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Game was tied at 4-4 after four innings
Photo courtesy
March 17, 2023 (Fort Collins, Colo.) - The reigning Mountain West regular season champion San Diego State softball team fell at Colorado State 10-5 in the league opener Friday afternoon on a cold and windy Ram Field in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 The game was tied at 4-4 after four innings, but the Rams (15-7, 1-0 MW) hit a bases loaded double in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on three unearned runs in the sixth to secure the win in the first of three games this weekend.


Temperatures were in the low 40s with wind chills in the 30s for a start time that was pushed up an hour and a half to a 2:30 p.m. MT start.


The Aztecs (15-8, 0-1 MW), who are receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA poll, had leads of 2-0 and 4-3. In the top of the first inning, Macey Keester drove in Bella Espinoza and Cali Decker with a single.


After SDSU starting pitcher Sarah Lehman struck out the side in the bottom of the first inning, CSU responded with three runs in the second on a single by Brooke Bohlender and a two-run single by Molly Gates.


Jillian Celis’ two-run home run in the third put San Diego State back on top at 4-3 before Danielle Serna’s sacrifice fly scored Ashley York following her triple in the bottom of the third.


Kaitlyn Cook’s bases loaded double in the fifth gave Colorado State the 7-4 lead and an advantage it wouldn’t relinquish.


AJ Murphy beat out an infield single in the sixth to knock in Taylor Okada, but the Rams took advantage of a pair of Aztec errors in the bottom of the sixth to score three runs and complete the scoring.


Celis homered, doubled, walked and drove in two runs to pace the SDSU offense, while Espinoza (single, walk) and Decker (two walks) also reached base twice safely in the game.


Lehman (6-2) took the loss after allowing four runs on five hits and two walks over four innings, while striking out four. Dee Dee Hernandez gave up six runs (three earned) on four hits and two hit batters over three innings of relief, striking out one.



San Diego State lost the Mountain West opener after claiming the league’s regular season title last year with a 20-4 record, including a 10-game winning streak to start league play.



SS Jillian Celis recorded her team-leading sixth multi-RBI game of the season. Additionally, she logged her ninth multi-hit game, tied with LF Bella Espinoza for the most on the team.



With a pair of walks, C Cali Decker has reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, the longest streak by an Aztec this season.



SDSU looks to even the series with Colorado State at 1 p.m. MT (noon PT) on Saturday.


Colorado State 10, San Diego State 5

San Diego State (15-8, 0-1 MW)           202 001 0 -- 5 5 2

Colorado State (14-7, 1-0 MW)              031 033 x -- 10 9 0

Lehman, Hernandez (4) and Decker; Hornbuckle, Serna (5) and McGuffin, Bohlender (6)

W - Serna, 5-2; L - Hernandez, 2-1

HR: San Diego State, Celis (3)




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