CSUB wins on walkoff hit


Paige Johnson (center) celebrates with teammates after her walk-off base hit against San Diego on Saturday, March 17 at the Roadrunner Softball Complex. They won 2-1 in 8 innings to snap their 8-game losing streak. Photo: gorunners.com

Johnathan Wheatley


CSU Bakersfield softball took the first game of the three game series against the University of San Diego, snapping an 8-game losing streak.

It was the first home series for the Roadrunners after its first scheduled home series against Sacramento State was rained out.

A struggling CSUB team, coming off a 1-17 loss against Stanford, returned to newly renovated dugouts and a home crowd for the first time this year and gave the fans something to cheer about.

The first game of the series doubled the Roadrunners total wins on the season and have a 2-19 record on the season after the series against San Diego.

The Roadrunners and the Toreros both started the game off in the first inning. San Diego had bases loaded in the first inning and CSUB held them to one run after a fielder’s choice.

The Roadrunners scored on a single up the middle by junior Paige Johnson. Senior Kaylynn Burt scored from second base.

Freshman pitcher Daryn Hitzel was lights out for CSUB, throwing a complete 8.0 innings striking out six and only giving up four hits. Hitzel earned her first win on the year, improving her record to 1-3 overall.

“The girls have been waiting for that moment for a long time. It was fun to see Paige’s demeanor, to see how calm she was. She was built for that moment,” said CSUB head coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler to gorunners.com.

The second game of the series was also a close game, but the results were in the favor of USD, as CSUB would fall, 3-2.

Senior pitcher Summer Evans pitched a complete game allowing three earned runs and nine hits while striking out two batters. Evans is still looking for her first win and after the loss against San Diego, her record drops to 0-10 on the year.

“I thought we played pretty well in the second game. I thought we competed really well and Summer threw a gutsy ball game,” said Buck-Ziegler to gorunners.com.

In the series finale, San Diego got on the board quickly after its first three batters reached base safely.

The Roadrunners limited the damage and only allowed one run to cross home plate in the first inning.

The Toreros came back in the top of the second inning and scored two more runs after a single to left. CSUB responded with a run in the bottom of the second after a double down the left field line by sophomore Karah Wiseman and scored junior Chris Hipa from second base.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Toreros broke open the floodgates and scored four runs.

It forced Buck-Ziegler to make a pitching change, subbing Hitzel in for redshirt-freshman Kaycee Olson, who pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven funs on 10 hits. The Roadrunners fell to San Diego, 7-5.

The Roadrunners will have played a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 20 at CSU Fullerton.

CSUB will continue play this coming weekend at the Gaucho Classic and UC Santa Barbara and Saint Mary’s College from March 23-25.