The SF State Gators softball team split a doubleheader against Cal State Dominguez Hills losing 3-11 in extra innings, then winning 11-3 in five innings on Sunday, March 24 at the SF State Softball Field.
The Gators have won the season series against the Toros, taking three out of four games.
In game one, the Gatos held a 3-0 at the top of the seventh inning with the Toros at bat with two outs and runners at first and second base.
Dominguez Hills hit a three-run home run, which barely made it over the fence at left field which tied the game at three runs apiece which took the game to extra innings.
“They got what the needed,” SF State Head Coach Alicia Reid said. “It was a tough play. It’s one of those crazy things that I don’t think I have actually seen before.”
SF State allowed a total of eight runs in the top of the ninth inning.
“Sometimes the [other] team out hits us,” SF State centerfielder Brylynn Vallejos said. “We’ve scored six runs with two outs before.
At the top of the ninth, SF state starting pitcher Emily Mitchell had thrown 110 pitches but was still kept in the game.
“Emily was cruising,” Reid said. “That’s a pitcher before being here, at the JC level, she was throwing every inning of every single game before, so she’s a workhorse.”
Eventually, with the bases loaded, SF State pitcher Karla Soto subbed out Mitchell in the ninth and struggled to find her pitch, allowing four runs on three hits. Mitchell came back in the game, allowing four more runs.
“I think they were just on,” Soto said. “After they got that home run, they were pumped. They had momentum and they just kept that going.”
Mitchell threw a total of 143 total pitches and seven earned runs.
“They started making better contact,” Mitchell said. “They adjusted well to the pitches I was throwing. It happens, it’s part of the game.”
The Gators had to forget the first game and shift their attention to playing game two and the message was clear.
“Go get them,” Soto said. “We wanted to win the series, so we came here jumping on [the game].”
In game two of the doubleheader, the Gators had a revenge game where they finished off the Toros in five innings.
The offense for SF State came alive led Vallejos who had four hits at four at-bats, including a home run and three RBI.
Second baseman Lehua Deleon also had three hits at three at-bats, including two singles, a double and an RBI.
At the bottom of the fourth, with Vallejos at-bat, an SF State fan at the game yelled “hit the scoreboard,” and some fellow fans laughed.
Two pitches after, Vallejos then blasted a home run, which did hit the scoreboard, giving the Gators a 4-2 lead after four innings.
“That felt great,” Vallejos said. “After the first game I was struggling a little bit, so it felt good to make my adjustments.”
The Toros fought back at the top of the fifth, scoring two runs, which made the game 4-3 in favor of SF State entering the bottom fifth.
“The strike zone was so tight,” Soto said. “I was struggling to find it, but it was really cool to have my offense and defense back me up.”
In the bottom of the fifth, a complete team effort really made the offense click. Vallejos led off with a single then the following three hitters for SF State each hit a single, making the score 5-3 with the bases loaded with zero outs.
SF State brought in seven runs in the bottom fifth giving the Gators a total of 11 runs which then assured victory for the Gators and the season series against Dominguez Hills.
“The goal is to always sweep,” Reed said. “If we do not sweep, then it is to win the series and against a good team like Dominguez that’s what we did and made a statement with two of those wins being run rules.”
The Gators next doubleheader is on Tuesday, March 26 against non-conference opponent Notre Dame de Namur at the SF State Softball Field.