Softball Beats No. 25 Notre Dame, 2-1, for Friday Split

Molly Sturdivant had three hits over the two games, including the game-winning RBI single in the fifth vs. No. 25 Notre Dame.
Molly Sturdivant had three hits over the two games, including the game-winning RBI single in the fifth vs. No. 25 Notre Dame.
Feb. 23, 2018

Game 1: Northwestern 3, San Diego State 0 (8 inn.) html | pdf
Game 2: San Diego State 2, rv/No. 25 Notre Dame 1 html | pdf

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Katie Byrd doubled home Jordyn Fick in the bottom of the fifth inning and then scored on a single by Molly Sturdivant to lift the San Diego State softball team to a 2-1 win over rv/No. 25 Notre Dame and a split Friday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. The Aztecs (5-9) have now won four of their last five games.

The win came after SDSU dropped a 3-0 decision to Northwestern in eight innings with the international tiebreaker in effect.

The Fighting Irish (6-7), which won three of four games against nationally ranked teams the previous weekend, had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Abby Sweet's single to center field scored Alexis Holloway from second base.

After stranding two in the fourth, San Diego State went to work in the fifth as Fick led off with a walk and scored when Byrd ripped a double to right field. Sturdivant then took a 3-2 pitch up the middle to plate Byrd with the game-winning run.

The Aztecs threatened again in the sixth when they loaded the bases with two outs on a single by Iesha Hill, a hit by pitch by Alizae Umi and a walk by Fick, but Kiera Wright struck out swinging to keep the score at 2-1.

Alex Formby survived a two-out infield single in the seventh by getting Ali Wester to ground out to her for the final out of the game, securing the hard-fought victory for SDSU.

San Diego State outhit ND, 6-5, led by Hill's two singles. Fick also walked twice for the victors.

Formby (2-5) picked up the win tossing 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, surrendering two hits and no walks, striking out one. Marissa Moreno pitched the first 3 2/3 innings of the game, giving up one unearned run on three hits and a walk, recording one strikeout.

The opener featured a battle between two stout pitching staffs in SDSU's Moreno and Alex Formby, and Northwestern's Kenzie Ellis, Morgan Newport and Kenna Wilkey. The staffs each got out of tough jams as the game was tied at 0-0 until the eighth inning. Overall, San Diego State was held to a .091 average (1-for-11) with runners on base and a .000 (0-for-7) mark with runners in scoring position, while the Wildcats (6-4) hit .214 (3-for-14) with runners on base and .200 (2-for-10) with runners in scoring position.

The same two teams played eight innings on Feb. 9 with Northwestern coming out on top by a 7-6 score.

The first good scoring chance came for NU in the top of the second inning when Morgan Nelson led off with a double and advanced to third after an Aztec fielding error. She was thrown out at home, however, as Northwestern was caught on a double-steal attempt.

The Wildcats then loaded the bases in the third on consecutive singles and a hit batter. Formby (1-5), however, replaced Moreno in the circle and, with two outs, got Nelson to fly out to left fielder Zaria Meshack to keep the game scoreless.

In the bottom of the third, SDSU's Sturdivant reached on a two-out single, followed by a double by Taylor Stewart. Sturdivant tried to score all the way from first base, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

After a 1-2-3 top of the fourth, San Diego State threatened again in the bottom half as Shelby Thompson doubled, Hill walked and was replaced by pinch runner Aris Metcalfe, and each moved up a base on a groundout by Megan Smith. Newport, however, struck out Meshack swinging to preserve the shutout.

Sabrina Rabin responded for NU in the fifth with a two-out single. She then stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by the Aztecs, but Formby got Marissa Panko to ground out to her in the circle.

Northwestern finally got a run on the scoreboard in the eighth with the international tiebreaker in effect. Rabin was placed on second and moved to third on a fielder's choice sacrifice bunt by Panko. After Panko stole second, Rachel Lewis doubled to plate Rabin with the first run of the game. Wilkey followed with a sacrifice fly to score Panko from third. It appeared SDSU was going to get out of the inning with just the two runs allowed, but Lewis scored from third on a double-steal try as Lily Novak was out on the play.

Wilkey entered the circle in the eighth and retired San Diego State in order, striking out two to pick up the save.

Sturdivant's two hits led the Aztecs offense, while Stewart (double, hit by pitch) and Thompson (double, walk) each reached base safely twice in the game.

Formby took the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits over 5 1/3 innings of relief, while striking out six. Moreno tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings as the starter, giving up four hits with one hit batter.

In the opener, San Diego State dropped to 0-3 in extra-inning games this season and 0-3 in games with the international tiebreaker in effect.

San Diego State played a 25th-ranked team for a third straight week. The Aztecs lost to No. 25/25 Georgia, 23-2, in five innings in the opener on Feb. 8, fell to No. 25/25 Kentucky, 5-0, on Feb. 15 and beat rv/No. 25 Notre Dame, 2-1, tonight.

The Aztecs meet Bethune-Cookman at 8 p.m. PT Saturday.

Game 1: Northwestern 3, San Diego State 0 (8 innings)
Northwestern (6-4) 000 000 03 -- 3 8 0
San Diego State 000 000 00 -- 0 5 3
Ellis, Newport (4), Wilkey (8) and Nettling; Moreno, Formby (3) and Sturdivant
W - Newport, 2-1; L - Formby, 1-5; S - Wilkey, 1

Game 2: San Diego State 2, rv/No. 25 Notre Dame 1
Notre Dame (6-7) 001 000 0 -- 1 5 1
San Diego State (5-9) 000 020 x -- 2 6 1
Holloway and Heide; Moreno, Formby (4) and Umi
W - Formby, 2-5; L - Holloway, 4-4

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