Sophomore pitches first-career shutout in doubleheader split
Despite a first game loss against Academy of Arts, the Gators cruised to a 3-0 victory after scoring early in the second game of their Wednesday double-header against Holy Names University. Pitcher Courtney Dunkel threw her first complete-game shutout.
“We came out a whole lot looser than in that first game,” said SFSU’s head coach Cristina Byrne. “Courtney pitched a great game and there was a different mindset at the plate. We attacked the ball and forced them to make plays.”
Dunkel’s shutout was also the first game that she has ever pitched in its entirety as a Gator.
“I was confident going onto the mound today, and it helps that my best friend Tori was behind the plate,” Dunkel said. “It kept me calm. I tried to remember to have fun and to think that it was my game to have taken away from me.”
A bottom of the first double from third baseman Lucy Fernandez brought around center fielder Jennifer Lewis and shortstop Courtney Gravel to secure a Gators’ lead that lasted throughout the game.
“I just told myself to relax,” Fernandez said. “I was overthinking my approach in the first game, but was able to adjust and relax in the second.
A late 3-2 deficit proved too much for the Gators to overcome against the Academy of Art in game one, especially after a controversial double play. SF State batters only secured five hits in 24 plate appearances, with no strikeouts.
The Gators hope to carry their momentum into this weekend’s road stand in San Diego, where they will face UC San Diego in back-to-back double-headers.
“It was a really good way to go into the trip,” coach Byrne said.