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SOFTBALL SPLITS A PAIR OF GAMES IN THE FIRST DAY OF THE GAEL CLASSIC

MORAGA, Calif. -- Freshman Shelby Johnston combined for four hits, including a double and homer, and junior Caitlin Books pitched a gem against Boise State as Sacramento State split its first two games of the Gael Softball Classic Saturday afternoon at Cottrell Field.

The Hornets opened the day by losing to Saint Mary's, 4-2, before coming back a couple hours later to defeat Boise State by a 3-1 score. Sacramento State concludes the two-day tournament tomorrow against these same two teams, taking on Boise State at 10 a.m. and Saint Mary's at 2 p.m.

With the split, Sacramento State has won six of its last nine games while improving to 6-6 overall. Boise State dropped to 7-10, and Saint Mary's improved to 6-11.

vs. BOISE STATE

Johnston's two-run single in the fifth inning broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winning hit in the Hornets' 3-1 victory. The inning began with back-to-back singles by Paige Castro and Alexa Chattleton, and both runners later advanced to second and third on a wild pitch before Johnston's single to right field drove home both runs.

Johnston also had a hand in the Hornets' first run in the fourth as she began the inning with a double before Kortney Solis followed with an RBI-double to tie the score at 1-1. Both teams combined for just 11 hits, but Boise State stranded eight runners on base. Five of those runners were left on base during the final two innings, including a stressful seventh in which Brooks got No. 3 hitter MacKenzie Whyte to pop out with the bases loaded to end the game. Brooks also got out of a second and third situation with one out in the sixth.

Five different Hornets collected hits in the game, including Johnston who finished 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. Chattleton and Castro both had one hit and one run.

Brooks (3-3) won her third straight start, allowing just five hits and one run with five strikeouts over seven innings. Boise State's Rebecca Patton took the loss, allowing three runs and six hits over five innings.

vs. SAINT MARY'S

Saint Mary's Christine Torrise had a two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning that snapped a 2-2 tie and gave the Gaels a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish. The inning started innocently as the first two Gael batters were retired by Hornet starter Taylor Stroud. However, back-to-back singles by Sarah Lira and Andrea Hazel and a wild pitch set up Torrise's at-bat.

One inning earlier, Sacramento State erased a 2-0 deficit on a solo homer from Johnston and an RBI-double from Paige Martin. The home run for Johnston was the first of her collegiate career, and the first round tripper by a Hornet this season. The Hornets had runners at second and third with one out later in the inning, but could not score.

Sacramento State left 10 runners on base, including stranding multiple runners in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings. The Hornets had the potential tying runners aboard in the seventh inning, but Saint Mary's reliever Sarah Lira retired Martin and Paris Prado to end the game.

Lujane Mussadi (2-6) got the win for the Gaels, scattering nine hits while allowing just the two runs over six innings. Lira picked up her first save of the season after pitching a scoreless seventh inning. Stroud got the loss for the Hornets, allowing six hits and four runs over six innings.

Johnston (2-for-4 with a run and an RBI), Solis (2-for-4) and Alexis Martinez (3-for-4) each had multiple-hit games for Sacramento State.

NOTES -- Johnston finished the day 4-for-7 with two runs, a double, home run and three RBIs…the Hornets have not committed an error in four straight games…Martin had her six-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-2 with a walk against Boise State…Johnston has hit safely in four straight games…Chattleton and Solis have reached base safely in all 12 games this year.

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