Softball closes out classic with back-to-back shutout wins

Junior+catcher+Alizae+Umi++attempts+to+tag+a+BYU+baserunner+at+home+during+the+Aztecs%27+3-0+loss+to+BYU+on+Feb.+13+at+SDSU+Softball+Stadium.

Luis Lopez

Junior catcher Alizae Umi attempts to tag a BYU baserunner at home during the Aztecs' 3-0 loss to BYU on Feb. 13 at SDSU Softball Stadium.

by Megan Oytas, Staff Writer

San Diego State softball swept its doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 15 at SDSU Softball Stadium to close out the 30th annual Campbell/Cartier Classic.

The Aztecs won 3-0 against Brigham Young and won 10-0 against Southern Utah.

Sophomore pitcher Hannah Johnson, junior pitcher Maggie Balint and freshman pitcher Karina Faasisila led the way with shutout performances.

Aztecs head coach Kathy Van Wyk said she was pleased with the pitching and hopes it continues throughout the season.

“We know we have the ability to have good pitching,” Van Wyk said. “As good and outstanding of a pitcher Maggie is, Hannah Johnson pitched one of the best games I’ve ever seen tonight, too.”

The Aztecs’ offense was able to back up the pitching performances, racking up 10 runs in the first three innings against Southern Utah.

Several players contributed to the scoring.

SDSU junior third baseman Kelsey Munoz started the offense with a two-run home run in the first inning, followed by a two-run RBI double in the second inning.

Senior designated player Shelby Thompson scored a three-run home run in the third inning. Junior first baseman Taylor Adams and senior outfielder Kristen Parker also helped the Aztecs in scoring 10 quick runs.

Balint said having run support relieves a lot of the stress as she pitches.

“It makes it so much easier when you’re out there,” Balint said. “Say you do give a home run up or a hit and you have a 5-0 lead, it gives a little more cushion to relax as a pitcher and it’s more fun to play with less stress on your back.”

After getting shutout by BYU on Thursday and winning its next two games by one run on Friday, Van Wyk said this is what the offense should have been doing throughout the weekend.

“You hate to waste great pitching performances, and for the last three days we’ve had great pitching performances,” Van Wyk said. “It’s wonderful to see the offense staying resilient, learning, making adjustments and getting better.”

Van Wyk added she hopes the offense continues with its performance during the rest of the season going forward.

“The players looked a lot more poised and having more of a one-pitch-at-a-time mentality and not looking at results,” Van Wyk said. “That’s what we need to continue to do throughout this season.”

With the two wins, the Aztecs take the Campbell/Cartier Classic title, finishing a total of five games within the last three days.

Final Campbell/Cartier Classic Records
1. San Diego State: 4-1
2. BYU: 3-2
3. Cal State Fullerton: 2-2
4. Southern Utah: 0-4

Van Wyk commended the players on their stamina throughout the weekend.

“Doubleheaders are hard, both emotionally and physically,” Van Wyk said. “But that’s why we do all the training. It’s as much mentally and emotionally difficult as it is physically because it’s a long day.”

Within the five games played, Balint pitched in three of them.

“I really have the starter and closer mentality,” Balint said. “At any time I know I’m going in, and if someone is struggling, I can come in.”

Balint said she is excited for the rest of the season as the team comes together.

“Today, we had the hitting and the pitching, and I know in the games prior, we’ve only been having one of those components,” Balint said. “It’s really good to see our hitting come together and our pitching being on top again.”

The Aztecs’ next game is on Tuesday against Loyola Marymount at SDSU Softball Stadium.

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