Aztecs lose game on walk-off two-run home run
Video courtesy goaztecs.com
February 26, 2022 (Cathedral City, Calif.) - For the second time in 21 hours, the San Diego State softball team lost to a nationally ranked team in extra innings by a 7-6 score, falling to No. 16/19 Missouri on the third day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Saturday at Big League Dreams Cathedral City.
The Aztecs (11-5) lost by the same score to No. 18/15 Northwestern in nine innings on Friday before beating No. 5/5 Washington, 7-5, in the Friday’s nightcap. SDSU then fell to the Tigers (11-3) today in eight innings.
With the international tiebreaker in effect, San Diego State scored first in the top of the eighth inning. Bella Espinoza was placed on second and quickly advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor Adams. After AJ Murphy was hit by a pitch and Makena Brocki struck out looking, Jillian Celis reached on an infield single to plate Espinoza with the go-ahead run.
After Alexa Schultz flew out to end the top of the eighth, Mizzou’s Kendal Cook was placed at second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Gaby Deters. Casidy Chaumont took the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence for the walk-off home run.
The Aztecs outhit Missouri, 11-10, in their third straight game with more hits than a ranked opponent but left nine runners on base.
The Tigers got on the scoreboard first with two runs in the first on a sacrifice fly by Wert and a single by Kara Daly.
San Diego State answered in the second with four runs. Murphy first drove in Jeweliana Perez with a sharp single to right field with the bases loaded and Brocki cleared the bases with a triple down the right-field line.
Mizzou halved the Aztec lead in the second when Hatti Moore scored from first after Chaumont reached on an infield single and a SDSU fielding error.
Mac Barbara led off the fifth with a home run down the left-field line to put San Diego State up 5-3. It was already Barbara’s seventh home run of the season in her 16th game.
Missouri tied it in the sixth thanks to leadoff home run by Kendyll Bailey and a pinch-hit single by Vanessa Hollingsworth, which scored Alex Honnold.
The Aztecs got a two-out pinch-hit single by Jessica Cordola in the seventh but Bella Espinoza struck out swinging to give the Tigers a chance to end the game in regulation.
Mizzou quickly threatened as Jenna Laird singled, stole second and advanced to third on a flyout by Daly. Pinch runner Hannah McGivern also got to second when she stole the base after Wert was intentionally walked. Bailey was then walked by Dee Dee Hernandez to load the bases. Hernandez (2-1), however, got Honnold to foul out to Brocki at third base and Moore to strike out swinging to force extra innings before Missouri’s walk-off home run.
Barbara, Brocki, Espinoza and Murphy had two hits apiece to pace SDSU.
Hernandez took the loss after allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over 2 1/3 innings of relief, while striking out two. Allie Light earned the start in the circle for San Diego State and gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in an inning. Maggie Balint replaced Light in the second and pitched four innings of relief, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk, striking out seven.
Both 2B Jillian Celis and C/DP Mac Barbara extended their career-long hitting streaks to 10 games. Celis also has reached base safely in a career-long 11 straight games.
THE NOTE II
3B Makena Brocki drove in three runs today and has eight RBIs on the season in 22 at-bats. As a freshman last year she had six RBIs in 78 at-bats.
STAT OF THE DAY
The Aztecs fell to 1-3 on the season in one-run games (SDSU is 10-2 in its other games).
San Diego State returns home to co-host the San Diego Classic next weekend, beginning with a 6 p.m. Thursday game against Brigham Young at SDSU Softball Stadium.
No. 16/19 Missouri 7, San Diego State 6
San Diego State (11-5) 040 010 01 -- 6 11 2
Missouri (11-3) 210 002 02 -- 7 10 0
Light, Balint (2), Hernandez (6) and Barbara, Romanello (2); Weber, Schumacher (2), Nichols (5) and Moore
W - Nichols, 1-1; L - Hernandez, 2-1
HR: San Diego State, Barbara (7); Missouri, Bailey (2), Chaumont (1)