Softball wins 24th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic

Photo by Jordan Owen, Senior Staff Photographer.

Photo by Jordan Owen, Senior Staff Photographer.

by Matt D'Ambrosi

The San Diego State softball team hosted the 24th Annual Campbell/Cartier Classic during this past Valentines weekend. In an event that featured 15 games between teams representing six different schools, the San Diego State Softball Stadium was the main venue to catch the action. The University of San Diego Softball Complex hosted three of Friday’s early matchups.

Participants in this year’s field included California State University, Fullerton, University of California, Berkeley, University of South Dakota, Texas State University and Saint Mary’s College of California.

The Aztecs impressed all weekend long winning, four of their five games. They set the tone early by handing Fullerton its first loss of the year in a 6-1 victory on Thursday night. They were able to carry that momentum into Friday’s contests, dismantling South Dakota 12-2 in a five-inning rout in the first game of their doubleheader, followed by a landmark 7-3 win over then No. 23/25 California in the nightcap. The Aztecs’ only loss came on Saturday to the hands of Texas State by a score of 4-2.

Come Sunday afternoon, however, SDSU was the only team feeling the love. Redshirt senior outfielder Patrice Jackson hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning en route to a 3-2 victory, helping the Aztecs best Saint Mary’s in a game that went eight innings. With the win, the Aztecs were crowned champions of the Campbell/Cartier Classic for the second time in school history.

At the conclusion of the weekend, SDSU’s record stood at 8-2 overall for the season.

Game of the weekend

Spearheaded offensively by junior catcher Kaitlin Connors who went 2 for 2 with three RBIs and walked once on the evening, the Aztecs were able to record hits by seven different players Friday night against then No. 23/25 Berkeley. Sophomore pitcher Danielle O’Toole tossed a complete game, striking out eight, while holding the Golden Bears to only three runs in the win.

While the 7-3 win against Berkeley might not have been the closest game of the weekend, it was certainly the most significant. After going winless in 11 tries against ranked opponents last year (Berkeley being one of them), the Aztecs were finally able to snap that streak while making a statement to the rest of the country.

Player of the weekend 

O’Toole was undoubtedly the key to the Aztecs’ success over the weekend. The left-hander from Upland was dominant every time she entered the pitching circle. Throwing complete games in all three of her wins she improved her record to a perfect 7-0 on the season. She showed resiliency pitching in four of the five games during the weekend, tallying 16 strikeouts to only four walks.

When asked about sustaining her success throughout the weekend, O’Toole quickly pointed to her teammates.

“I’m successful because my team hits behind me; that’s why we win,” O’Toole said.

Offensive recap: a team effort

If there was one thing SDSU proved at the Campbell/Cartier Classic, it’s that they can get offensive production from a lot of different places. Even with senior utility Lorena Bauer out for the season, redshirt junior utility Hayley Miles slowly acclimating to her old self again, and teams sometimes opting to walk Jackson, the Aztecs still have plenty of offensive firepower. They recorded base hits from 10 different players this past weekend not named Bauer, Miles, or Jackson.

The Aztecs are back in action tonight at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic held in Cathedral City. The team is set to play five games, including a matchup against current No. 12/16 Texas A&M University.

Photo by Jordan Owen, Senior Staff Photographer.