Wildcat Invitational ends early for CSU softball

Bailey Shepherd

Tata Shadowen (11) reaches out for the ballTara Shadowen (11) reaches out for the ball, during the University’s second home game vs Purdue University at the Colorado State classic softball tournament on March 8, 2020. CSU wins 4-3. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

After struggling in their last tournament, the Colorado State softball team made the trip to Tucson, Arizona, for the Wildcat Invitational, where the Rams were looking to get back into winning form. Unfortunately, CSU’s time at the tournament was cut short after only three games due to health and safety concerns.

Coming into this tournament and coming off a three-game losing streak, the Rams were lacking momentum. But with the season still in its early stages, the Rams had everything to play for as they searched for redemption. 

Things got off to a promising start for the Rams in their first game of the tournament against Seattle University. CSU did well to stifle Seattle’s bats early and only allowed two hits through the first three innings. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo home run from Seattle infielder Alyson Matriotti, putting the Rams down by a run going into the fourth inning.

CSU finally caught a break in inning number five, registering three hits, which they were able to turn into three runs after capitalizing on some questionable playmaking decisions from Seattle’s infield

Seattle soon caught a break of their own in the sixth inning after tallying their second home run of the day, making it an even game at 3-3 going into the final inning. After a scoreless seventh inning, the game went to extra innings where the Rams took control as Freshman Ashley York made a statement with a three-run homer to make the score 6-3. Seattle managed to get one back, but CSU’s defensive play locked up a game one victory with a final score of 6-4. 

After starting the day on a high, CSU needed all the momentum going into their matchup against the third-ranked University of Arizona for their final game of day one.

CSU got off to as good of a start as they could’ve asked for after Tara Shadowen knocked herself in with a solo home run to make it a 1-0 game going into the bottom of the second. Unfortunately for the Rams, that would be their only trip across home plate for the rest of the game.

The Wildcats answered late in the second inning with a three-run homer from Carlie Scupin. Adding another run, the Rams were suddenly down 4-1. Bad things just got worse for the Rams as poor pitching allowed Scupin to hit another three-run dinger to make the score 7-1 in the next inning. CSU was unable to mount a comeback as the game would finish 9-1 leaving the Rams with a split outing for day one. 

CSU had a rematch scheduled with Seattle University on Friday as their only game for day two of the tournament, but the Rams would not get the same favorable result as they did in game one.

Seattle hit the ground fast and early, registering two hits and two runs in the first inning. CSU managed to make the game 1-2 after the first frame before briefly taking the lead in the second after a two-run homer from York that made the game 3-2. The Rams couldn’t keep the bats hot for the rest of the game, and Seattle went on to score two more runs in the fourth inning and one run in the seventh to lock up the 5-3 victory

With two more days and four more games to be played, the softball program made the decision to cancel their remaining fixtures. It was reported on the CSU Athletics’ website that the cancellations were made due to “health and safety concerns.”

At the time of writing, no more details have been given into exactly what kind of health and safety concerns were present within the program, but no statement about a cancellation from the University of Northern Colorado and CSU joint tournament has been made. The Rams’ next tournament will kick off on March 5 as CSU will start the tournament against UNC in Greeley, Colorado. 

Bailey Shepherd can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @B_Sheps.