The SF State Gators cruised past Notre Dame de Namur 9-0 in game one of a doubleheader in five innings on Tuesday, March 26 at the SF State Softball Field.

The Gators have improved to 17-11 on the season and have won six out of their previous seven contests and in those six victories, they have outscored their opponents 45 runs to seven runs.

Heading into the series, Notre Dame had a record of 0-27, but the Gators knew they still had to execute.

Second baseman Lehua Deleon went 1-1 that was a double with two walks and scored once.

“Their record doesn’t matter,” Deleon said. “The record doesn’t matter, it mattered how we played. If they did have a good record, then we would come out with better defense and better communication.”

“We do not want to play down to their level,” Starting Pitcher Karla Soto said. “We still want to do us. We still want to beat every team, even if they’re number one or if they’re 0-27.”

Soto dominated. She pitched a one-hit shutout in four innings with two strikeouts and her record improved to 8-1.

“I felt really good warming up,” Soto said. “After the games this weekend and having a day off, I got myself together and came in and felt really good.”

With a comfortable 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth, reliever Samantha Gutierrez pitched a scoreless inning with zero hits.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the score was 6-0 with leadoff hitter Brylynn Vallejos at the plate and knocked in a three-run home run to deep center field, ending the game.

It was her second straight game with a home run and had five home runs for the season. Vallejos is also hitting a conference-best with a .491 average.

“It felt great,” Vallejos said. “That one felt perfect and everything about it felt good.”

The Gators stayed aggressive the entire game. They had 10 hits and three stolen bases.

“We are an aggressive team no matter what,” Deleon said. “We have a lot of fast players, we take the game to the next level.”

The Gators then went on to beat Notre Dame 9-1 in the second game, sweeping the season series.

Playing a winless team may give SF State more of a drive to play harder than usual.

“We’re not going to give them the first win,” Soto said. “Especially with us having a winning streak, we don’t want to give them their first win.”

The Gators will head on to the Tournament of Champions, which starts on March 29 to March 31 at the Pedretti Sports Complex in Turlock.

“I think we’re ready,” Vallejos said. “I think it’s going to be a big opener for us because a lot of the teams are going to be good. It’ll help get the playoff atmosphere ready for us.”

After the Tournament of Champions, SF State returns to conference play on April 5 against Cal State University Stanislaus at the SF State Softball Field.