Softball Splits a Pair of One-Run Games at MNCC
Feb. 20, 2014
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The San Diego State softball team split a pair of one-run games on the first day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic Thursday in Cathedral City, Calif. The Aztecs (9-3), who are receiving votes in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls, beat Fordham, 5-4, in the opener before falling to No. 12/16 Texas A&M, 2-1, in the nightcap.
In the opener, SDSU spotted the Rams (5-4) a run in the bottom of the third, then scored five straight before giving up three scores in the seventh and escaping with the 5-4 victory.
San Diego State got on the scoreboard in the fourth when freshman Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was hit by a pitch with two outs. Senior Patrice Jackson (Kansas City, Mo.) followed with a homer over the right-center field fence on a 0-1 pitch. It was Jackson's fifth of the season.
The Aztecs tacked on two more runs in the fifth, again with two outs. Sophomore Monica Downey (San Diego/Madison HS) got things going when she drew a walk and moved all the way to third on a wild pitch. Senior Katie Mathis (Grass Valley, Calif.) then tripled to right-center field on a 3-2 pitch and scored when classmate Dominique Dinner (Monterey, Calif.) singled through the right side. SDSU ended up loading the bases on an infield single by Cable (after Dinner stole second) and a five-pitch walk to Jackson, but was unable to get another run across the plate in the inning.
San Diego State made it 5-1 in the sixth as junior Kayla Jordan (San Diego/Bonita Vista HS) reached via error and got to third on a single up the middle by Frankie Orlando (Roseville, Calif.). Senior Stefani Polonia (Pico Rivera, Calif.) replaced Orlando at first base and then stole second to make it a pair of Aztecs in scoring position. After a strikeout, Downey grounded out to second base to score Jordan for SDSU's final run of the game.
Fordham made it interesting in the bottom half of the sixth, loading the bases with no outs. San Diego State freshman Andi Smith (Orangeville, Utah), who replaced sophomore starter Danielle O'Toole (Upland, Calif.) in the beginning of the inning, battled back to get Kayla Lombardo to line out into a double play as Jackson caught the ball in the right field, threw to junior first baseman Kaitlin Connors (San Diego/La Costa Canyon HS), who tossed it to Downey at shortstop. Smith then got Brianna Turgeon to strike out looking to end the threat.
After the Aztecs didn't score in the seventh, Fordham mounted one last comeback with consecutive singles and, one batter later, a double down the left field line by Elise Fortier that scored one run. O'Toole (8-1) came back into pitch and struck out Ram cleanup hitter Gabby Luety swinging, but Michele Daubman followed with a single down the right field line to bring Fordham to within one at 5-4. O'Toole, however, got Paige Ortiz to ground out to Mathis at second base, sealing the win for SDSU.
Jackson led the way once again for San Diego State with two hits, including the two-run home run, a run and a walk. Mathis had a RBI triple and scored a run, while Cable reached base twice with a single and a hit by pitch and Dinner added an RBI single and her team-leading fifth stolen base of the season.
O'Toole got the win after yielding one run on seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. She struck out five without issuing a walk. Smith gave up three runs on five hits and a walk over 1 1/3 innings of relief, while striking out one.
In the nightcap, the Aggies (10-3) broke up a scoreless game in the bottom of the fourth when Breanna Dozier's single scored Taran Tyler from second base.
TAMU struck again in the fifth as Emily Albus led off with a single and moved to second base on a groundout. Nicole Morgan then followed with a double to put Texas A&M up, 2-0.
After being held hitless by Aggie starter Katie Marks through five innings, the Aztecs finally broke through in the sixth. Sophomore Leia Ruiz (Chino, Calif.) led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Downey. After a walk to Mathis, Dinner doubled to center field for SDSU's first run of the game. With two runners still in scoring position and one out, Marks got out of trouble by getting a strikeout and a flyout.
San Diego State pressured Marks again in the seventh as Jordan had a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Jaylene Ignacio (Oceanside, Calif./El Camino HS) drew a pinch-hit walk before a fielder's choice grounder by Ruiz got Jordan out at third. Ignacio and Ruiz each moved up a base on another wild pitch by Marks, but a pop up with two outs ended the game in favor of TAMU.
The Aztecs ended up going 1-for-6 (.167) with runners on base in the game and 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Mathis reached twice with a walk and a hit by pitch, while Dinner, Jordan and Ruiz had SDSU's three hits. Jackson, meanwhile, drew her 16th walk in 43 plate appearances this year over 12 games.
O'Toole lost for the first time on the year, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. She struck out seven.
San Diego State returns to action at 8:30 p.m. PT Friday for a solo game vs. No. 16/18 Missouri.
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
Game 1: San Diego State 5, Fordham 4
Game 2: No. 12/16 Texas A&M 2, San Diego State 1