In both of their early-week games, the SF State softball team rallied back to sweep Dominican University on Monday, April 22nd at Penguin Field. SF State utility player Michelle Castro was instrumental in both comeback games for the Gators against Dominican University.
The Gators were down 5-2 and 5-0 entering the bottom of the third inning in both games.
In the first game, trailing 5-2 with bases loaded and zero outs, Castro doubled to center field bringing in all the runners and tying the game at five.
In the second game, Castro drilled a two-run home run, her second of the season, once again tying the game at five.
“I was focused more on getting a base hit,” Castro said. “It just happened and I saw [the ball] going toward the fence and I thought it was going to be a double. It was a home run and I was like ‘oh shit.’”
SF State took the lead in the second game with the play of freshman third baseman Samantha Alvarez.
Alvarez hit a double to give the Gators a 7-5 lead.
“Once we get someone on with no outs, we just run [the score] up,” Alvarez said. “Once we get someone on, we know we’re going to score that inning.”
The Gators would rather not have to mount big comebacks, but they have the confidence in their offense.
“It shows how strong we are,” head coach Alicia Reed said. “The opposing team’s pitcher has their work cut out for them facing our offense. Any given time we can drop four, five, six runs in an inning and be right back into the game.”
Pitchers Emily Mitchell and Karla Soto both gave up five runs after two innings. Mitchell started game one and Soto came in to relieve her and in game two Soto started and Mitchell came in to relieve her.
“Dominican came out swinging the bat,” Reed said. “Our pitchers came out struggling with their timing, the rhythm…the good thing is we have the depth in our pitching staff of that [if] one is having a bad day, we can bring in the other one, relieve them and have the next-man-up mentality.”
Dominican was able to put up 11 runs against the Gators on Monday. Reed said to give the Penguins credit for their play.
“They were just hitting the ball well,” Castro said. “It was hard to work through the umpire’s strike zone, but they were getting good hits.”
SF State has won 33 games this season, with four games remaining in the regular season.
The 33 wins are the most since the 2006 season when the program won 41 games.
“I say we go more day by day,” Alvarez said. “We don’t think ‘we got to beat this record’ we’re just playing to play. I think this team year’s team, we all get along, so we are all on the same page.”
To add to that accomplishment, the softball team is mostly comprised of freshmen.
“I’m very proud of these girls and what they have accomplished this year,” Reed said. “We asked these girls what they wanted to be remembered for and they said wanted to be part of the change. A culture change.”
After Monday’s contest, the Gators have an overall 33-16 record and will finish up their regular season series against Cal State East Bay on this weekend with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday.
SF State currently holds the No. 3 seed in the 2019 CCAA Softball Tournament and look to clinch their first CCAA playoff berth since 2007.