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SOFTBALL TO PLAY THREE TIMES THIS WEEK, INCLUDING SATURDAY HOME TILT WITH #6 CAL

Sacramento State (16-9) enters arguably its most difficult week of the season as the team will play a pair of opponents that currently combine for a 48-13 record.

The Hornets will play a rare home and home on back-to-back days against San Jose State (22-10) on Tuesday (road) and Wednesday (home), and will host sixth-ranked Cal (26-3) on Saturday at 1 p.m. All three dates this week are single games with the Hornets playing at San Jose State on Tuesday at 1 p.m., and at home against the Spartans on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

Though Sacramento State began Big Sky Conference play last week by taking two of three games against Northern Colorado, the Hornets will get a bye from league play this week. With seven teams in the Big Sky, one team will receive a bye each week during the conference's seven-week season.

Immediately following the Cal game on Saturday, Sacramento State will honor nine of the top players in program history in an on-field ceremony. Each of the nine players are featured on a large banner that measures over 79 feet in width at the back side of the Shea Stadium grandstand. The nine players represent the program's Div. I All-Americans, and each of the Hornets who played professionally. A look at the list of players is below.

Sacramento State enters the week as winners of four of the last five, and 11 of its last 15 games. The team is 5-5 at home, 5-3 on the road, and 6-1 in neutral-site games.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS
Both home games this week will be broadcast live via audio stream at www.hornetsports.com by clicking here. Kyle Madson and Nate Goodyear, who are both in their fourth year calling Hornet softball, handle the announcing duties. In addition, live stats for all home games can be found by clicking here.

HORNETS AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
Tuesday in San Jose at 1 p.m.; Wednesday in Sacramento at 2:30 p.m.
Coverage on Tuesday: Live Stats
Coverage on Wednesday: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Hornets Lead, 32-27
Last Meeting: W, 8-2, in Sacramento (2/28/13)

HORNETS AGAINST CAL

Saturday, March 30, at 1 p.m.
Shea Stadium
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Cal Leads, 48-11
Streak: Cal has won four straight
Last Meeting: L, 8-0, in Berkeley (3/28/12)

FORMER HORNETS BEING HONORED ON SATURDAY

Immediately following Saturday's game against Cal, nine former Sacramento State softball players that either gained Div. I All-America status and/or went on to play professionally, will be honored in an on-field ceremony. Below are briefs on each of those players in alphabetical order.

- Tami Blunt (1993-96) -- A second team All-American in 1993 and two-time all-Western Athletic Conference selection (first team in 1993, second team in 1995), Blunt ranks second in Hornet Div. I program history (1990-pres.) in six different pitching categories. The owner of five career no-hitters, she finished with 61 wins, 90 complete games, 27 shutouts, 650 strikeouts and a 1.14 ERA.

- Susie Bugliarello (1994-97) -- Bugliarello is the only player in program history to have her jersey (#17) retired. A three-time All-American (second team in 1995 and 1996; third team in 1997), she pitched for Italy in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. The school's Div. I leader in innings (779.0), wins (72), starts (109), complete games (102), shutouts (43), strikeouts (945), no-hitters (six) and ERA (1.03).

- Izmena Cabrera (2008-09) -- A first team all-conference selection during both her seasons with the Hornets, the left fielder played for the Puerto Rican National Team as well as the National Pro Fastpitch League's Chicago Bandits in 2009. She owns the program's longest hitting streak (21 games in 2009) and her .371 career batting average is tied for the top mark in the program's Div. I era.

- Katie Cichy (1996-99) -- A three-time all-Big West Conference selection (first team in 1998 and 1999; second team in 1997), the shortstop was the 15th overall pick in the 1999 Women's Pro Softball League Senior Draft by the Durham Dragons. The program's Div. I-era leader in doubles, she also ranks in the top five in at-bats, hits, walks and assists.

- Terrie Cissna (1990-93) -- Cissna became the first Hornet All-American during the program's Div. I era when she was named to the second team in 1992 after batting .374 while playing in 56 games at catcher. She finished her tenure with a .310 batting average, and her career coincided with the team's first four seasons of Div. I play.

- Nicole Deatherage (2001-04) -- A two-time all-conference selection, the right-handed pitcher was taken in the sixth round by the Sacramento Sunbirds in the 2004 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft. She currently ranks among the top four players in the Hornets' Div. I record book in innings, wins, starts, complete games, shutouts and strikeouts.

- Gina Givogri (1994-96) -- A career .296 hitter and two-time all-Western Athletic Conference selection, the outfielder was selected to play for the United States Pan American qualifying team in Guatemala for 16 days, and spent three weeks with the 1995 gold medal-winning U.S. squad.

- Jamie Schloredt (2006-09) -- A two-time All-Region, two-time Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Year, and four-time first team all-league selection, the catcher played for the National Pro Fastpitch League's Chicago Bandits in 2009. She is the program's all-time leader in home runs (35), RBIs (149) and walks (103), and is tied for first in batting average (.371).

- Lindy Winkler (2003-06) -- Was a second team All-American, first team All-Region and the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Year in 2006 after setting four single-season program records, including a .434 batting average. The center fielder started all 222 games of her career while batting .358 with program records in at-bats (732), runs (140), hits (262) and triples (17).

PITCHING STAFF DOMINANCE: Sacramento State's pitching staff currently has a 1.95 ERA, which is easily the best mark in the Big Sky Conference, and now the 31st best mark in the nation. The staff has thrown a shutout in three of the last five games, has allowed two earned runs or less in seven of the last eight games, has allowed double figures in hits just once all season, and opponents have been limited to a .212 batting average.

PITCHING IN THE LAST FIVE GAMES: Over the last five games, Sacramento State's pitching staff has a 0.58 ERA, and has allowed the opposition just a .146 batting average. In 36.0 innings during that stretch, the Hornet trio of Caitlin Brooks, Jennifer Hartman and Kaitlyn Yerby has allowed just 18 hits (three of which went for extra bases) and nine walks with 35 strikeouts.

PITCHING DOMINATES THE BIG SKY WEEKLY AWARD: Through the first seven weeks of the season, Sacramento State pitchers have accounted for five Big Sky Pitcher of the Week awards. Caitlin Brooks already has earned the award four times, and Jennifer Hartman earned the award on one occasion.

BROOKS AMONG THE NATION'S LEADERS: Caitlin Brooks, who has established herself as the ace of the Hornet staff and the Big Sky's best pitcher thus far, ranks 14th in the nation in hits allowed per seven innings (3.83), and 20th in ERA (1.20).

LAYING IT DOWN: Sacramento State has already laid down 37 successful sacrifice bunts this year, which are 22 more than the next closest Big Sky team (Weber State with 15). The Hornets are averaging 1.5 sacrifices per game, and have dropped down at least one successful sacrifice in all but three games this season. The Hornets have two players ranked in the top 10 in the nation in sacrifices, comprised of shortstop Yesenia Alcala (5th at 0.44 per game) and first baseman Alyssa Vanderdrink (10th at 0.38 per game).

• GOOD GLOVES: Sacramento State's .968 fielding percentage is easily the best mark in the Big Sky, and the 47th best mark in the nation (among 291 Div. I teams). The Hornets' starting outfield has been especially impressive, as the trio of left fielder Alexa Chattleton, center fielder Kelli Frye and right fielder Paige Martin has yet to make an error in 77 combined total chances.

• HOLDING LEADS: Sacramento State is 11-2 when scoring first, 8-1 when leading after four innings, 10-0 when leading after five innings, and 8-0 when leading after six innings. In addition, the Hornets are 16-2 when outhitting the opposition.

• A LOOK THE BIG SKY STANDINGS: Through the first week of conference play, Sacramento State, Portland State and Weber State are 2-1 in league play while Northern Colorado, North Dakota and Southern Utah are 1-2. Idaho State was idle last week. This week's three-game conference series include Idaho State at Southern Utah, North Dakota at Northern Colorado, and Portland State at Weber State.

• COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH: Sacramento State is now hitting .324 (69-for-213) with runners in scoring position this season, 55 percentage points better than the team's overall average of .269. The Hornets have five starters hitting better than .320 with runners in scoring position, comprised of Paige Martin (.533), Kelli Frye (.500), Kayla Papez (.357), Makenzie Wayadande (.333) and Emily McCormick (.323).

• MARTIN REACHING BASE: Right fielder Paige Martin has reached base safely via hit and/or walk in nine straight, and 22 of the last 23 games. She had a hit in five straight at-bats spanning both games of Friday's doubleheader, and is now hitting a team-high .403 (the second best mark in the conference). There are still a lot of games remaining in the season, but only three players in the Hornets' Div. I history have hit .400 or better in a season (Lindy Winkler .434 in 2006; Desiree Beltran .413 in 2009; Jamie Schloredt .408 in 2008).

• LATE-GAME PAPEZ: Second baseman Kayla Papez has made a habit of late-game clutch hits, including her walkoff RBI-single in the eighth inning against Kansas two weeks ago. In the seventh inning or later, she is now batting .750 (6-for-8) with three RBIs.

• McCORMICK IN THE RECORD BOOKS: In Sacramento State's Div. I career record book (1990-pres.), fourth-year senior third baseman Emily McCormick is currently second in RBIs (99), tied for second in doubles (37), third in home runs (18), sixth in batting average (.324) and eighth in assists (340). She needs just two doubles to move all alone into first place in doubles (Katie Cichy currently has the record of 38).

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