Peres’ squeeze saves Aztecs from Spartan sweep

Peres' squeeze saves Aztecs from Spartan sweep

Sarah Smith, Staff Photographer

by Jacob Gleason, Staff Writer

After sweeping University of Nevada, Reno in their mid-week series, San Diego State softball returned home this weekend to face the San Jose State University Spartans. For much of the series the Aztecs struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, dropping the first two games before winning Sunday’s extra-inning game.

In the opener on Friday night the Aztecs trailed by five runs after the top of the sixth inning. However, SDSU cut the Spartan’s lead to three in sixth inning with an RBI single and a bases loaded walk. Then in the seventh, the Aztecs scored twice on home runs from senior outfielder Kayla Jordan and freshman catcher Jenavee Peres. Still, the Aztecs’ rally came up just short. They lost 10-9.

On Saturday night, the Spartans were the team that was able to rally late. San Jose State broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth inning, scoring five runs on a pair of two-out doubles and a two-run home run.

The Aztecs then loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning, but failed to mount a two-out rally of their own.

In the top of the sixth, the Spartans scored another four runs to seal the game. SDSU lost 10-1 in six innings. The loss marked the first time the Aztecs have been “run-ruled” at home in Mountain West play.

On Sunday afternoon, the Aztecs looked to avoid a sweep and remain in a tie for first in the conference standings.

Things didn’t get off to a good start. San Jose State scored in the top of the second to give them a one-run lead. But the Aztecs answered back quickly when Peres hit a solo home run before a fielder’s choice to second gave SDSU the lead.

That lead would hold until the top of the seventh when San Jose State scored a run to tie the game at two and send it into extra innings.

The Spartans threatened to go ahead in top of the eighth inning. After an error and a walk put San Jose State runners on first and second base, sophomore pitcher Erica Romero threw a wild pitch that allowed both to advance. However, Romero was able to pitch herself out of the jam. Romero and Aztecs’ defense recorded three straight outs, stranding both runners in scoring position.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, SDSU finally got its chance to score.

Jordan started off the inning for the Aztecs by fouling off three close pitches and drawing a walk. The next batter, sophomore first baseman Sydnee Cable, laid down a perfect bunt that advanced Jordan to second. Jordan then took third base after a throwing error on an underthrown “back pick” attempt.

After red-shirt senior utility player Lorena Bauer drew another walk, Peres came up with one out and runners at first and third. She looked at her third base coach and then laid down a squeeze bunt that surprised the Spartans and won the game for the Aztecs 3-2.

Whether it comes to hitting a long home run or laying down a walk-off squeeze, Peres’ attitude does not change.

“I just want to get a pitch and put it in play,” Peres said. “I wanted to do my job and I did.”

Peres also stressed the importance of winning Sunday’s game.

“We just wanted to come in fighting because we were 0-2 on the weekend so we wanted to come out with a win so we didn’t get swept,” she said.

However, the win did more than just help Aztecs avoid a sweep. It also made the post-game autograph session a lot more fun for Peres and everyone else involved.

Next weekend, SDSU heads to Fort Collins to play Colorado State University on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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