Game 1: Colorado State, 11| Illinois-Chicago 0
Similar to opening day, day two of the Easton Classic began with a run rule, shutout win for the Rams by many runs and another stellar performance by Daniel Serna about.
The scoring for the Rams started in the top of the second inning where the junior Jordan West hit a triple to right field to lead off the inning. In the next at-bat, junior Carolina Buffaloe recorded her second RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring West from third base.
After Serna pitched another scoreless inning in the bottom of the second, Colorado State scored five runs in the top of the third to flip the order and break open the game. Molly Gates and Serna drew back-to-back walks to start the first inning Maya Matsubara doubled down the left field line to score Gates for his second run of the game while Katelyn Hornbuckle, who ran for Serna, moved into third place. after Peyton Allen reached on a catcher interference call, senior Hailey Smith hit the Rams’ second triple of the day down the right field line that cleared the bases for Colorado State, scoring three runs to extend the lead to five. The Rams would score their fifth run of the game when West fielded the ball and reached on an error, scoring Smith from third.
Again, Serna responded defensively with a one-two-three inning in the circle.
The top of the fourth started exactly the same way as the top of the third for the Rams, with Gates and Serna drawing back-to-back walks. An Illinois-Chicago pitching change couldn’t keep the Rams from loading the bases as Matsubara drew his third straight walk for Colorado State. Allen then scored Gates from third with a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Rams up 7-0.
Two more infield ground balls by Smith and West scored both Serna and Matsubara to give the Rams a 9-0 lead by the end of the inning. Serna retired three of the four batters he faced in the bottom half of the inning, pitching a two-hit game in four.
The Rams scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning as freshman Jaliey Wilson recorded her second hit of the day to lead off the top of the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Gates and Serna loaded the bases for the Rams before a single by Allen to left field scored both Wilson and Gates.
Serna finished the game with three hits in four innings as the Rams entered the school second. Gisele Bentley to close the fifth inning. With an 11-run lead, all Bentley and the Rams needed to do to seal the win was record three runs in the bottom of the fifth, which is exactly what they did to earn their second win of the season.
Game 2: Colorado State, 8 | Southern Utah, 1
The second game featured more hitting from the Rams as Colorado State jumped out to an early 3-0 lead over Southern Utah late in the first. With York drawing a leadoff walk followed by back-to-back singles by Matsubara and Serna, Allen picked up the game’s first RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field. Molly Gates then added two more RBIs to her weekend resume with a single up the middle to score Serna and Matsubara.
In the second, it was again at the top of the order that was able to produce two more runs with two outs. A double by Matsubara scored York, who reached on a fielder’s choice, for the game’s fourth run before Serna doubled back, trading Matsubara at second to extend the lead to 5-0.
Through three innings, the starting pitcher Sydney Hornbuckle had allowed just three total hits and struck out seven Southern Utah batters to lead off the fourth frame.
Colorado State’s lead was extended to seven runs in the third after Gates singled to lead off the inning and Brooke Bohlender hit the Rams’ first home run of the season over the left field fence. To this point in the 2024 season, all 24 runs scored by the Rams during opening weekend have come via an inside-the-park hit.
Southern Utah scored their only run in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run by Ariyana Miranda. A pitching change for Southern Utah kept the Rams from adding to their lead in both the fourth and fifth innings.
Top of the sixth inning, freshman Reagan Wick made her Colorado State debut in the circle, coming on in relief of Hornbuckle. Wick would give up a first down hit before retiring three straight Thunderbirds to send the Rams back to the plate. Colorado State added another insurance run in the sixth inning when Morgan Coleman stole second and then advanced to home on a missed throw by the catcher.
Wick closed out the seventh inning without surrendering a hit as the Rams cruised to an 8-1 victory to move to 2-0 on the day and 3-1 on the season.
Overall on the day, both Matsubara and Gates went 4-6 at the plate, while Smith and Allen both added three RBIs in both games. As a pitching staff, the Rams allowed just one earned run on nine hits all day.
Colorado State will have a rematch with Cal State Fullerton to close out the Easton Classic tomorrow at noon Mountain Time.