SDSU softball defeats No. 11 Texas A&M, 10-5, in opener of San Diego Classic

by Meghan Lanigan, Staff Writer

No. 11 Texas A&M University had an 18-1 record going into Friday’s game against San Diego State, including a win earlier in the day against Boston University, but the Aztecs had an eight-run sixth inning and were able to close out the first day of play at the San Diego Classic I with a 10-5 win.

The Aggies’ only other loss this season came against No. 7 UCLA.

“It’s huge for us,” head coach Kathy Van Wyk said. “You talk to these kids constantly, and you tell ‘em, ‘You guys are so good, you’re capable of beating this team.’”

Van Wyk credited the win to some big-time performances, and one of those performances came in the bottom of the third when sophomore right-hander Alex Formby came into the game to relieve junior right-hander Erica Romero.

Formby inherited a bit of a mess with runners on second and third. The Aztecs were losing by two with only one out. Formby swiftly retired the next two batters and never looked back.

“Alex was amazing,” Van Wyk said. “She showed what she’s capable of.”

SDSU, wearing pink instead of red and black to show their support for the fight against cancer, took the early lead in the bottom of the first when senior shortstop Samantha Camello hit a grounder that was just out of reach for Aggies freshman second baseman Kaitlyn Alderink. The hit scored sophomore right fielder Zaria Meshack.

The other run in the first came when sophomore catcher Jenavee Peres batted in senior second baseman Leia Ruiz from third to take the 2-0 lead, but the Aggies tied it up in the top of the second when sophomore shortstop Kristen Cuyos hit a two-run homer. Ruiz went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI.

The Aggies had back-to-back doubles in the top of the third and took the 4-2 lead.

They had another chance at the top of the fourth to extend the two-run lead when Romero was replaced by Formby.

SDSU struggled to get something going in both the fourth and fifth innings as Formby was able to keep the Aggies scoreless.

The Aztecs were still down 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth when they broke the game wide open, with 11 batters coming to the plate for six hits, three walks and eight runs.

Formby was able to hold the Aggies to one run in the seventh to get the win and improve her record to 3-3 on the season. Freshman right-hander Samantha Show took the loss for Texas A&M and brought her record to 10-2 on the season.

Formby said she tried to focus on keeping it simple and knew her teammate’s performance did more for her than seal the win against a top-10 school.

“I’m really proud of my teammates, the way they came back,” Formby said. “It was a lot less pressure for me.”

Texas A&M came into the game with five starters hitting over .350, but SDSU outhit them 14-9. Sophomore right fielder Zaria Meshack went 3 for 5 and junior first baseman Sam Vlot went 2 for 3 with an RBI.

SDSU faces University of Illinois, Chicago and St. Joseph’s University in the doubleheader Saturday and Portland State on Sunday.