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February 27, 2013

SOFTBALL EARNS DOUBLEHEADER SPLIT WITH UC DAVIS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento State freshman Alyssa Vanderdrink's walk-off sacrifice bunt scoring Yesenia Alcala from third base highlighted a 5-4, nine-inning win over UC Davis in the first game of a non-conference softball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Aggies won the nightcap, 4-1, in a game that was shortened to five innings because of darkness.

With the split, the Hornets, who moved their record to 5-5 this season, now own a 61-34 all-time record in the series against UC Davis. The Aggies improved to 8-10, and snapped a four-game losing streak against Sacramento State with the second-game victory. Both games counted in the ScholarShare Causeway Cup points standings.

Today marked just the second and third home games for Sacramento State this season, and the team doesn't return to the friendly confines again until hosting the Capital Classic March 15-17.

In the opener, both teams battled back and forth as there were four lead changes, and a combined 19 runners left on base in a game that lasted nearly three hours. The Hornets scored three runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by a Kelli Frye RBI-single, to take what looked like a commanding 3-1 lead. However, the Aggies took advantage of a Hornet error in the sixth to score a pair of runs and tie the game at 3-3.

UC Davis went ahead, 4-3, in the top of the seventh on an RBI-double from JJ Wagoner only to see the Hornets answer with an RBI-single from Emily McCormick to tie the score in the bottom half of the inning. After the McCormick single, Sacramento State still had the bases loaded and just one out, but could not push across the winning run.

Hornet starter Caitlin Brooks, who threw 153 pitches while going all nine innings, seemed to get stronger in the later innings. The sophomore retired the final eight batters she faced, which included striking out the side in the ninth. In the bottom half of the ninth, Alcala reached based on an error and was pushed to second on a McCormick single. Paige Martin then sacrificed the runners to second and third, which set up Vanderdrink's at-bat.

Vanderdrink, who is a true freshman, laid down a well-executed bunt on a 1-1 count that allowed Alcala to race home from third base and barely beat the tag of UC Davis catcher Kelly Schulze. The play ended a game that saw both teams squander many other scoring opportunities. That included Sacramento State failing to score in the eight inning after putting runners at second and third with one out.

Brooks (4-1) picked up her team-high fourth win of the season, allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) while walking one and striking out a career-high 10 batters. She has now gone the distance in all five of her starts, and opponents are hitting just .199 when she is in the circle. UC Davis used three pitchers in the game, and Marissa Chapa (0-1) took the loss, allowing one hit and one unearned run in 1.0 inning of work.

Frye (2-for-5), McCormick (2-for-5) and Kortney Solis (2-for-4) all had multiple-hit games for the Hornets.

In the nightcap, UC Davis got two runs in both the third and fifth innings, and took advantage of darkness which began to overtake Shea Stadium around 5:45 p.m. Games are official after five innings, which allowed the Aggies to walk away with the 4-1, 5-inning victory. The Aggies scored two unearned runs in the third inning, and a two-out, two-run single by Megan Guzman highlighted the fifth.

The Hornets pushed their lone run across in the third inning on an RBI-double from McCormick which scored Alcala all the way from first base. Sacramento State had other opportunities to score, but left a pair of runners on base in the first, third and fifth innings.

UC Davis starter Leah Munden (3-3) picked up the win, allowing four hits and one run over five innings. Sacramento State starter Taylor Stroud (1-2) got the loss, allowing eight hits and four runs (two earned) in five innings.

Guzman, who finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBIs, was the only player in the game with more than one hit. Alcala, McCormick, Paige Martin and Alexa Chattleton all had hits for the Hornets.

Sacramento State returns to action for a three-game road series this weekend at Santa Clara. The Hornets and Broncos will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by a single game on Sunday at 11 a.m.

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