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Aztecs fall in Kathy Van Wyk’s final game as head coach


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May 15, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego State dropped a 4-1 decision to Fresno State in the series finale Saturday afternoon at SDSU Softball Stadium. The Aztecs fell to 28-16 on the season, including a 13-11 final record in Mountain West play, while the league-champion Bulldogs improved to 36-10 and 20-4. 

It was the final game for head coach Kathy Van Wyk, who retires with an 806-557-1 (.591) record after 25 years as SDSU’s head coach.  Van Wyk led San Diego State to a league-record seven regular-season MW titles and 11 NCAA tournament appearances, including eight straight trips from 2008-15. Additionally, Van Wyk has been named the MW Coach of the Year five times over her career.


The Aztecs overcame a shaky start on Senior Day, where six SDSU seniors - Jenna Holcomb, Sara Lillie, Marissa Moreno, Riley Thies, Shelby Thompson and Alizae Umi - were honored in a postgame ceremony. FS scored its first run in the top of the first inning before San Diego State could even record an out as Kaitlyn Jennings walked, stole second and scored when Miranda Rohleder’s bunt single was misplayed in the beginning of a rundown at second base. Rohleder advanced to second on the miscue and stole third following a strikeout Moreno to the 2021 MW Player of the Year Keahilele Mattson. Vanessa Hernandez was hit by a pitch and stole second after Moreno got Adrianna Noriega to fly out to left field. Moreno then induced a groundout by Hayleigh Galvan to third baseman Makena Brocki to get out of the jam.


The Aztecs tied it up in their half of the first as Thompson was hit by a pitch and scored on a double to right-center field by Lillie. The MW Pitcher of the Year Hailey Dolcini, however, got Danielle Romanello to pop out to shortstop Alesia Denby and Taylor Adams to fly out to Mattson in left field to keep the damage to a minimum.


Both teams had scoring chances throughout the game as each squad left eight baserunners on base.


SDSU threatened in the fourth with consecutive one-out singles by Thies and Brocki. Thies and Brocki moved up a base on a groundout by Umi, but Dolcini struck out Holcomb swinging to keep it a 1-1 game.


Fresno State responded in the fifth as Rohleder singled and scored on a double to deep right-center field by Mattson.


The Bulldogs had a pair of singles in the sixth but were unable to plate a runner off Maggie Balint, who replaced Moreno in the third.


San Diego State looked to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth as Romanello and Adams each singled off relief pitcher Dariana Orme. An Alexa Schultz groundout moved the runners, but Orme got pinch hitter Jessica Cordola to ground out to third baseman Schuylar Broussard and Umi to ground out to Rohleder at second base.


FS added to its lead in the seventh as Mattson hit a one-out triple and Noriega followed with a home run over the left-center field fence for the final runs of the game.


Brocki was 2-for-2 for the Aztecs, while Thompson was hit by a pitch a school-record three times.


Balint (17-8) took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings, while striking out two. Moreno pitched the first two innings, yielding one unearned run on two hits and a walk.



2B Shelby Thompson was hit by a pitch a school-record three times in today’s game. Thompson is also the SDSU career leader in times hit by pitch (34, nine more than Sydnee Cable (2014-17) in second place (25)) and most likely will finish with 14 for the year, which ties Cable’s single-season record set in 2014.



San Diego State will most likely finish with a 28-16 record, its best winning percentage (.636) since the 2015 squad went 38-20 (.655) before falling in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional final to UCLA. It is also the ninth-best record in program history.



The Aztecs has remarkably won 12 straight Senior Day games prior to today’s 4-1 setback. SDSU’s last loss in its final home game before today was the 2007 series finale.



Kathy Van Wyk retired as the all-time winningest coach in program history with 806 victories. She has been the head coach in 67.1 percent of the program’s 1,202 wins.


Fresno State 4, San Diego State 1

Fresno State (36-10, 20-4 MW)             100 010 2 -- 4 9 0

San Diego State (28-16, 13-11 MW)     100 000 0 -- 1 6 1

Dolcini, Orme (6) and Lawley; Moreno, Balint (3) and Umi, Romanello (3)

W - Dolcini, 21-4; L - Balint, 17-8; SV - Orme, 1

HR: Fresno State, Noriega (6)



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