Colorado State University

On Senior Day, the result on the scoreboard came second to the emotion coursing through Ram Field when the Colorado State softball team took on Boise State for the final regular season game of the season.

When the game came down to the final two innings, the Rams down a run, they were just one Maya Matsubara hit away from tying the game up. Instead, CSU fell to the Broncos for the third straight game, 3-2.

In the top of the seventh inning, coach Jen Fisher made Senior Day just a little more special by inserting Sydney and Katelyn Hornbuckle into the game as pitcher and catcher, respectively. Growing up playing those positions with each other week in and week out, they haven’t gotten too many opportunities to do so in college.

Fisher didn’t exactly plan for the change before the game, but kept the option in her back pocket. Katelyn knew it would be a possibility, but the moment still came as a surprise.

“I wasn’t sure until we got told in the seventh, but I was just excited to get out there,” she said. “Although it’s Senior Night, at the end of the day, it’s still just working for my sister (which means the most).”

On the day, nine seniors were celebrated, all of whom were honored with their number on the grass outlining the infield.

Going into the game, the Rams were locked into the 6-seed of the Mountain West Tournament and would have stayed there should they have won or lost. Either way, there is still softball to be played.

It’s not often a team has that many seniors on the team at one time. That, combined with the extension of the team’s season, is part of the reason Fisher didn’t dwell too much on the loss.

“No, I think it’s absolutely the result I wanted,” Fisher said. “Nine amazing women are all graduating — some of them with their master’s degrees — and leaving everything they have with this program. So I think we have a lot to be very, very thankful for.”

One of those seniors, jack of all trades Danielle Serna, did her part in cementing her legacy as a Ram. In the fifth inning, she began the frame with her 200th career strikeout, making her one of a handful of Rams to ever do so.

In the moment, the reaction she had to the strikeout probably would have given the feat away as she screamed in joy and stomped on the circle. But in reality, she had no idea it was her 200th; she was just happy to have finally struck out a leadoff hitter.

Either way, for it to happen on Senior Day “had to have been a master design or something,” according to Fisher. But Serna remained as humble as ever, mostly evidenced by her lack of knowledge of the milestone.

“It’s just a testament to the coaching staff in developing me since I got here, the team and the bullpen I’ve had,” Serna said. “This is the best team I’ve ever played for. In the postgame talk, you can just see how much this team has loved each other and how hard it is to leave each other at the end of it. At the end of the day, the loss sucks, but it was just the way we got to be with each other.”

The Rams, the 6-seed in the tournament, will head to Boise, Idaho to take on third-seeded Nevada Thursday, May 9. Last season, the first-round matchup was the same — the seeds flipped. The Rams lost 11-0 that day.

This year, the Rams lost all three games against the Wolf Pack.

“We’re motivated going into the tournament. We want to make a run and make a name for ourselves,” Serna said. “We’ve played with some of the best and we’re one of the best teams in the conference, so we’re just trying to continue to build off of that.”