SDSU softball gets timely hitting, wins two of three against New Mexico

Sarah Smith, Staff Photographer

by Jacob Gleason, Staff Writer

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This weekend – in its final home series of conference play – San Diego State softball won two out of three games against the University of New Mexico Lobos.

The series opener on Friday night started out as a low-scoring pitchers’ duel and the Aztecs were held hitless for the first three innings.

However, SDSU was able to get a rally going in the fifth to take the lead, scoring four runs on five hits and a New Mexico error.

SDSU then added to its lead in the sixth inning. Redshirt-senior utility player Hayley Miles started a rally by reaching base on a one-out walk. She then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior shortstop Samantha Camello.

With two outs and a runner on second, senior outfielder Kayla Jordan hit a ball to right field that found its way under the outfielder’s glove. After finally tracking the ball down, the New Mexico outfielder overthrew her cutoff.

This error allowed both Miles and Jordan the time to circle the bases and score, giving the Aztecs a 6-1 lead.

Up five runs going into the top of the seventh, it looked like SDSU had the game in hand. But the Lobos rallied, hitting an RBI double and a pair of RBI singles to cut the lead to 6-5.

Then a controversial call on a close play at first base decided the game’s outcome.

While Head Coach Kathy Van Wyk understands that close calls are part of the softball, she certainly wasn’t happy with the way this one turned out.

“I thought we had the last out at first base. The umpire called her safe and I thought it was the wrong call,” Van Wyk said. “That would’ve ended the game at 6-5. What do you do? You get some and you don’t get some.”

New Mexico scored three more runs that inning. The Aztecs couldn’t answer back and lost 8-6.

However, on Saturday afternoon it was the Aztecs’ turn to win a close game late.

In the bottom of the sixth, SDSU tied the game at four when freshmen outfielder Zaria Meshack scored from third base on a wild pitch.

Sophomore pitcher Erica Romero then preserved the tie, getting out of a jam in the seventh and retiring the side in the top of the eighth.

This brought up redshirt-senior utility player Lorena Bauer in the bottom of the eighth. With a 2-0 count, Bauer got a pitch she could handle and knocked it over the fence to give the Aztecs a walk-off win.

“It was like slow motion. It was pretty awesome,” Bauer said.

The home run was Bauer’s 15th this season and her first walk-off since her freshman year.

It gave the Aztecs a 5-4 victory.

By Sunday the Aztecs had all the momentum and they didn’t look back.

SDSU took the lead in the third inning, scoring three runs on a pair of home runs from Jordan and Bauer.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Aztecs scored a couple more runs in an unconventional fashion. With two runners in scoring position, Miles laid down an RBI suicide squeeze. Once she reached first base, Miles purposely got into a rundown and allowed freshman utility player Taylor Stewart to score from third.

After scoring again in the fifth, the Aztecs won by the run-rule in the sixth, 10-2.

Van Wyk stressed that the team’s offensive effort was the key to the convincing victory.

“I’m just really proud of the way the hitters answered to whatever pitch was thrown in there. They made adjustments immediately and got it done at the plate,” she said. “It was a total team effort.”

The Aztecs (32-18, 15-6 MW) head to Logan, Utah next weekend where they’ll face Utah State University on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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