Historic season ends for CSUB softball


Photo by Alejandra Flores/The Runner

Syleena Perez




CSU Bakersfield made it to its first ever NCAA Division I Regional, but were unable to advance after losing in an elimination game on Saturday against Fresno State 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, 8-5.

“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 the entire game.

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 brought on 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 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.

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.

Compton (25-6) earned the win for Fresno State and Dung was credited with her second save of the year.
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 against the Bruins but fell 7-0 to UCLA.

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.