Oregon transfer set to star in Aztecs’ pitching staff

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Oregon transfer set to star in Aztecs’ pitching staff

In two seasons at Oregon, Maggie Balint went 28-4 with a 1.51 ERA and 214 strikeouts against 53 walks in 185 innings.

In two seasons at Oregon, Maggie Balint went 28-4 with a 1.51 ERA and 214 strikeouts against 53 walks in 185 innings.

Courtesy of Oregon Athletics

In two seasons at Oregon, Maggie Balint went 28-4 with a 1.51 ERA and 214 strikeouts against 53 walks in 185 innings.

Courtesy of Oregon Athletics

Courtesy of Oregon Athletics

In two seasons at Oregon, Maggie Balint went 28-4 with a 1.51 ERA and 214 strikeouts against 53 walks in 185 innings.

by Amber Salas, Staff Writer

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Former Oregon standout pitcher Maggie Balint is ready to step on the circle with San Diego State softball for the 2020 season.

Balint put her name in the transfer portal, and it was associate head coach Stacey Nuveman Deniz who found Balint.

Deniz emailed Balint, and the rest is history.

Balint is now an Aztec.

Back in May, Balint announced on Instagram that she will be transferring to SDSU to finish her remaining two years of eligibility. She is eligible to play immediately for the Aztecs.

“Happy to announce I will be spending the next 2 years at San Diego State finishing up my academic and athletic career!,” Balint announced on Instagram. “Thank you to everyone that has supported me through the last couple of months.”

Balint said the academic part of her decision played a role in transferring to SDSU. She saw San Diego as a city with opportunity for life after softball.

“I was looking for more of an opportunity to get an internship,” Balint said. “Having more of the job aspect (down) after college.”

With the softball season quickly approaching, Balint is ready to make her SDSU debut on the mound.

The Aztecs will open their season on Feb. 6 with the River City Leadoff Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.

Head coach Kathy Van Wyk said Balint is likely to start the second game of the tournament on Feb. 7 against Villanova.

Balint brings a decorated history with her. She was a finalist for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year, a 2017 First-Place NFCA All-Pacific Region selection and a first-team all-Pac-12 pick.

Additionally, she was the only freshman of 34 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year award.

“What impresses me the most about Maggie is how independent she is, and how hard a worker she is,” Van Wyk said. “Along with that, she’s extremely competitive.

“Our kids would be her sometimes, and you can just see her just turning it up a notch to the next level.”

Over her past two seasons at Oregon, Balint went 28-4 in the circle with a 1.51 ERA, finishing a total of 13 complete games. She had a total of five shutouts, three saves and 214 strikeouts against only 53 walks in 185 innings.

As a freshman, Balint helped lead her team to the Women’s College World Series. The team finished with a 54-8 record.

“I’ve had a lot of experience. I’ve played in (Oklahoma City) in the World Series. I’ve played in Super Regionals in front of 3,000 fans.” Balint said of the winning experience she brings to the Mesa. “I bring an attitude of ‘we’re here to win.”

This upcoming season looks promising for Balint and the Aztecs as they were picked second in the Mountain West preseason poll voted on by the league’s nine head coaches. The Aztecs had 50 votes finishing second to San José State’s 53 votes.

SDSU has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2015.

“We’re going to impress a lot of teams,” Balint said. “We’ve totally transpired from what San Diego State was before to what we are now… I believe we will be making postseason this year.”

Aaron Tolentino contributed to the reporting of this article.

Amber Salas is a junior studying journalism. Follow her on Twitter @ambersalass.

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