San Jose State softball lost two of three games in a series to defending Mountain West champion San Diego State. Following a 9-6 loss on Friday and 9-2 win on Saturday, San Jose State lost the rubber match on Sunday 11-7. The Spartans committed four errors in the game that gave the Aztecs three unearned runs.
Starting pitcher Emily Rogers (2-3, 3.45 ERA) took the loss. In 4.1 innings of action, Rogers gave up six hits and two earned runs, in addition to two unearned runs from wild pitches besides the three unearned runs off errors. A first-team all-Mountain West honoree, Erica Romero (11-8, 3.64 ERA) got the win for San Diego State. In 6.0 innings, Romero gave up nine hits and five earned runs.
San Diego State took a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Samantha Camello led off with a single. A third base error by Emma Entzminger and Genavee Peres being hit by a pitch loaded the bases. Sydnee Cable had a fly out, but catcher Alyssa Avila could not tag Camello out at home, allowing San Diego State’s first run. A wild pitch by Rogers on a 3-1 count to Jaylene Ignacio not only advanced Leia Ruiz from third to home but also Peres, thanks to another Avila error. This sequence gave Ignacio essentially a triple on what should have just been a walk. Another wild pitch allowed Ignacio to score, before Rogers struck out Frankie Orlando to end the inning.
“The first inning was disastrous,” remarked head coach Peter Turner. “We’re better than that. We made some very poor decisions.”
“The very first batter, that ball should be run down and caught,” added Turner, who attributed the poor fielding to a “lack of communication” between players.
It took until the third inning for San Jose State to score. With runners on the corners and two outs, Madison Aurin hit a home run over the center field wall to get San Jose State within 4-3. This was the fourth career homer for the freshman. In the fourth inning, Entzminger advanced to second on an HBP and passed ball. Avila then singled to send Entzminger to third but was thrown out trying to advance to second. What would have been a tying sac fly by Anissa Pinedo at the next at-bat instead ended the inning with San Jose State still down 4-3.
As in the first inning, San Diego State again loaded the bases without an out in the fifth. Peres appeared to have been tagged out in attempting to steal home but was ruled safe. She left the game after that play due to injury. Taylor Stewart then singled to drive in another run, ending Rogers’s day in the circle. Riggs came in and pitched two fly outs to end the inning.
After again loading the bases without an out to begin the seventh inning, San Diego State got five runs off four hits and an error to take an 11-3 lead. San Jose State attempted a rally in its last chance. Brittany Abacherli hit a two-run homer, followed by RBI singles from Aurin and Erin Rodriguez, before Avila struck out to end the game.
Turner credited San Diego State’s offense with getting the win, especially baserunning.
“They took advantage of every single mistake we made,” said Turner.
San Diego State is now 24-19 (6-9 MW). San Jose State drops to 19-21 (8-4 MW) and now shares second place with Nevada, who has a 30-9 overall record that also includes an 8-4 conference record. Both are four games behind conference leader Fresno State, who is 12-0 in conference play, 30-9-1 overall, and ranked in the top 25 of both the ESPN media and USA Today coaches’ polls.
San Jose State begins a three-game series at Nevada on April 22, and the winner of the series will earn sole possession of second place in the MW. San Jose State’s out-of-conference strength of schedule that led to an 11-17 record was ranked 44th of 295 Division I teams, while Nevada got a 19-5 start with an out-of-conference schedule ranked #281.