Aztecs Beat Nevada 4-2 with Fifth Inning Rally

SDSU 4, Nevada 2 Opens in a new window
Derrick Tuskan/San Diego State

SAN DIEGO – After dropping the first two games of the weekend series against Nevada, San Diego State softball was looking to salvage the weekend on Sunday against the Wolf Pack. On Senior Day, the Aztecs allowed runs in each of the first two innings, but Dee Dee Hernandez came on in the third and shut out Nevada the rest of the way. SDSU got a run across in the third and scored three times in the fifth en route to a 4-2 victory. The Aztecs' (27-16, 14-5 MW) lead over the Wolf Pack (38-14, 14-8) in the Mountain West standings is back up to 1 ½ games. With a win next weekend, San Diego State will finish ahead of the Wolf Pack in the standings.
Nevada struck quickly in the first inning when Bridgette Gilliano, the third batter of the game, homered to left off starter Allie Light.
In the bottom of the inning, Mac Barbara singled, Cali Decker walked and Katie Goldberg reached on an error by Wolf Pack third baseman Haley Painter as SDSU loaded the bases. However, Nevada pitcher Blake Craft struck out Angie Yellen to end the inning.
The Wolf Pack struck again in the second as Aaliyah Jenkins doubled to left and Charli Hawkins singled down the right field line to give Nevada a 2-0 lead.
Hernandez entered the game in the third inning, replacing Light. She proceeded to retire the side in order in the first of five scoreless innings the rest of the way. Hernandez allowed just four baserunners in her five innings.
Lala Macario led off in the Aztec half of the third with a single. Macario stole second and advanced to third base on a Barbara groundout. Cali Decker walked, putting runners on the corners. The Aztecs executed a double steal, with Decker getting into second just before the tag, allowing Macario to score to half the Wolf Pack lead.
In the top of the fifth, Nevada had consecutive singles, with the runners advancing to second and third on a double steal. Hernandez got Gilliano to ground out to second to end the inning and escape the jam.

Heading to the Aztec half of the inning, Barbara lined a one-out triple down the right field line. Decker walked and both were run for, with Elianna Reyes replacing Barbara at third and Julie Holcomb running for Decker at first. Holcomb stole second to get into scoring position for Alyssa Garcia. Garcia grounded out to first. However, it scored Reyes and Wolf Pack first baseman Taryn Jenkins' throw home was wide, allowing Holcomb to score from second as the Aztecs took a 3-2 lead. Following a walk by Goldberg and a Yellen single, Makena Brocki doubled to third base, scoring Goldberg from second to extend the lead to 4-2.
In the seventh inning, Hernandez induced back-to-back flyouts to center to begin the inning. After a first pitch double by the next Nevada hitter, Hernandez got Chelie Senini to also fly out to center field to end the ballgame.
San Diego State wins on Senior Day for the third consecutive year. The Aztecs beat Utah State 4-3 in 2022 and beat New Mexico 5-2 last season.
SDSU heads to Las Vegas to wrap up the conference season with a three-game series at UNLV from Thursday through Saturday.
San Diego State 4, Nevada 2
Nevada (38-14, 14-8 MW)                                 110 000 0 – 2 7 2
San Diego State (27-16, 14-5 MW)                     001 030 0 – 4 5 0
W – Hernandez, 9-3; L – Craft, 14-5
HR: Gilliano, Nevada (4)