SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Sacramento State overcame a sixth-inning deficit with one run in the sixth, and three more in the seventh, on the way to a 4-1 victory over Rutgers in the first round of the Mustang Softball Classic Friday afternoon at Bob Janssen Field.
The Hornets won their fourth game in a row, and six of the last eight, while improving to 9-5 this season. This afternoon marked the first of five games Sacramento State will play during the three-day tournament, including a second-round game this evening against Nevada at 7 p.m. The Hornets will also play twice tomorrow, and once more on Sunday.
Sacramento State is now 4-2 when trailing after five innings this season, and 3-1 when tied after six innings.
Trailing, 1-0, in the top of the sixth, the Hornets got an RBI-single from Kayla Papez which scored Paige Martin from third base. The Hornets had runners at the corners with one out, but Riley Price lined into a double play to end the inning.
Sacramento state broke things open in the seventh inning with three runs and four hits. All three runs were scored after two outs had been recorded. Alyssa Vanderdrink led off the inning with a single to center, and was sacrificed to second base. A Kelli Frye single put runners at the corners with one out before Yesenia Alcala hit a fly ball that wasn't deep enough to score the run from second base. That set up McCormick's at-bat as the fourth-year senior drove a 1-2 pitch to the right field gap for a two-run triple. Martin followed with an infield single to add an insurance run and provide the game's final tally.
Hornet right-hander Caitlin Brooks (6-1) continued her impressive season, allowing just four hits and one unearned run in seven innings of work. She threw 99 pitches, retired the side in order in the seventh inning, and improved her season ERA to 1.53. Brooks' six wins already matches her total from all of last season when she finished her freshman campaign with a 6-5 record.
Martin finished the game 3-for-3 with a run, double, and an RBI, and has now reached base safely via hit and/or walk in 12 straight games. McCormick's two-run triple extended her hitting streak to a career-high eight straight games. In addition, Martin (5), Kelli Frye (4) and Papez (4) all have hitting streaks of at least four games.
Through the first five innings, the Hornets had just two hits, but combined for six hits over the final two innings. Rutgers starter Alyssa Landrith (4-3) got the loss for the Scarlet Knights, allowing eight hits and four runs over seven innings.
No Rutgers players had more than one hit, and the Nos. 6-9 batters in the team's lineup combined to go 0-for-11.