SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pacific scored three runs with two outs in the seventh inning on a two-run single from Melanie Habib and an RBI-single from Megan Hom as the Tigers defeated Sacramento State, 3-0, in a non-conference softball game Tuesday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
With the loss, Sacramento State (3-3) lost its home opener for just the second time in seven years. Pacific (3-0) has now won each of its first three games to start the season.
Hornet starter Caitlin Brooks, who was named the Big Sky Conference's Pitcher of the Week earlier in the day, was locked in a pitchers' duel with Pacific's reigning third team All-American Nikki Armagost. Brooks had allowed just one hit through the first six innings of the game until Pacific strung together three hits and four hits in the seventh inning.
In that seventh inning, after shortstop Yesenia Alcala ranged far to her right to make a spectacular play and get the first out of the inning, Amy Moore singled and advanced to second on a double from Nicole Zapotoczny. Brooks then struck out Megan Allen and hit Taylor Brink to load the bases with two outs. That set up Habib's at-bat as she drove an 0-2 pitch that barely landed fair down the right field line for a two-run single scoring both Anderson and Zapotoczny. Hom followed with an RBI-single to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets had plenty of chances to score off Armagost, leaving nine runners on base. That included stranding the bases loaded in both the first and second innings, and leaving two runners on base in the fifth inning.
Armagost improved to 2-0 on the young season, allowing five hits with two walks with five strikeouts in seven innings. Brooks, who still has just a 1.33 ERA this year, allowed five hits and three runs while walking one and striking out seven. Brooks has struck out at least seven batters in each of her three starts this season.
Hornet junior Yesenia Alcala was the only player with a multiple-hit game as she finished 2-for-3. Kelli Frye, Kortney Solis and Kayla Papez also had hits for the Hornets.
Sacramento State returns to action later this week when the team travels to Saint Mary's for a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon.