SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Roadrunner softball team opened its three-game road series against San Diego with a doubleheader on Saturday. Despite dropping a close decision to begin the series, CSU Bakersfield came out and dominated the second game en route to its first shutout of the season.
“We played well for 14 innings today,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, Head Coach of CSUB’s squad. “The first game, we kept going after it and needed to close the door on them, but I felt we responded very well in the second game. We want to continue this really good momentum.”
The ‘Runners jumped out to an early lead over San Diego after posting four runs in the top of the first inning. CSUB only needed two hits in the frame to accomplish the feat as a San Diego error, two walks, and one hit by pitch helped the ‘Runners take a 4-0 advantage. Junior Julea Cavazos’ walk with the bases loaded brought the first run of the game in before junior Megan Marcy’s two-RBI double made the score 3-0.
After a pitching change, a run scored on the error as CSUB went ahead 4-0, but the Toreros would answer right back in the bottom of the third with three runs of their own. In the bottom of the second inning, USD tied the ball game up with another run. An infield error allowed the run to come around as the Toreros evened the score at 4-4.
In the top of the fourth, the ‘Runners would take the lead for the second time in the game. Jo Larios led the frame off with a single to center and precision small ball ensued. With freshman Karah Wiseman pinch running for Larios, Chris Hipa laid down a sacrifice bunt and Wiseman eventually wound up on third after a wild pitch. On the next play, an error allowed Wiseman to come around and score as CSUB went ahead 5-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Toreros tied the game again on an RBI single to right field. Two innings later, with two outs and the bases loaded, CSUB’s starter Lyndsay Klimenko gave up the game-winning RBI single to Lindsay Clare as San Diego took a 6-5 victory.
Freshman Cydney Curran led the ‘Runners from the plate, going 2-for-4 in the game while Marcy’s two RBI were a team high. Nadia Amezcua, CSUB’s leading hitter this season, was walked twice and intentionally walked once while senior Selena Gonzalez was walked twice as well.
Klimenko (0-6) took the loss after pitching her second complete game of the season. The senior righty gave up six runs, five earned, while allowing 11 hits and two walks to the Toreros. After pitching just one third of an inning, USD’s starter, Lauren Berriatua, was pulled from the game. Freshman Delaney Heller came in and pitched the final 6.2 innings to earn the win for San Diego.
Unfazed by the narrow loss in the first game, the ‘Runners stormed out of the dugout and put up five runs in the first two innings. With two outs in the top of the first, Amezcua got a rally going with a double to the gap. Gonzalez promptly singled and brought her teammate home to put CSUB ahead 1-0.
The ‘Runners exploded for four runs in an inning for the second time on the day, this time, in the top of the second. Junior Nicole Curry led off the inning with her first career triple and the ‘Runners quickly loaded the bases with no outs. Kaylynn Burt got hit by a pitch for the fourth time this year, a team-high, and brought Curry around to score. Curran then singled home a run to put CSUB up 3-0 before a wild pitch allowed Wiseman to score. Burt stole home to cap the four-run inning, giving the ‘Runners a 5-0 advantage.
In the fifth inning, CSUB added another pair of runs to go ahead 7-0. Marcy’s second double of the day drove in another run as Josie Flores came around to score. Later in the inning, San Diego’s lone error of the game would prove costly as Cavazos came home as well.
In the seventh, Cavazos sent a deep fly ball to center field for a double to lead off the frame. After a wild pitch moved Bakersfield’s junior outfielder to third, Curry’s sacrifice fly to left field would give CSUB its eighth run of the game.
Down to their final three outs, the Toreros mustered one hit and got another runner on base in the bottom of the seventh, but junior Summer Evans sealed the deal, earning her and CSUB’s first shutout victory of the season. The native of Escondido, Calif. pitched her fifth complete game this year while scattering seven hits and one walk over seven innings.
All but one ‘Runner starter tallied at hit in Saturday’s second game while Flores went 2-for-2 and Cavazos was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Burt, Curran, Gonzalez, Marcy, and Curry drove in CSUB’s five RBI as the ‘Runner offense had one of its most potent and consistent games of the season thus far.
CSU Bakersfield (4-15) and San Diego (10-12) will wrap up their three-game series with one final game on Sunday. First pitch for that contest is scheduled for 11 a.m. in San Diego.