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SDSU loses MW opener for first time since 2007


Photo:  Molly Sturdivant's two-run homer in the first was not enough in a 10-7 Aztec loss to Fresno State.  Courtesy

March 17, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego State rallied late, but was unable to come back from an 8-3 deficit in a 10-7 loss to Fresno State in the Mountain West opener for both teams Friday night at SDSU Softball Stadium.

The Aztecs (16-10, 0-1 MW) jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Bulldogs (18-9, 1-0 MW) with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a pair of FS errors and a two-run homer by Molly Sturdivant (Santa Ana, Calif.).

Fresno State, however, scored eight straight runs, including three in the top of the third, four in the fourth and another in the fifth to take a 8-3 lead.

After only getting one baserunner from the second through the fourth inning - a walk by Kiera Wright (Riverside, Calif.), who was thrown out trying to steal second - SDSU finally got its bats going in the fifth. Zaria Meshack (Vallejo, Calif.) had a one-out single and scored on a fielding error by Bulldog left fielder Kierra Willis after Wright’s double down the left-field line. Wright, however, was out on a rundown between third and home on the play and San Diego State was unable to get another run across the plate.

After a 1-2-3 inning by Alex Formby (Orange, Calif.), the Aztecs closed the gap in the sixth. Jenavee Peres (Garden Grove, Calif.) and Sturdivant led off with singles and, following Kristen Parker (Mira Mesa, Calif./Mira Mesa HS) replacing Sturdivant on first, moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.). Taylor Stewart (Bellflower, Calif.) hit a fly ball into the left-center gap, but Vanessa Hernandez was able to get to it, limiting SDSU to one run on the sacrifice fly. With two outs, Frankie Orlando’s pinch-hit single scored Parker from second base to make it an 8-6 game.

Hernandez put FS back up by four runs with a two-out, two-run homer in the seventh.

San Diego State tried to extend the game in the bottom of the seventh as Meshack led off with a walk and, one batter later, scored on a double to right-center field by Katie Byrd (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS). Following a second strikeout of the inning, Sturdivant took a four-pitch walk to make it two runners on base with two outs. Cable took the first pitch she saw to the left side of the infield, but Fresno State shortstop Katie Castellon made a diving catch to end the game.

Sturdivant had two hits, two RBIs, a run and a walk to lead the Aztecs, who were outhit, 12-7, for the game. Wright had a double and a walk, while Meshack scored two runs on a single and a walk.

Erica Romero (Corona, Calif.) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings, striking out one. Formby also gave up five runs on four hits and two walks over 3 2/3 innings of relief.

SDSU looks to even the series with the Bulldogs at 4 p.m. PT Saturday.

Fresno State 10, San Diego State 7

Fresno State (18-9, 1-0 MW)                    003 410 2 -- 10 12 3

San Diego State (16-10, 0-1 MW)             300 012 1 -- 7 7 0

Dung and Willmon; Romero, Formby (4) and Peres

W - Dung, 12-5; L - Romero, 4-3

HR: Fresno State, Hernandez, 2 (4); Willmon (3); Howe (2); San Diego State, Sturdivant (6)