San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Softball earns its first win in the Purple and Gold Challenge

The Aztecs win their second shutout of the season, preventing a sweep on the road in Baton Rouge
Christie Yeung
San Diego State utility Dee Dee Hernandez catches a ball on a play at the mound earlier this season at SDSU Softball Stadium. Hernandez helped pitch the last remaining innings in the 3-0 win against Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 3rd.

Four games deep into the Purple and Gold Challenge, San Diego State’s softball broke their four-game losing streak with a 3-0 win against Illinois. 

The Aztecs (9-10) left Baton Rouge (1-4) after Sunday’s win against the Kingfishers.

Aztecs’ pitcher Cece Cellura held the Big Ten opponent to zero runs in the first five innings. Cellura allowed only three singles while striking out three. The freshman is now 2-1 on the mound this season. 

Pitching her first save of the season, junior Dee Dee Hernandez finished off the final two innings for the Aztecs. An intentional walk was the only way Illinois was able to take a base on Hernandez’s watch but quickly stopped Illinois with two strikeouts.

The Scarlet and Black’s offense got hot in the bottom of the third, scoring their first two runs off Illinois Pitcher Tori McQueen. Senior outfielder Macey Keester and junior infielder Lala Macario each singled and eventually scored. Keester scored on a throwing error, and Macario was knocked in by junior Cali Decker’s RBI single. 

SDSU loaded up the bases in the fifth inning while Keester and Macario put their bats to work once again, each singled onto the bases. 

The fifth-inning rally continued with junior Bella Espinoza walking on base and Mac Barbara with a pop fly bringing Keester home to score. 

Saving the inning for Illinois was relief pitcher Lauren Wiles, who closed out the inning. Wiles struck both Decker and sophomore Angie Yellen out. 

Closing out the Aztecs’ final game and win in Baton Rouge was Dee Dee Hernandez — who not only saved her team tonight on the mound — but also made her way to a spot at number four on SDSU’s all-time list. Her 10th career save is tied with Maggie Balint (2020-22).

The Scarlet and Black outhit Illinois, 8-4. No at-bat was wasted for Keester who was 2-for-2 with two runs for the Aztecs. Similarly, Macario also got herself on base with two hits and a run. Although she didn’t score, senior Alyssa Garcia swung and did not miss, going 2-for-2 with a double. 

Marking her name on SDSU’s all-time RBI list, Barbara tied with Molly Sturvidant (2016-19). Both Aztecs share this spot each with 126 RBIs during their collegiate careers.

Holding Illinois to zero runs contributed to the Scarlet and Black’s second shutout this season. 

The Aztecs will need to keep this winning momentum alive as they head back to home plate at the SDSU Softball Stadium for a rematch against PAC-12 opponent, the University of Utah, after a 7-2 loss in Salt Lake City last year. 

The face-off against Utah is this Wednesday at 5 p.m., and it will be the final game for SDSU in the Purple and Gold Challenge.


About the Contributors
Madison Laracuente, '24-25 Multimedia Editor
Christie Yeung, '24-25 News Editor
Born in Hong Kong, Christie Yeung is a first-generation transfer student who majors in journalism at San Diego State University. Prior to arriving at SDSU, she served as the Gaming/Tech Editor, Features Editor and Managing Editor of SAC Media at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where she was placed in on-the-spot competitions such as fourth in News photo, second in Portrait photo, first in Sports photo, first in Social Media and second in News writing, along with a meritorious mention in the Enterprise News Story/Series category from Journalism Association of Community Colleges. She was also awarded second in Best Breaking News Stories by the California College Media Association. During her free time, she likes to watch European soccer games, read, listen to Cantonese-pop music and play video games and Dungeons & Dragons with her online friends. She also has a sweet tooth and cannot turn away anything with Nutella in it.