SDSU Softball Downs Monmouth, 5-1
March 18, 2014
SAN DIEGO - Behind freshman starter Erica Romero's (Corona, Calif.) strong pitching performance, the San Diego State softball team came away with a 5-1 victory over visiting Monmouth on Tuesday in a non-conference clash at SDSU Softball Stadium.
Romero (3-3) tossed her second complete game of the year, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and no walks to go with a season-high seven strikeouts to help the Aztecs (22-8) win their fourth straight and improve to 9-1 in their last 10 games.
Offensively, SDSU received two hits apiece from freshman Jaylene Ignacio (Oceanside, Calif.), junior Hayley Miles (Antelope, Calif.) and fellow classmate Kaitlin Connors (San Diego, Calif.). Ignacio knocked in a pair with her first career triple during a three-run spurt in the sixth inning that broke open a tight 2-1 ballgame.
The Aztecs dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the first when Miles belted the first of her two doubles on the evening, driving in sophomore Leia Ruiz (Chino, Calif.), who previously walked and advanced to second on a groundout.
The Hawks (6-9) knotted things up with an unearned run in the top of the fourth when Alicia DeSanto touched home on an SDSU fielding error. DeSanto led off with an infield single and eventually moved over to third following a grounder and a passed ball.
The Aztecs got the run back in their half of the fifth, taking the lead for good when senior Dominique Dinner (Monterey, Calif.) scored on a wild throw from Monmouth catcher Jill Freese after stealing third. Earlier in the frame, Ignacio reached on an infield base hit and beat the throw to second on Dinner's ensuing bunt attempt. Shortly thereafter, Ignacio was erased at third on another fielder's choice bunt by freshman Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.), setting the stage for Dinner's go-ahead tally.
SDSU had a chance to pad its lead after senior Patrice Jackson (Kansas City, Mo.) walked and Miles was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, Hawks starter Sydney Underhill (4-5) got out of the jam after inducing an inning-ending grounder.
The Aztecs wasted no time in taking advantage of their opportunities to add some insurance in their next trip to the dish in the sixth. Senior Katie Mathis (Grass Valley, Calif.) led off with a walk, stole second and advanced to third on Connors' infield hit. Ignacio then stepped up and drilled a 3-1 pitch to deep centerfield, plating Mathis and sophomore pinch-runner Victoria Kobold (Concord, Calif.) Moments later, Dinner singled through the left side, driving in Ignacio to complete the scoring for the Scarlet and Black.
Underhill went the distance as well for the Hawks, yielding five runs on seven hits and three walks to go with five strikeouts in the loss.
San Diego State returns to action this weekend, March 21-23, when it travels to New Mexico for a three-game series to open conference play. Friday's clash is scheduled to get underway at 5 p.m. MT (4 p.m. PT).
San Diego State 5, Monmouth 1