SDSU softball gets redemption over UTSA in final game at Titan Classic

by Meghan Lanigan, Staff Writer

The San Diego State softball team played its final game of the Titan Classic against University of Texas, San Antonio on Feb. 14 and came away with a 2-0 win after losing to UTSA a day prior.

Junior right-hander Erica Romero got her second win of the season after coming in at the top of the third to relieve freshman right-hander Julie McDonald, who allowed no runs, two hits and one walk.

Romero then proceeded to retire the next eight batters.

“Erica was lights-out today,” head coach Kathy Van Wyk said. “She was just nails today.”

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Aztecs had eight players come up to bat.

The Roadrunners made a crucial mistake in the inning, which ended up costing them the game. Freshman Molly Sturdivant was hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count with the bases loaded. That allowed junior first baseman Sydnee Cable to score the first run of the game for the Aztecs.

The next batter, senior right fielder Stefania Aradillas, singled up the middle, allowing sophomore Taylor Stewart to score and gave the Aztecs a 2-0 lead.

The Roadrunners didn’t get on base again until the top of the sixth when sophomore center fielder Kendall Burton singled on a 2-1 pitch by Romero.

Romero closed it out by retiring the side in the top of the seventh.

“Today you could see in her the confidence and what all of last year did for her,” Van Wyk said of Romero. “You could just see the poise and the confidence and nobody could touch her.”

Van Wyk made a few changes for the second matchup against UTSA by moving freshman Kiera Wright to center field to put her bat in the lineup. Van Wyk also moved junior Jaylene Ignacio to left field.

Junior Frankie Orlando was behind the plate for injured sophomore catcher Jenavee Peres.

“We don’t miss a beat when Frankie’s back there,” Van Wyk said.

Sturdivant, who caught yesterday, played at third.

The Aztecs came out of the Titan Classic with a 3-2 record beating Canisius College and Weber State University. They lost against Cal State Fullerton and split the two games against UTSA. Van Wyk had only a few disappointments about the weekend’s games.

“I’m disappointed in the first UTSA loss,” Van Wyk said. “That was a game I think we should have won.

“I’m disappointed in the Fullerton game, but really, they outplayed us,” Van Wyk said of the 8-4 loss against her alma mater Friday. “We beat ourselves.”

Peres, the 2015 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, who suffered a concussion after being hit in the head while heading to third in the game against Canisius, has to wait until she is symptom-free for 24 hours before she can begin the physical tests to get the all-clear.

Riding the bike and light jogging are part of the testing and more time is added to those activities after each successful exercise is completed.

Van Wyk said Peres was wearing a helmet at the time of the hit, but said some players can throw 60-70 mph so it’s hard to avoid injury, even while wearing a helmet.

It’s unclear whether Peres will be back by Thursday, Feb. 18, for the home-opener against University of Kentucky for the Campbell/Cartier Classic, but Van Wyk hopes it isn’t too much longer after that.

“Hopefully we’ll have her back for some games this weekend.”