Aztecs win fifth straight game
Photo: West Hills High grad Katie Byrd scored three runs in SDSU's 11-9 win at Nevada. Courtesy goaztecs.com
May 11, 2017 (Reno) - The San Diego State softball team used a 14-hit performance to outlast Nevada 11-9 Thursday afternoon in Reno, Nev. The Aztecs improved to 30-17 overall and 14-8 in Mountain West play with their fifth consecutive victory, while the Wolf Pack dropped to 27-22 and 12-10.
SDSU never trailed in the game, which featured a combined 26 hits (14 by San Diego State) and 13 walks (seven drawn by the Aztecs), and lasted 2 hours and 42 minutes.
SDSU got to Nevada pitcher McKenna Isenberg early with four runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and three walks. Shelby Thompson (Benicia, Calif.) singled home Jenavee Peres (Garden Grove, Calif.) with the first run and Taylor Stewart (Bellflower, Calif.) later plated Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with a sacrifice fly. Zaria Meshack (Vallejo, Calif.) completed the scoring for San Diego State with a two-out single through the left side to score Katie Byrd (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) and Thompson.
After the Aztecs left the bases loaded in the second, the Wolf Pack scored a run in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Melissa Arriaga.
Jaylene Ignacio (Oceanside, Calif./El Camino HS) scored a run in the third for SDSU on a Isenberg throwing error with Megan Smith (Valencia, Calif.) at the plate. San Diego State, however, left two on base, making it seven left on through three innings.
Erica Hansen closed the gap for Nevada in the bottom of the third with a two-run home run.
The Aztecs stretched their lead with three more runs in the fourth on four hits and a Wolf Pack error. Ignacio drove in Byrd with a single through the left side and Frankie Orlando (Roseville, Calif.) followed with a pinch-hit single through the left side to score pinch runner Kristen Parker (Mira Mesa, Calif./Mira Mesa HS). Peres later ripped a single to left field to knock in Ignacio with SDSU’s final run of the inning.
Nevada answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half as Erika Hansen drew a walk on a bases loaded 3-2 close pitch that was called a ball and Kenzi Goins followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Raquel Martinez.
San Diego State used small ball in the fifth to get another run across. Molly Sturdivant (Santa Ana, Calif.) was walked and replaced by Aris Metcalfe (Compton, Calif.). Metcalfe then stole second, moved to third on a Byrd groundout and scored on a ground out by Sami Aguilar (Orangevale, Calif.).
The Wolf Pack, however, scored three times in the bottom half to close its deficit to one at 9-8. Mele Tausinga first drew a bases loaded walk and Hansen followed with a two-run single.
In the sixth, Meshack and Smith had back-to-back one-out singles for the Aztecs, and each moved up a base on a Peres flyout. Nevada relief pitcher Raquel Rodriguez got out of the inning by getting Cable to fly out foul to left field.
In the seventh, Sturdivant singled to lead off the inning and Byrd followed with her league-leading 16th double of the year. After two outs, both runners scored on an error by the second baseman with Ignacio up at the plate to make it 11-8 SDSU.
Haley Burda homered in the bottom half of the seventh with one out, but San Diego State reliever Erica Romero (Corona, Calif.) got the final two outs to secure the win for the Aztecs.
Peres and Meshack led SDSU with three hits apiece, while Byrd was 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs. Sturdivant also singled and walked for San Diego State.
Alex Formby (Orange, Calif.) got the win after allowing five runs on six hits and three walks over two innings of relief. Romero gave up one run on two hits over 2 1/3 innings of relief to earn her second save of the season. Marissa Moreno (Torrance, Calif.) got the start and yielded three runs on four hits and three walks over two innings, while striking out three.
The Aztecs will look to claim the series at 4 p.m. PT Friday.
San Diego State 11, Nevada 9
San Diego State (30-17, 14-8 MW) 401 310 2 -- 11 14 0
Nevada (27-22, 12-10 MW) 012 230 1 -- 9 12 3
Moreno, Formby (3), Romero (5) and Peres; Isenberg, Rodriguez (3) and Burda
W - Formby, 7-4; Isenberg, 16-12; SV - Romero, 2
HR: Nevada, Hansen (12), Burda (1)