Times have changed quickly for the CSU softball team.
Two seasons ago the Rams finished 8-43 and only won one Mountain West game.
This year CSU was picked to finish second in the MW preseason poll, the conference announced Tuesday.
The panel of coaches picked defending champion San Diego State to win the league again, awarding the Aztecs five out the seven first place votes.
CSU received one first place vote and finished with 28 points in the poll.
Last year the Rams finished above .500 for the first time since 2010, and will be lead by experienced upperclassmen for the first time since coach Jen Fisher took over in 2011.
Reigning MW Pitcher of the Year senior Kacie McCarthy returns to anchor CSU’s rotation while a trio of talented junior bats in third baseman Chelsea Biglow, shortstop Alex Ortega and catcher Emily Pohl will power the offense.
The Rams return nine starters and 14 overall letterwinners from last year’s team that finished 29-22 and 8-4 in MW play.
The 2013 begins Thursday for CSU at the Red Desert Classic in St. George Utah.
The Rams play their first home tournament March 1-3 in the Colorado State Classic.