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Story and photos by Liz Alper
Notes and box score courtesy goaztecs.com
March 19, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego State softball wrapped up their first series in conference play today against Fresno State, trying to avoid the sweep. Sophomore Julie McDonald started on the mound for the Aztecs against another sophomore, Kamalani Dung, for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs started out strong, just like they have been for the past two nights. In the first, senior catcher Lindsey Willmon hit a sac groundout to score senior designated player Malia Rivers and FSU led 1-0.
The Aztecs got a lucky break in the second. Sophomore third baseman Molly Sturdivant lined to right, but instead of making the catch, the ball bounced off of sophomore right fielder Morgan Howe’s glove and Sturdivant reached second on an error. The same thing happened to senior first baseman Sydnee Cable; she lined to left, but the ball catapulted off of senior left fielder Kierra Willis’ glove and the Aztecs tied the game at one, while the Bulldogs racked up two quick errors. Junior designated player Taylor Stewart doubled to left center and the Aztecs took their first lead of the game 2-1. Freshman center fielder Kiera Wright singled to score another run and it was 3-1 Aztecs and Dung’s day was over.
The Bulldogs crept to within one in the third on junior first baseman Savannah McHellon’s RBI single to make the score 3-2 Aztecs.
Sturdivant added insurance in the Aztec half of the third with a monster two-run homer that buoyed the Aztecs to a 5-2 lead.
Sturdivant made some more noise in the fourth. After sophomore second baseman and West Hills High grad Katie Byrd doubled, Sturdivant singled to drive her in and the Aztecs led 6-2.
Fresno State narrowed the lead to three in the fifth on Willmon’s double that scored Howe and the Aztecs led 6-3. SDSU played solid defense and carried the 6-3 score to the end for a win and avoided the sweep.
The Aztecs get a week-long break before traveling to Colorado to face the Colorado State Rams on Friday. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.
- San Diego State improved to 8-9 on the season against 2016 NCAA tournament teams
- The Aztecs are now 6-0 on the year in games played on Sunday
- SDSU improved to 11-3 when scoring at least six runs
- San Diego State is now 9-2 on the year when leading after five innings
- After losing their last two when leading at any point in a game, the Aztecs improved to 18-4 on the season when leading in a game
- SDSU is now 15-2 when outhitting its opponents (2-9 when not leading or tied)
- San Diego State improved to 11-3 when homering at least once in a game (6-8 when it does not homer)
- Sturdivant recorded her team-leading ninth multi-RBI game of the year and eighth multi-hit contest
- Sturdivant has 13 home runs for her career, the 10th most in school history
- Byrd had her ninth multi-hit game of the season, the second most on the team
- Stewart registered her eighth multi-hit game
- Freshman shortstop Shelby Thompson had her sixth multi-hit game in 2017
- Wright and Thompson are the only two Aztec players to start all 28 games this year (both have started all the games at center field and shortstop, respectively)
- Cable had her 98th RBI of her career, the ninth most in school history
- Cable also had her seventh career sacrifice fly, tying Jenavee Peres and Erryn Gutjahr for the third most in program history
- Senior ptcher Erica Romero won the 62nd game of her career and now only trails Sandra Durazo (87) and Christina Ross (70) in school history
- Junior pitcher Alex Formby tied a season high with four strikeouts
- Formby picked up the seventh save of her career at SDSU, tying Bre DeSanta (2002-03) for the third most in school history.