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FRESNO, Calif. — Sacramento State pounded out nine runs and 12 hits, and mercy ruled UC Riverside, 9-1, in five innings in the fourth round of the Fresno State Softball Kickoff Saturday afternoon at Bulldog Diamond.

After combining to score just three runs during its first three games of the season, Sacramento State combined to score 20 runs on 27 hits in today's victories over CSU Bakersfield (W, 11-6) and UC Riverside.

The Hornets (2-3 overall, 2-2 at the tournament) conclude the Fresno State Kickoff tomorrow morning against UC Riverside at 11:15 a.m.

Four different Sacramento State players combined for four hits in the team's two victories today, including Paige Castro (4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Paris Prado (4-for-7, 4 runs, 2 RBIs), Alexis Martinez (4-for-7, 1 run, 4 RBIs) and Kortney Solis (4-for-8, 1 run, 3 RBIs). Sasha Margulies and Nicole Clark combined for three RBIs during the day as well.

In this afternoon's win over the Highlanders (1-6), eight of the Hornets' nine starters hit safely, including Castro who was 3-for-3.

The Hornets scored a run in the second, two more in the third, and broke things open with five in the fourth inning. UC Riverside scored a run to cut the Hornet lead to 8-1 in the top of the fifth, but a two-out, walk-off RBI-single from Prado in the bottom of the fifth gave the Hornets an eight-run lead and enforced the mercy rule.

Prado finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs and Martinez was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. After being held hitless in the first inning, the Hornets had 12 hits during the final four innings.

Highlighting Sacramento State's scoring was an RBI-single from Martinez in the first, an RBI-bunt single for Paige Martin and RBI-double for Sasha Margulies in the third, an RBI-single from Kortney Solis and sacrifice fly from Nicole Clark in the fourth, and Prado's walk-off single in the fifth.

Pitching on her birthday, senior right-hander Taylor Stroud (1-1) got the win, allowing five hits and one run over five innings. She threw just 68 pitches while walking one and striking out a batter.

Five Hornets are now hitting at least .400 during the young season, comprised of Prado (.462), Castro (.429), Clark (.429), Solis (.417) and Martinez (.400).

February 5, 2014 2014 SOFTBALL SEASON OUTLOOK