The Chadron State College softball team has one final opportunity to compete this weekend, when it hosts Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opponent Regis University on Friday and Saturday at CSC Softball Field.
The four-game series is a makeup of the one originally scheduled for March 20-21, but was postponed due to inclement weather and field conditions.
The two teams last faced each other on February 28 and 29 of 2020, just before the Covid-19 outbreak started. In that series, each team won two games, with Regis winning the opener both days and CSC taking the bottom of both doubleheaders. None of the games were decided by more than three runs.
Leading the Eagles offensively in that series was freshman right fielder Mackenzi Kroll, who batted 4-for-10 with a double, and junior Gabby Russell, who had a three-run homer in the series opener, as the Eagles’ designated player.
Junior Tia Kohl pitched exceptionally well in the series, holding the Rangers to three runs on a .184 team batting average. She earned the decisions in both CSC victories.
Both of the winning runs in Chadron State’s victories came on defensive errors by the Rangers.
The Rangers (16-14, 13-13 RMAC) will have played 10 games in nine days, assuming the weather holds, by the time they leave Chadron on Saturday. Earlier in the season, they struggled to even take the field, whether because of Covid protocol or weather-related issues. The team has had 16 games either cancelled or postponed, including the upcoming ones, and has completed 30 on the season. That is three fewer than any other RMAC softball member.
Regis ranks 14th in NCAA Division II in scoring, with more than seven runs scored per game. A big contributor to its success is junior shortstop Jessi Case, who bats .552 on the year and now ranks second nationally in that category. She is coming off a 2-for-3 day at CSU-Pueblo, where she broke a tie game open on a three-run home run.
Freshman designated player Katherine Raper and senior left fielder Jade Loe are also batting over .400.
Senior Taylor Armitage leads a decent group of Regis pitchers, who hold a 5.08 earned runs average collectively. Armitage is currently at a 3.33 ERA individually. She pitched a complete game against Pueblo, giving up only one run in game one, before starting game two and getting peppered with four consecutive base hits for three runs in the first inning. She exited immediately after the Rangers went down 3-1.
Chadron State (12-24, 12-20 RMAC) would like to end on a high note this weekend, after seeing a five-game win streak erased with a four-game skid against No. 16 Colorado Mesa last time out.
Regis needs a sweep over the Eagles in order to have a chance at the postseason.
The doubleheaders begin Friday at noon and Saturday at 11 a.m.