Softball Earns Saturday Split at San Diego Classic II

Patrice Jackson went 3-for-3 with two RBI vs. Harvard on Saturday.

March 16, 2014

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SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State softball team split at pair of games on Saturday, dropping a tough 2-1 decision to UT Arlington in the opener, before rebounding with a wild 10-6 victory over Harvard in its home tournament, the San Diego Classic II.

Sophomore pitcher Danielle O'Toole struck out eight batters in 4 1/3 scoreless innings in the nightcap against the Crimson, while senior Patrice Jackson and sophomore Leia Ruiz finished with three hits apiece to help the Aztecs move to 19-8 on the season.

Junior Hayley Miles got into the act as well with a big two-run double to open the scoring in the first inning and later added a sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Scarlet and Black withstood a furious Harvard rally.

SDSU quickly built an 8-0 advantage, scoring six runs in the top of the second after sending 10 batters to the plate. The Aztecs stole two bases in the frame and took advantage of two Crimson fielding errors to pad their cushion. Sophomore Leia Ruiz roped a pair of singles, including an infield hit that drove in freshman Frankie Orlando, while fellow classmate Jaylene Ignacio smacked an RBI double.

With a seemingly safe lead in hand, starter O'Toole was replaced by freshman Erica Romero, who allowed six runs on seven hits over the next 2 2/3 innings as Harvard pulled back into contention. After scratching for a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, the Crimson put up a four-spot in the fourth to narrow the gap to 8-6. Adrienne Hume led off with a triple and promptly scored on a passed ball, while Andrea Del Conte reached and later raced home on an Aztec throwing error. Shortly thereafter, Kasey Lange and Catherine Callaway each drove in a run, before O'Toole re-entered to induce a fielder's choice groundout, extinguishing the threat.

SDSU gave itself some insurance in the seventh, with Jackson drawing a bases-loaded walk, while Miles plated pinch-runner Jackie Campa with a sacrifice fly.

The Crimson put a runner aboard in the bottom of the frame, but Savannah Bradley, who previously singled, was stranded after O'Toole struck out Katie Appelbe, while Hume grounded out to end the game.

Runs came at a premium in game one against UTA as the Aztec freshman Andi Smith (2-2) got locked into a pitcher's duel with the Mavericks' Shannon Carrico. Smith struck out 10 hitters and gave up just two runs on four hits and four walks, but was tagged with the loss after the SDSU offense mustered just three hits in the contest.

UTA received all the offense it needed in the first two innings as Britnea Barilli led off the game with a solo homer, while Rebecca Stokes tripled in the second and later scored on a wild pitch.

The Aztecs got a run back in the bottom of the frame when junior Kayla Jordan singled, stole second and later raced home on Orlando's fielder's choice grounder. SDSU also put two runners aboard with two outs in the third, but came up empty as Carrico got out the jam with an inning-ending grounder. The UTA pitcher wound up with a complete game, yielding three hits and two walks to go with three strikeouts en route to the victory.

The San Diego Classic II resumes on Sunday, with the Aztecs facing Texas Tech in a single game beginning at 3 p.m. PT.

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