It’s do or die for San Diego State softball Sunday after Utah shelled the Aztecs 10-1 in the second game of the best-of-three series at the NCAA Super Regional.
That ties the series, in Salt Lake City, at 1-1, making Sunday’s 11 a.m. contest the one that will decide who goes to the Women’s College World Series. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
A night after limiting the fourth-best hitting team in the country to just five hits, SDSU (39-16) gave up 13 to Utah (41-14) in Saturday’s five-inning loss – shortened due to the run-ahead rule.
The Utes broke open a 3-1 game with four runs in the fourth, on a grand slam by Julia Jimenez off Dee Dee Hernandez, and three in the fifth.
No. 15 seed Utah jumped out to a 2-0 lead before there was an out as Aliya Belarde reached on an infield single and Ellessa Bonstrom followed with a home run off starter Sarah Lehman in the top of the first.
San Diego State responded in the bottom of the frame when Makena Brocki’s single up the middle scored Bella Espinoza from second base. But that would be all for the Aztec offense as the Utes piled on, despite an almost 45-minute lightning delay in the top of the third inning.
Lehman took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over two innings, while striking out one. Hernandez, victimized by the grand slam, saw her streak of 21 scoreless innings, dating back to May 5, end.
SDSU also had its seven-game winning streak snapped.
Two spots remain in the eight-team WCWS. No. 3 Florida State and No. 6 Oklahoma State clinched their berths Friday, followed by No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 9 Stanford, No. 4 Tennessee and No. 7 Washington Saturday. San Diego State is the only unseeded team that remains alive.