#29 Colorado State Softball 2021 Preview

Colorado State Rams
Overall Rank: #29
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain West
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Colorado State is coming off a program defining 2019 campaign. The Rams went 39-12 overall and reached their first NCAA Tournament since 2003. The Rams fell twice to Auburn in the tournament, but managed to pick up a win over Harvard. The key now will be for Coach Jen Fisher to maintain that success. With Mountain West Player of the Year Amber Nelson and top pitcher Bridgette Hutton gone, there are some big holes to fill though.
2019: 39-12, 18-6
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jen Fisher
Key Departed Players:
Amber Nelson, C, .396 BA, 11 HR, 46 RBI
Lauren Buchanan, C, .309 BA, 5 HR, 28 RBI
Danni Klein, OF, .284 BA, 7 HR, 33 RBI
Isabella Navarro, IF, .246 BA, 4 HR, 28 RBI
Bridgette Hutton, P, 2.59 ERA, 16-6 W/L, 167.1 IP, 94 SO
Ashley Ruiz, 1B, .386 BA, 11 HR, 41 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Tara Shadowen, OF, .352 BA, 14 HR, 39 RBI
Ashley Michelena, OF, .341 BA, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 10 SB
Corina Gamboa, IF, .335 BA, 6 HR, 42 RBI
Haley Donaldson, IF, .287 BA, 4 HR, 28 RBI
Jessica Jarecki, P, 2.65 ERA, 15-4 W/L, 121.1 IP, 83 SO
Taylor Gilmore, P, 2.24 ERA, 8-2 W/L, 43.2 IP, 24 SO
Jessica Jarecki was nearly as effective as Hutton in the circle in 2019. She went 15-4 with a 2.65 ERA and the senior is more than ready to emerge as the ace of the pitching staff. Taylor Gilmore hurled 43.2 innings as a freshman, going 8-2 with a 2.24 ERA. Jarecki and Gilmore should be able to keep Colorado State among the best pitching teams in the MWC and a handful of freshmen and sophomores will provide enough depth for now. Three hitters return who batted over .300 last season. Tara Shadowen is a power hitter who hit for a high average as well. Add the power of Corina Gamboa, who tallied 42 RBIs last season, and Haley Donaldson, and the speed of Ashley Michelena and Colorado State has a lot of dangerous options at the plate. Baylor transfer Tyler Trott should add another option at the plate, and perhaps more importantly, an experienced option behind the plate. This is an important season for Colorado State. Can they maintain that success for 2019? Or will the Rams take a larger step backwards than expected?
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament