Maeva wins it in eighth

by Antonio Morales

Justeen Maeva, who is hitting .361 this season for SDSU, provided some late-game heroics in Saturday’s win against BYU, File Photo
Justeen Maeva, who is hitting .361 this season for SDSU, provided some late-game heroics in Saturday’s win against BYU, File Photo

After losing 1-0 to BYU in eight innings last Friday, it appeared as if the San Diego State softball team was going to suffer the same fate a day later.

But with the game locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel, junior first baseman Justeen Maeva came up to the plate in the eighth inning with a chance to flip the script.

And she did just that as she knocked in the game-winning run with an RBI single to give SDSU (28-16, 4-2 Mountain West Conference) a 1-0 eighth inning win over BYU at SDSU Softball Stadium.

“I was nervous,” Maeva said. “(BYU pitcher Paige Affleck) just kept getting ahead in the count, so I decided to come out aggressive.”

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Aztecs who had previously won 13 consecutive games.

Head coach Kathy Van Wyk believed the lack of hitting was caused by the pitching efforts by both teams.

“This is the way softball used to be played,” Van Wyk said. “It was an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel. It wasn’t about the hitters because the two pitchers were pitching great.”

The game wouldn’t have been won if it wasn’t for the effort of junior pitcher Bailey Micetich.

Micetich pitched a complete game shutout and struck out eight Cougars, while only giving up five hits on the day.

Even though she was pitching great, Micetich wasn’t too excited to be locked in another pitcher’s duel with Affleck.

“It was so stressful,” Micetich said. “She’s a great pitcher, but we got to her in the last inning.”

Van Wyk noted that it was going to be a tough loss for either team to take.

“This was a typical SDSU-BYU game,” Van Wyk said. “It’s a shame somebody had to lose. These games can go in any direction.”

On Thursday, the Aztecs dropped their first of two one-run losses of the weekend as they fell to Utah 3-2.

With Friday’s loss to BYU, the win on Saturday helped redeem the weekend for SDSU.

“We didn’t want to walk away 0-3,” Van Wyk said. “I’m glad we finally won (a close game).”