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Winners of seven of the last eight games, the Sacramento State softball squad will host the 21st-annual Capital Classic this Friday-Sunday, March 15-17.

The three-day tournament will feature 10 games, including three on Friday, four on Saturday, and three more on Sunday. Tournament participants include Sacramento State (12-6), Fresno State (15-11), Kansas (19-5), Saint Mary's (4-16) and Texas State (3-19). All games will be played on campus at Shea Stadium.

Games will take place on Friday at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., Saturday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Sunday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each team will play four games over the three days, with Sacramento State playing Friday against Texas State (noon), Saturday vs. both Saint Mary's (1 p.m.) and Fresno State (3 p.m.), and Sunday against Kansas (11 a.m.). For complete tournament information, including schedule, ticket prices and more, CLICK HERE.

Sacramento State is 54-44 all-time in Capital Classic play while Kansas will be making its seventh appearance (17-17 in Capital Classic play), Saint Mary's its fourth appearance (2-15 in Capital Classic play), and both Fresno State and Texas State will be making their first-ever trip to the tournament.

All 20 home games this season will be broadcast live via audio stream at www.hornetsports.com by clicking here. Nate Goodyear and Kyle Madson, who are both entering their fourth year calling Hornet softball, will handle the announcing duties again in 2013. In addition, live stats for all home games can be found by clicking here.

Friday, March 15, at noon
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Hornets Lead, 2-0
Streak: Hornets have won two straight
Last Meeting: W, 4-1, in San Diego (3/1/96)

Saturday, March 16, at 1 p.m.
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Hornets Lead, 56-14
Streak: Gaels have won one straight
Last Meeting: L, 2-0, in Moraga (2/16/13)

Saturday, March 16, at 3 p.m.
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Bulldogs Lead, 32-10
Streak: Bulldogs have won one straight
Last Meeting: L, 3-2, in Fresno (2/10/13)


Sunday, March 17, at 11 a.m.
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Hornets Lead, 3-1
Streak: Hornets have won three straight
Last Meeting: W, 7-4, in Sacramento (3/20/07)


• AGAINST THE CAPITAL CLASSIC FIELD: Sacramento State is a combined 71-47 against the four opponents it will see at this week's Capital Classic. That includes a 56-14 record against Saint Mary's, 10-32 vs. Fresno State, 3-1 against Kansas, and 2-0 vs. Texas State. Sacramento State has already played both Fresno State and Saint Mary's this year, but will be playing Kansas for the first time since 2007, and Texas State for the first time since 1996.

• HORNETS ALL-TIME IN CAPITAL CLASSIC PLAY: Sacramento State is 54-44 all-time in Capital Classic play, including three tournament championships (1995, 1996, 2006) and one runner-up finish. Years ago, the tournament field included anywhere between 11 and 16 teams, and was run at the Sacramento Softball Complex which has four fields. Since the tournament moved to Shea Stadium on campus in 2009, the field has been condensed to five teams and a champion of the tournament is no longer declared.

Sacramento State had their seven-game winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss to Cal Poly on Sunday. The streak, which began on March 2, included victories over Santa Clara, Rutgers, Nevada, Cal Poly and Northern Illinois. The winning streak matched the program's 10th longest since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990. The 2003 squad won 10 straight, the 1994, 1995 and 2012 squads won nine in a row, and five teams won eight straight (1995, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009).

• OFFENSE ROLLING: Through the first 10 games of the season, Sacramento State's offense was hitting .238 while averaging just 2.3 runs and 6.4 hit per game. However, over the last eight games, the Hornets are batting .335 while averaging 5.3 runs and 9.5 hits per game. Also, during that eight-game stretch, the team has 39 RBIs and a .410 on-base percentage. Sacramento State has totalled at least seven hits in each of those eight games after doing so just four times in the first 10 games of the season. The Hornets are now hitting .282 as a team, the second best mark in the Big Sky Conference. In addition, five Hornets with at least 10 hits this season are currently batting .300 or better, comprised of Paige Martin (.383), Kelli Frye (.310), Emily McCormick (.305), Kayla Papez (.303) and Kortney Solis (.300).

• PITCHING CONTINUES TO IMPRESS: Sacramento State's pitching staff continues to impress, as the team's 2.11 ERA is easily the best mark in the Big Sky, and is now the 45th best mark in the nation. The Hornets have three pitchers with ERA's below 2.50, comprised of Caitlin Brooks (1.35), Taylor Stroud (2.21) and Jennifer Hartman (2.45). The staff has allowed more than three earned runs in just two games this year, and opponents have yet to tally double figures in hits in any game this season. Opponents are batting .228, and have combined to hit just five home runs in 126.0 innings against Sacramento State pitching.

Through the first five weeks of the season, Sacramento State pitchers have accounted for four Big Sky Pitcher of the Week awards. Sophomore Caitlin Brooks already has earned the award three times (including this week) and freshman Jennifer Hartman earned the award on one occasion.

Sacramento State has already laid down 30 successful sacrifice bunts this year, or an average of 1.7 per game. The team has two players in the top 10 in the nation in sacrifices, and three in the top 75. Shortstop Yesenia Alcala is third in the nation with an average of 0.56 sacrifices per game, followed by Alyssa Vanderdrink (seventh in the nation with 0.43 per game) and third baseman Emily McCormick (75th, 0.22).

The Hornets are currently 18th in the nation in triples per game (0.33), 45th in ERA (2.11), 46th in fielding percentage (.969) and 56th in winning percentage (.667). There are a total of 291 Div. I institutions that sponsor softball.

• A LOOK THE BIG SKY STANDINGS: At 12-6, Sacramento State is the only squad among the seven-team Big Sky Conference with a record above the .500 mark. In fact, no other team is better than four games below .500. The Big Sky is currently in its first year with softball. The Hornets will open league play next weekend with a three-game home series against Northern Colorado.

• COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH: Sacramento State is now hitting .348 (57-for-164) with runners in scoring position this season, 66 percentage points better than the team's overall average of .282. Nearly the entire starting lineup is hitting well with runners in scoring position, led by Kayla Papez (.571), Paige Martin (.520), Makenzie Wayadande (.500), Kelli Frye (.455), Kortney Solis (.353), and Emily McCormick (.308).

• MARTIN ON FIRE: Over the last eight games, sophomore right fielder Paige Martin is batting .500 (15-for-30) with six runs, two doubles, two triples, seven RBIs, a .700 slugging percentage and a .531 on-base percentage. She has five multiple-hit games over that stretch, and was named the Big Sky Conference's Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Though still early in the season, sophomore pitcher Caitlin Brooks has been the team's most consistent, and best player. Brooks is off to an incredible start that has seen her go 7-1 with a 1.35 ERA. She has thrown a complete game in all eight of her starts, opponents are batting just .174, she has allowed just 38 hits and 15 walks in 62.0 innings, and opponents have combined to hit just two home runs. She has allowed three earned runs or less in all eight of her starts, and currently leads the Big Sky in wins, ERA and opponents batting average.

• SOLIS STREAKING: True freshman catcher Kortney Solis has reached base safely via hit and/or walk in 11 straight games, the second longest streak by a Sacramento State player this year. During that 11-game stretch, Solis is batting .393 (11-for-28) with a .464 slugging percentage and .452 on-base percentage.