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

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About the Contributor
Damon Cook
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.

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