Aztec Softball Splits on Opening Day
Feb. 10, 2017
SAN DIEGO - San Diego State split a pair of games on its opening day Friday at SDSU Softball Stadium. The Aztecs (1-1) downed South Dakota, 7-1, in the opener before falling to No. 8/8 UCLA, 8-0, in six innings later in the day in games that were moved to San Diego because of inclement weather in the Los Angeles area.
In the opener, SDSU jumped out with three runs in the bottom of the first inning and never looked back en route to a 7-1 win over the Coyotes (1-3 with a loss later in the day to UCLA). San Diego State, which finished the game with 10 hits, won its fifth consecutive season-opening game and 16th in its last 17 openers. The Aztecs are now 19-2 in lidlifters under 21st-year head coach Kathy Van Wyk.
Redshirt freshman Kiera Wright (Riverside, Calif.) led the way for SDSU in her first game since tearing an ACL on Feb. 25, 2016 vs. Oklahoma State, going 3-for-4 with a run and two stolen bases.
Junior Jenavee Peres (Garden Grove, Calif.) and sophomore Katie Byrd (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) each added two hits, two runs and an RBI apiece, while senior Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.) doubled, scored and drove in three runs.
Junior Iesha Hill (Carlsbad, Calif./Palomar College) also drove in a run for San Diego State in her first game with the Aztecs.
SDSU got all three of its runs in the first with two outs. Cable got things going with a double to right-center field to score Byrd and Peres. Cable, who moved to third on the throw home on the play, later scored on a wild pitch.
USD got on the scoreboard in the top of the third when Morgan Vasa's infield single scored Jamie Holscher.
San Diego State responded with two runs in the bottom half, thanks to two hits and a pair of South Dakota errors. Cable's sacrifice fly first scored Byrd. Hill followed with a single down the left-field line to plate Peres.
The Aztecs tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth with two outs. Junior Zaria Meshack (Vallejo, Calif.) touched home plate first on a single by Byrd. Wright followed Meshack home with a single up the middle by Peres.
Senior Erica Romero (Corona, Calif.) picked up the win for SDSU after allowing one run on five hits and two walks, while striking out four. Sophomore Julie McDonald (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) got the save after tossing three scoreless innings, yielding two hits and two walks with one strikeout.
In the nightcap, the Bruins (2-0) used three homers to power past San Diego State, 8-0, in six innings.
Kylee Perez hit a two-run home run in the top of the third, Gabrielle Maurice had a solo one in the fourth and Madeline Jelenicki added a three-run homer later in the fourth. Danielle Spaulding and Selina Ta'amilo also had RBI singles for UCLA.
The Aztecs had a few good scoring chances, but could not get a run across the plate. In the third, Wright hit a two-out double down the left-field line and Byrd followed with a four-pitch walk. After a conversation in the circle between Bruin head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez, pitcher Rachel Garcia was able to strike out Peres swinging.
SDSU threatened again in the fifth as Meshack reached on a two-out single and moved to third on a single by Wright and a fielding error by UCLA left fielder Zoe Shaw. Garcia, however, was able to get Byrd to foul out to first base.
Wright led the San Diego State offense once again with two hits, giving her five for the day. Byrd singled and walked, while Peres and Meshack had the Aztecs' other hits.
Junior Alex Formby (Orange, Calif.) took the loss after surrendering six runs on 10 hits and a walk over 3 1/3 innings. McDonald allowed two runs on three hits and a walk over the final 2 2/3 innings, striking out two.
SDSU heads to Long Beach, Calif., to play two games on Saturday, including contests with No. 22/22 Notre Dame (11:30 a.m. PT) and host Long Beach State (2 p.m. PT).
Game 1: San Diego State 7, South Dakota 1
Game 2: No. 8/8 UCLA 8, San Diego State 0 (6 innings)