Aztec Softball Sweeps Doubleheader with UNLV
May 6, 2017
SAN DIEGO - Shelby Thompson (Benicia, Calif.) hit a pair of home runs in the first game and Ashley Ercolano (Poway, Calif./Poway HS) hit a grand slam in the final home game of her career in the nightcap to lift San Diego State to a doubleheader sweep over UNLV Saturday at SDSU Softball Stadium.
The two victories gave the Aztecs (29-17 13-8 MW) a series sweep over the Rebels (23-26, 6-15 MW) heading into their regular-season finale at Nevada (27-20, 12-8 MW) next weekend.
In the opener, SDSU outhit UNLV, 12-3, and scored three runs in the bottom of the second, third and fourth innings to complete the 9-1, five-inning mercy-rule victory. It was San Diego State's fifth run-rule win in MW play.
Thompson led off the second with a homer and added a three-run home run in the third. It was the first multiple-homer game for the freshman, while her four RBIs tied a career high.
Jenavee Peres (Garden Grove, Calif.) was 3-for-3 with a double, RBI and a run. Katie Byrd (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) and Frankie Orlando (Roseville, Calif.) each went 2-for-3 with an RBI as Byrd added two runs and a double, and Orlando scored once. Molly Sturdivant (Santa Ana, Calif.) singled, walked and scored a run for the Aztecs.
The offense was plenty for Marissa Moreno (Torrance, Calif.). The freshman right-hander allowed one unearned run on just three hits (all singles) and a walk over five innings, striking out two to improve to 11-5 on the season.
In the nightcap, SDSU rallied from a two-run deficit with a six-run third inning, highlighted by Ercolano's grand slam en route to the 8-6 win.
San Diego State got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first when Peres led off with a double down the left-field line, moved to third on a groundout by Sydnee Cable (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Sturdivant.
The Rebels tied it in the top of the second when Emily Vela doubled in Charlie Masterson.
UNLV took its first lead of the series in the third on a two-out home run by Alyssa Navarro.
The Aztecs answered with the six-run bottom of the third, thanks to three hits, two walks and a sac fly. Peres led off with a single up the middle and got all the way to third when Brianna Gatlin dropped a Cable flyout. After Sturdivant walked to load the bases, Byrd lined a ball to the right-center gap that was chased down nicely by Rebel centerfielder Myranda Bueno, but allowed Peres to score from third. After a walk by Thompson and Megan Smith (Valencia, Calif.) grounded into a fielder's choice, Jaylene Ignacio (Oceanside, Calif./El Camino HS) hit a hard bouncing ball off UNLV third baseman Jadelyn Yadao-Valdez's glove for the RBI single plating Sturdivant. Ercolano then followed with a long grand slam over the center-field wall to put SDSU up, 7-3, after three innings. It was Ercolano's first home run at San Diego State and 13th of her career (first 12 came at UC Riverside from 2013-14). All six runs were unearned off Morgan Ettinger due to Gatlin's error earlier in the inning.
The Rebels' Janine Petmecky led off the fifth with a home run to cut the lead to three.
The Aztecs got their run back in the bottom half as Ignacio's sac fly scored Thompson.
UNLV mounted one last comeback in the seventh on Navarro's two-out, two-run home run. Moreno, however, struck out Justine Federe swinging to end the game and secure the weekend sweep.
SDSU finished with 10 hits in the game, led once again by Peres. Peres had two hits, including a double, with two runs to raise her batting average to .443, well above the San Diego State single-season record of .429 set by Hayley Miles in 2012.
Eight others added one hit apiece for the Aztecs, with Sturdivant (1-for-2, RBI, R, BB) and Thompson (1-for-2, 2 R, BB, SB) each reaching twice. Ignacio added two RBIs and a run scored.
Erica Romero (Corona, Calif.) picked up the win after allowing four runs on seven hits over four innings, striking out one. She is now 10-5 on the season. Moreno recorded her first career save after yielding two runs on two hits and a walk over three innings of relief.
The Aztecs head to Reno, Nev., to take on the Wolf Pack at 4 p.m. PT Thursday, 4 p.m. PT Friday and noon PT Saturday.
Game 1: San Diego State 9, UNLV 1 (5 innings)
Game 2: San Diego State 8, UNLV 6