In San Diego State’s softball home-opener, the Aztecs were defeated 3-0 by BYU at the SDSU softball field on Thursday night despite a strong pitching performance.
Tonight also marked the beginning of the Campbell/Cartier Classic, an annual event held in the memory of former Aztec softball players Susanne Campbell and Karin Cartier.
It was a scoreless game with strong pitching on both sides, with the first score and hit coming at the top of the fifth inning.
“It was a good-old fashioned pitchers duel,” head coach Kathy Van Wyk said, “I think we wasted a very good pitching performance.”
The Cougars’ catcher, Ry Jense-McFarland, singled to left field, which brought home Kaylee Erickson and gave BYU the lead. In the top of the seventh inning, Jensen-McFarland shot a solo homerun to deep right.
Later in the inning, Arissa Paulsen who plays first base and pitches for BYU, singled into left and brought in Taylei Williams.
The Cougars managed four hits off of SDSU’s junior pitcher Maggie Balint.
Balint pitched into the seventh inning and tonight marked her first home game as an Aztec, as she transferred from Oregon.
“At Oregon I wasn’t a starter. I wasn’t a captain and I didn’t have the responsibilities. I kind of just showed up and left. I have to be accountable for my other players.”Maggie Balint, junior pitcher.
She tallied nine strikeouts and threw 145 pitches before being relieved by freshman Karina Faasisila.
Balint calls her own pitches, which helps her game because she enjoys fast-paced outings.
“Me and the catcher [Alizae Umi, SDSU’s catcher] we’re both on the same page.” Balint said, “I work at a very fast paced, I’m like a machine I’m constantly going, going, going and I don’t like to be stopped.”
The Oregon-transfer and Van Wyk made it clear, Balint throws what she wants when she wants.
“[Balint] knows what she wants to throw in there.” Van Wyk said, “I don’t have to call pitches. She’s very strong minded, she’s got a great level of confidence.”
Balint credited her back injury for her drive and confidence on the mound.
“I am so driven and motivated since my back injury.” She said, “I could not throw the ball past 60, but mentally I was so sharp and I could just not physically do it. It made me so frustrated because mentally I was ready to go.”
SDSU will have to move on from this one, as they have two straight double-headers coming up.
On Friday, the Aztecs play against Southern Utah and Cal State Fullerton.
When Saturday rolls around, SDSU will play BYU and Southern Utah again.
The four games will all be played at the SDSU softball field.
Van Wyk’s message to her team after the loss: forget this one and move on.
“We got two double-headers coming up.” she said, “We’re going to play BYU again later this weekend. We have to do a better job adjusting at the plate, we were swinging at bad pitches.”
Umi said the team’s preparation from the off-season will help them survive the back to back double-headers.
“We put in a lot of work in the fall, so we’re just depending on that.” she said, “That’s really going to help us in the double-header tomorrow.”