CSUB’s season ends with 8-5 loss to Fresno State


Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

Syleena Perez



CSU Bakersfield made program history by entering its first ever NCAA Division I Softball Regional, but were unable to advance after losing in an elimination game against Fresno State 8-5 on Saturday at Easton Stadium in UCLA.

The Roadrunners (16-34) battled to advance in the tournament but errors and walks proved costly as they fell short against the Bulldogs.

“The first inning we came out and gave them four errors, which led to three runs and put us definitely behind the eight ball. But I thought we responded extremely well,” said CSUB coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler.

CSUB committed five errors in total and walked six batters in the game.

Senior pitcher Amber Mills pitches against UCLA at Easton Stadium on Friday. Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner
Senior pitcher Amber Mills pitches against UCLA at Easton Stadium on Friday.
Photo by AJ Alvarado/The Runner

The Bulldogs got runners on base early and scored three runs in the first inning, but only one was an earned run from CSUB’s senior pitcher Amber Mills.

The Roadrunners were able to respond in the second inning. With two runners on base and two outs senior Alex Simmons dropped a short single into right field driving both runners home and cut the lead to 3-2.

“Every pitch I kept thinking, ‘this might be my last game’, so just keeping it out all on the field” said Simmons.

Mills pitched 2.1 innings before being pulled from the mound after Fresno State’s senior Alyssa Villalpondo hit a home run to start the third inning and allowed two more batters to get on base.

The Roadrunners entered freshman Alyssa Stockton to pitch in relief. However, Stockton walked the first batter and gave up a three-run double to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 7-2.

Fresno State added another run in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly ball pushed the lead to 8-3 but with the bases loaded, Stockton and the defense got out of the jam.

The Roadrunners responded back and cut into the lead in the fifth inning. Simmons got on base once again and senior Sydney Raeber followed with a single of her own.

Junior Selena Gonzalez hit an RBI double into the left-center gap to bring Simmons in and sophomore pinch-hitter Nicole Curry hit a single to bring Raeber in. Junior Joanna Larios smacked a single down the middle and cut the lead to 8-5.

“Bakersfield has heart, and that’s what we had to keep showing is how much heart we had,” said Buck-Ziegler. “I told them that the easy road would be to just give up and get run-ruled. We took the hard road and kept fighting until the seventh. That’s all I’ve ever asked of this team.”

However, Fresno State then brought in freshman Kamalani Dung in relief of starting pitcher Jill Compton and Dung shut the door on CSUB’s rally.

Dung shut down the Roadrunners’ hitters by not allowing a single batter to reach a base for the last 2.2 innings of the game.

Compton (25-6) earned the win for Fresno State and Dung was credited with her second save of the year. Mills (9-16) took the loss. She only gave up three hits but allowed three earned runs in 2.1 innings.

Stockton pitched 4.2 innings in relief and in her 20th appearance, she was able to shutdown the Bulldogs from scoring runs in the last three innings of the game.

“Alyssa came in as a freshman, in her first-ever postseason, and acted like a senior,” said Buck-Ziegler.

Stockton said she is excited for the future of the program.

“I’m planning to go this summer and train my butt off and come next season, have huge expectations for this team: for my offense, for my defense, for my coaches and for myself especially,” said Stockton.

On Friday, CSUB played against No. 12-ranked UCLA. The Roadrunners were able to go four scoreless innings but the Bruins’ offense came alive and beat the Roadrunners, 7-0.

However, in the fifth inning, the Bruins were able to get a solo home run from sophomore Madeline Jelenicki and a two-run home run from freshman Paige Halstead.

In the sixth inning, Mills gave up a grand slam to junior Gabrielle Maurice to push the lead to 7-0. UCLA’s pitcher Johanna Grauer’s pitched a no-hitter against CSUB. Grauer earned the win as she pitched all seven innings and struck out four batters. Mills took the loss for CSUB.

“I’m extremely proud of our program of how we came in and represented for our first ever regional appearance and I’m hoping it’s just the start for our program” said Buck-Ziegler on this year’s run.