CSU Softball loses ground in the running for Mountain West first place

The Aztec's Katie Mathis, 15, slides into home as Ram pitcher Kacie McCarthy attempts to tag her out in Sunday's game in Fort Collins. The Rams lost 4 to 0 to the Aztecs putting their record at 24-22 for the season.
The Aztec’s Katie Mathis, 15, slides into home as Ram pitcher Kacie McCarthy attempts to tag her out in Sunday’s game in Fort Collins. The Rams lost 4 to 0 to the Aztecs putting their record at 24-22 for the season.

With their last weekend of play in less than a week, the hope of the CSU softball team competing in the NCAA Championship grows slim in Ram Country.

Not only does the Rams need to sweep New Mexico next weekend, but CSU also needs UNLV to sweep San Diego State at home for a chance at first place in the MW and a continuation of their 2013 season.

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Taking a step in the right direction in game one, the Rams recorded a 3-0 over the Aztecs as they moved one step closer to first place. As CSU took one step in the right direction, the Rams quickly took two back. Shut down in game two and three on offense, the Aztecs took game two 12-4 and game three 4-0.

“You know I thought the hits were gonna start coming for us, but we were just in too big of a hole,” CSU coach Jen Fisher said. “San Diego State is a great program and a well coached team … solid on all three fronts: base running, offense and their pitching was really good.”

Throughout the season, the Rams have consistently come out in game one swinging the bats. However, throughout the season, the Rams offense has not been able to continue their offensive drive during the entire series. In game three against San Diego State, CSU came to the plate 23 times and only were able to get two hits against four strike outs.

Prior to the weekend, CSU and San Diego State were only separated in the conference by one game. The Rams are now two games back from San Diego State and have now put themselves in a position to finish the season under .500.

Sunday’s game against San Diego was not only the Rams last game at home this season, but the last home game for seniors Kacie McCarthy and Kailey Snyder.

“You know its rough, and its hard to take in,” McCarthy said. “Its really just taking the time to come in an focus one pitch at a time, Its getting the hits and executing what we need to do as pitchers and defense players. If we do that, we will be somebody you are gonna need to look out for.”

McCarthy and Snyder transferred here at the beginning of last season where they made Fort Collins their home as they brought CSU on the national map.

“You ask San Diego State two years ago, who is Colorado State?,” Fisher said. “They would basically say nobody, you do not have to worry about them.”

Improving from last season, CSU continues to make their name known compared to last year.

“They definitely know who we are now, I think Washington, Georgia, Nebraska knows who we are now,” Fisher said. “We have played right with those teams. And our charge now is to make sure we keep moving forward now.”

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The season is nearing its end, but for the Rams this season has set them up for a chance to improve even more for next year.

Next the Rams will head to New Mexico where their regular season play will come to a close. Keeping their fingers crossed for a miracle, CSU softball needs to play its best against the Lobos.

“Were gonna come out against New Mexico this weekend and finish with a bang,” McCarthy said.

Softball Beat Reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at sports@collegian.com.