SOFTBALL DROPS A PAIR IN FIRST DAY OF THE LOUISVILLE SLUGGER INVITATIONAL
Senior Marissa Navarro slammed a 3-run homer against Pacific, but it was not enough in the Hornets' 9-6 loss
STOCKTON, Calif. -- Sacramento State’s pitching staff combined to allow 18 runs and 18 hits as the Hornets dropped their first two games of the Louisville Slugger Softball Invitational Friday afternoon at Bill Simoni Field. Sacramento State lost to third-ranked Washington, 9-0, in a mercy-rule shortened five inning game, and then fell to host Pacific, 9-6, later in the day.
Washington is currently ranked third in the nation in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate top 25 poll, and fourth in the USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll. Pacific is among teams receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll.
The Hornets (6-7 overall) will return to action tomorrow for the team’s third game of pool play against Delaware at 10 a.m. Bracket play will then be played for the Hornets’ final two games of the tournament, and depending on the outcome of the game against Delaware, Sacramento State will play later Saturday at either 2:30 or 4:45 p.m. On Sunday, the consolation game will be played at 10 a.m., and the tournament championship game will be played at 12:15 p.m.
In the game against Pacific, the Hornets scored six times, but had many more opportunities to put more runs on the board. In fact, Sacramento State left a season-high 13 runners on base, stranding two runners on base in the first, second and third innings, and the bases loaded in the fourth and seventh. Despite losing by three runs, the Hornets had three more hits and sent 10 more batters to the plate than the Tigers (7-6).
Devin Caldwell, Kelli Frye and Alyssa Nakken all had multi-hit games for the Hornets while Marissa Navarro had three RBIs and Kaitlyn Taylor drove in two runs. It was Navarro’s three-run homer in the third inning which tied the game at 3-3. However, Pacific scored six unanswered runs over the next three innings to take a commanding 9-3 lead. The Tigers took advantage of a rare subpar outing from Hornet right-hander Taylor Stroud who allowed five hits and six runs over 4.1 innings. Reliever Shelby Voelz gave up three hits and three runs over 1.2 innings.
Pacific’s Nicole Matson had a home run and five RBIs while Megan Foglesong added a solo home run and Megan Hom had two hits and two RBIs. As has been the case multiple times this season, Sacramento State mounted a late-inning comeback but fell short in the end. This time, the Hornets trailed, 9-3, heading into the seventh when a Caldwell RBI-single and a two-run single from Taylor got Sacramento State within, 9-6. The Hornets would eventually load the bases with two outs before Pacific reliever Tori Shepard got Molly Smith to ground out and end the game.
Stroud (5-2) lost for just the second time all season. Pacific starter Nikki Armagost (4-2) got the win, allowing six hits and three runs over four innings while Shepard notched her fourth save of the season, allowing three runs and five hits in three innings.
Earlier in the day, Washington, which entered the game with a .311 team batting average, increased that mark with a nine-run, 10-hit performance against a pair of Sacramento State pitchers. The Huskies took a commanding lead almost immediately, pounding out four hits (including a two-run homer by Kylee Lahners) in a six-run first inning.
Washington (15-1) added two runs in the second and one more in the fourth. Offensively, Sacramento State had just two hits, and both of those came off the bat of Frye.
Sacramento State freshman Caitlin Brooks (1-4) worked the first inning and got the loss, while Voelz pitched the final three innings. Washington Kaitlin Inglesby (9-0) pitched all five innings while walking none and striking out four batters.