Softball Splits vs. 2016 NCAA Tourney Teams
Feb. 25, 2017
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The San Diego State softball team opened up its play in the prestigious Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a split against a pair of 2016 NCAA tournament teams Friday night in Cathedral City, Calif. The Aztecs (5-5) first run-ruled Oklahoma State, 17-5, in six innings before falling to No. 1/1 Florida State, 6-4, in the nightcap.
In the opener, SDSU posted season highs in runs (17), RBIs (17), triples (2) and total bases (31), while tying a season best with 20 hits and batting .541 (20-for-37) in the 17-5 win over the Cowgirls (7-7). Last year, OSU was a regional finalist, just one win away from making the NCAA Super Regionals (Sweet 16).
San Diego State scored in every inning but the top of the fourth, including three in the first, second, third and fifth, and five in the sixth to seal its first run-rule victory over the year.
The Aztecs had three players go a remarkable 4-for-4, led by junior Jenavee Peres (Garden Grove, Calif.). Peres, a member of the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Watch List, hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, home run) with a career-high six RBIs (one off a school record), a school-record five runs and a walk. Peres became just the second SDSU player to hit for the cycle, joining Monica Alnes on April 23, 2006 at New Mexico.
Sophomore Molly Sturdivant (Santa Ana, Calif.), meanwhile, had two RBIs, two runs, a double and a walk. Junior Taylor Stewart (Bellflower, Calif.) joined Peres and Sturdivant in the 4-for-4 club with an RBI, double and a walk.
Senior Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.) contributed a bases loaded, pinch-hit triple, classmate Frankie Orlando (Roseville, Calif.) singled, had two RBIs, a run and a walk, and sophomore Katie Byrd (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) had a single, RBI and two runs.
Freshman Marissa Moreno (Torrance, Calif.) picked up the first win of her career for SDSU, allowing five runs on eight hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. She struck out four and is now 1-1 on the season. Sophomore Julie McDonald (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad HS) tossed a scoreless 1 2/3 innings of relief, yielding one hit and one walk, striking out one.
In the nightcap, San Diego State rallied from a 6-0 deficit with the final four runs, but was unable to come up with the winning hit in a 6-4 loss to the top-ranked Seminoles (12-1).
After allowing a run in the bottom of the third and five in the decisive fourth, the Aztecs got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth. Stewart drew a one-out walk and was replaced by sophomore Aris Metcalfe (Compton, Calif.). After a flyout, Metcalfe stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error. Following a four-pitch walk to senior Jaylene Ignacio (Oceanside, Calif./El Camino HS), Meshack reached on an error, which allowed Metcalfe to score from third. Wright then singled up the middle to score Ignacio to bring SDSU within four runs at 6-2.
San Diego State made one last run in the seventh when Stewart led off with a single and was replaced by freshman Megan Smith (Valencia, Calif.). Smith moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a groundout by junior Iesha Hill (Carlsbad, Calif./Palomar College). Ignacio came through with a single to the right side to plate Smith. Meshack and Wright followed with walks to load the bases with one out for Byrd, who knocked in Ignacio with a fielder's choice grounder to second base. Peres, however, popped up to shortstop to end the game in favor of FSU.
The Aztecs had four hits off Florida State, which came into the weekend with a 0.22 team ERA and .147 batting average against. The Seminoles had allowed just nine runs in their first 12 games before SDSU scored four times tonight, the most FSU has given up all year.
Ignacio led the way with an RBI single, two runs and a walk, while Wright singled, had an RBI and drew a walk. Stewart was also 1-for-2 with a walk.
McDonald (1-1) took the loss after surrendering three runs on five hits and three walks over three innings. She struck out one. Senior Erica Romero (Corona, Calif.) scattered three runs on five hits over the final three innings of relief, striking out two.
San Diego State returns to action at 5:30 p.m. PT Saturday against Stanford.
Game 1: San Diego State 17, Oklahoma State 5 (6 inn.)
Game 2: No. 1/1 Florida State 6, San Diego State 4