Aztecs Ready for No. 15/17 Virginia Tech in LA Regional

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The San Diego State softball team returns to the campus of No. 6/6 UCLA to play No. 15/17 Virginia Tech in the NCAA Los Angeles Regional this weekend at Easton Stadium.

The Aztecs (31-18) earned the No. 3 seed in the double elimination regional after winning a second-straight Mountain West tournament, hosted last weekend at Boise State. SDSU plays the Hokies (39-12-1) at 3 p.m. PT Friday on ESPUN. The host Bruins (37-10), the No. 6 overall seed in the tournament, meet Grand Canyon (48-11) in the other game at 5:30 p.m. PT. The NCAA Los Angeles Regional is the toughest in the country according to average RPI (31.50).

SDSU is playing in its 14th NCAA tournament and third straight under third-year head coach Stacey Nuveman Deniz. San Diego State, which also made the tournament in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2022 and 2023, is 22-26 all-time in the NCAA championship, has advanced to seven NCAA regional finals and one NCAA Super Regional, and won at least one game in the double- elimination regional in 12 of its previous 13 appearances.

The Aztecs are playing in Los Angeles for the sixth time out of their 14 appearances in a NCAA regional (also 2001, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2023), owning a 13-10 record at Easton Stadium. Last season, SDSU went 3-0 at the Los Angles regional, which also featured UCLA and Grand Canyon, and lost a best-of-three series at Utah, 2-1, for the right to play in the Women's College World Series.

The regional winners will advance to super regional competition for a best-of-three series from May 23-26 at eight campus sites.

The Mountain West Co-Player of the Year and reigning MW Tournament MVP Mac Barbara leads San Diego State in a host of offensive categories, including average (.383), hits (51), home runs (14), RBIs (48), walks (33), slugging percentage (.774) and on-base percentage (.503). Former Bruin Alyssa Garcia (.325, 2 HR, 24 RBI) and Cali Decker (.305, 2 HR, 23 RBI) are also hitting over .300 for the Aztecs, who are hitting .285 as a team.

Dee Dee Hernandez (10-4, 3 SV, 2.53 ERA, 72.0 IP), Cece Cellura (8-5, 4 SV, 2.60 ERA, 102.1 IP) and Allie Light (12-7, 2 SV, 2.62 ERA, 120.0 IP) have done a bulk of the pitching for SDSU, which has combined for a 2.52 ERA in 333 innings.