Softball closes out San Diego Classic with 7-4 win over CSU Northridge

Junior+infielder+Kelsey+Munoz+prepares+to+make+a+throw+to+first+base+during+the+Aztecs%27+3-2+victory+against+Cal+State+Fullerton+on+Feb.+14+at+SDSU+Softball+Stadium.

Aaron Tolentino

Junior infielder Kelsey Munoz prepares to make a throw to first base during the Aztecs' 3-2 victory against Cal State Fullerton on Feb. 14 at SDSU Softball Stadium.

by Megan Oytas, Staff Writer

San Diego State softball defeated CSU Northridge by a score of 7-4 on March 1 at the SDSU Softball Stadium to close out the San Diego Classic.

The Aztecs garnered three runs in the first four innings with junior outfielder Alexa Schultz driving in a run and sophomore designated player Summer Hargett smashing a two-run home run.

But in the top of the fifth inning, senior pitcher Marissa Moreno found herself with the bases loaded, prompting the entrance of junior pitcher Maggie Balint.

The Matadors then hit a grand slam, putting them up 4-3.

Head coach Kathy Van Wyk said she still had confidence in Balint’s abilities.

“I don’t put Maggie in there unless I know she’s going to get things done,” Van Wyk said. “Marissa I thought threw well, but started to fade a little bit. Maggie’s a closer, and she likes the tough situations. She struggled a little bit, and she needs to get herself physically, emotionally, and mentally ready to go and those are things we have to keep working on.”

Sophomore third baseman Maddi Ayers said the players viewed it as part of the game.

“Right when they hit that, I was like, ‘What are the odds?’ But it happens,” Ayers said. “We were down by one run but one run is easy to come back from. We just have to fight and keep scoring runs.”

The Aztecs jumped back into the game, with Ayers hitting her first career home run to tie the game.

“I was super happy that (the home run) put us back into the game,” Ayers said. “It felt more comfortable because I knew my team was going to come back in and we wouldn’t have to worry too much about the seventh inning.”

SDSU then took the lead as sophomore outfielder Sara Lillie drove in a run and freshman catcher Sadie Langlet contributed two RBIs.

Van Wyk said she was pleased with the offense’s ability to turn the game around.

“Obviously we’re going to give up some runs sometimes,” Van Wyk said. “Them being able to pick Maggie up after giving up the grand slam was huge — especially because we’ve been struggling. So I’m happy to see them have some good hits.”

Ayers said the infielders have close coordination to back up the pitcher in the circle.

“In the infield, we have good communication whether it’s the left side or right side,” Ayers said. “Throughout we have pretty good talking skills and overall we’re pretty solid and we help each other and pick each other up.”

Balint says the team still has problems they need to work through.

“With our team we struggle with the names on the chest, and we need to go out there and play our game,” Balint said. “No matter who we’re playing, we still have to play our game. We still need to execute, we still need to hit our spots.”

The Aztecs’ next game is on Wednesday against Villanova at SDSU Softball Stadium.

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