SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Sophomore Caitlin Brooks threw a two-hit shutout against Cal Poly, and the Hornets racked up season highs in runs (13) and hits (15) against Northern Illinois as Sacramento State won two more games Saturday at the Mustang Softball Classic.
The Hornets defeated tournament host Cal Poly in the first game by a 2-0 score before mercy ruling Northern Illinois, 13-5, in six innings during the second game of the day.
With the victories, Sacramento State (12-5) has now won seven straight games, and improved to 4-0 at the three-day tournament. The Hornets, who also beat Rutgers and Nevada yesterday, conclude the Mustang Classic tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. against Cal Poly.
Sacramento State's 12-5 record is the best after 17 games since the 1995 season. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the Hornet pitching staff has a 2.16 team ERA, and the team's offense is hitting .284 with a .359 on-base percentage. Over the last three games, Sacramento State's offense is batting .385 with 24 runs scored, 21 RBIs and a .527 slugging percentage.
In the win over Cal Poly, Brooks was dominant, allowing just two singles and three walks while striking out three batters over seven innings. She threw 102 pitches, did not allow a runner past second base, and retired 10 straight batters between the fourth and seventh innings. Brooks, who has thrown a complete game in all eight of her starts this year, improved to 7-1 with a 1.35 ERA. She has allowed just 38 hits in 62.0 innings, and opponents are hitting just .174 when she is in the circle.
Sacramento State scored single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, and that was more than enough run support for Brooks. Both runs came on two-out, RBI-singles from Alexa Chattleton that scored Kayla Papez. Chattleton was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Papez was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Papez, who exited last night's game in the fourth inning with an injury, came back in a major way today, reaching base safely in all three of her at-bats, including a second-inning double. Kortney Solis also had a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-3.
Cal Poly's Nicole Innamorato (1-3) got the loss, allowing two runs and seven hits over 5.1 innings. Sacramento State had other opportunities to score, stranding the bases loaded in the second inning, and two runners in both the fourth and sixth innings.
In the nightcap, Sacramento State's victory was highlighted by its second seven-run inning in as many days. Yesterday, the Hornets had a seven-run second inning in a 9-7 win over Nevada. Today, the Hornets scored seven times in the third inning, and twice more in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Six different Sacramento State players had multiple-hit games, nine players scored at least one run, and seven players had at least one RBI. Makenzie Wayadande (3-for-4 with two RBIs), Nicole Clark (2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs), Kelli Frye (2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs), Yesenia Alcala (2-for-5 with a run and RBI), Emily McCormick (2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs) and Paige Martin (2-for-3 with a run and an RBI) all had multiple-hit games.
The Hornets' seven-run third inning was highlighted by a two-run single from Frye, RBI-singles from McCormick, Wayadande and Clark, and an RBI-double from Solis. Sacramento State sent 13 batters to the plate in an inning which saw Wayadande single twice.
After Northern Illinois countered with four runs in the fourth inning to close the deficit to 7-4, the Hornets scored twice in the bottom of the fourth (highlighted by a Wayadande RBI-single), twice in the fifth (RBI-triple from Martin and an RBI-double from McCormick) and twice more in the sixth (RBI-triple from Clark and an RBI-single from Alcala). The single from Alcala was a walk-off as it put into effect the eight-run mercy rule and ended the game after six innings.
Taylor Stroud (3-2) picked up her second relief win in as many days, allowing four hits and one run in three innings of work. Kaitlyn Yerby threw the first three-plus innings. Northern Illinois used three pitchers and none were effective as Jessica Sturm (3-5) got the loss, allowing eight runs (five earned) and eight hits in 3.2 innings.
NOTES -- Martin's streak of reaching base safely via hit and/or walk in 13 straight games came to a close after going 0-for-4 against Cal Poly…McCormick's career-high nine-game hitting streak came to an end after going 0-for-3 against Cal Poly…Solis has now reached base safely in 10 straight games after combining for three more hits today.