Aztecs Beat Boise State 6-3 for MW Tournament Title

SDSU 6, Boise State 3 Opens in a new window

BOISE, Idaho – After winning its first two games of the Mountain West Championship, top-seeded regular season champion San Diego State softball was in the Final on Saturday against the host fifth-seeded Boise State Broncos. The Aztecs scored twice in the third to take a 2-0 lead. After the Broncos evened the game with two runs of their own in the fifth inning, SDSU struck back, scoring a pair of runs each in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 6-2 lead. Boise State scored once again in the seventh, but the Aztecs held on 6-3 to win their second consecutive Mountain West tournament championship.
In the Aztec half of the first inning, Alyssa Garcia walked and Katie Goldberg singled. Cali Decker moved the runners to second and third base for Angie Yellen, who was unable to drive in her teammates as the inning ended without a run scored.
The Broncos threatened in the second, with a leadoff single before SDSU starter Cassidy West hit the next batter. West was able to get the next two hitters to hit infield flies before striking out Karizma Bergesen to end the frame scoreless. West pitched three shutout innings, allowing just two hits.
SDSU struck first in the third inning. Bella Espinoza led off the inning with a single. Mac Barbara singled to right-center field to score Espinoza and advanced to second on the throw as the Aztecs took a 1-0 lead. Elianna Reyes ran for Barbara. After a strikeout, Goldberg doubled down the left field line, scoring Reyes from second to double the lead to 2-0. The Broncos pulled starter Taylor Caudill in favor of Jenna Bloom after allowing two runs on four hits over 2 1/3 innings. A Decker single put runners on the corners for Angie Yellen. However, Yellen hit into a double play to end the inning. The play at first was close enough to warrant a challenge by the Aztec dugout but there was not enough evidence to overturn the out call.
Boise State got on the board in the fifth. After a leadoff double by the Broncos, Dee Dee Hernandez retired Bergesen on a flyout. Pinch-hitter Leah McAnally singled to center with the runner scoring from second on a throwing error while McAnally reached third on a second throwing error. Hernandez was replaced by Allie Light after just 1 1/3 innings. The next hitter, Sophia Knight, hit a sacrifice fly to center as Boise State tied the game at two. Light induced a flyout by Jordyn Hutchins to end the inning.
The Aztecs reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the inning. With one out, the Broncos walked Barbara to face Garcia. She responded with a two-run homer to center field as SDSU went back on top, 4-2. Goldberg singled and advanced to second on a groundout but did not score in the inning.
San Diego State was not done. With two outs in the sixth, Makena Brocki singled back up the middle. After an Espinoza single, the Scarlet and Black had runners on first and second for Mountain West Co-Player of the Year Mac Barbara. She singled to left, scoring Brocki and Espinoza crossed the plate on a throwing error by Bronco left fielder Hutchins to make it a 6-2 game. Barbara advanced to second on the throw and moved to third on a wild pitch but was unable to come around to score before the inning ended.
Light went back out for the seventh, three outs from a title. Mykenzie Hanna led off the inning with a solo homer to left. After a flyout for the first out, the Broncos had a single. Light was able to get Abby Bumcrot to pop out to second for the second out, but Sophia Knight doubled down the right field line to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Hutchins. Light struck her out as the Aztecs won their second championship in one week's time.
The Aztecs led the conference with four players selected to the All-Tournament Team. Mac Barbara earned the MVP award. She broke the conference tournament record with three home runs, while batting .625 with six RBIs and four runs scored. Katie Goldberg was also named to the All-Tournament Team for hitting .571 with an RBI and a run scored in addition to stellar defensive play. The Aztecs' final hitter selected to the team was Alyssa Garcia. She hit .429 with four RBIs and two runs scored but Garcia's highlight was her go-ahead two-run home run in the title game. Aztec ace Allie Light also earned a spot on the team, going 2-0 with a 0.91 ERA in 7 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out six.
San Diego State's second Mountain West tournament championship puts the Aztecs ahead of Colorado State for the most conference tournament championships among active teams. The Aztecs also lead the conference with nine regular season titles.
SDSU will watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Sunday at 4 p.m. PT on ESPN2 to find out which Regional it will head to for the NCAA Tournament.
[1] San Diego State 6, [5] Boise State 3
Boise State (36-23)               000 020 1 – 3  8 1
San Diego State (31-18)       002 022 X – 6 10 2
W – Light, 12-7; L – Bloom, 9-5.
HR: Garcia, SDSU (2); Hanna, Boise State (18).
2024 Mountain West All-Tournament Team
MVPMac Barbara, SDSU
Alyssa Garcia, SDSU
Katie Goldberg, SDSU
Allie Light, SDSU
Hollie Farmer, Boise State
Sydney Groves, Boise State
Brooklynn Pettis, Boise State
Blake Craft, Nevada
Maile Olsen, Nevada
Alyssa Trejo, UNLV
Ellie Zellien, UNLV