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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State continues its eight-game homestand this week with five more contests at Shea Stadium.

That includes a doubleheader against Princeton on Tuesday at 1 p.m., followed by a three-game series against Big Sky Conference foe North Dakota on Friday and Saturday. The Hornets will play a doubleheader against North Dakota on Friday at noon, and a single game Saturday at noon. The three-game set will mark Sacramento State's first conference games of the season.

Sacramento State is 4-0 all-time against Princeton, and the Hornets and North Dakota have never played each other. Sacramento State's three-game series against North Dakota last season was cancelled because of poor weather conditions in Grand Forks.

The Hornets took two of three games from CSU Bakersfield last weekend, and are now 3-1 at home. Sacramento State still has eight home games remaining this month, including a three-game series against conference foe Southern Utah on March 28-29.

Last year, in the Big Sky's inaugural season of softball, Sacramento State finished with a 7-8 league record, which was good enough for fourth place in the seven-team league. The top four teams qualify for the double-elimination Big Sky Championship, and the Hornets assumed the No. 4 seed last year where they lost a pair of heartbreakers to Idaho State (10-9 in 8 innings) and Southern Utah (5-4).

Friday's doubleheader will serve as Breast Cancer Awareness Day, and will feature the Hornets wearing pink items to support and raise awareness for all cancer patients. Fans are also encouraged to wear pink, and a donation table will be set up at the entrance to Shea Stadium with all proceeds going to Sacramento's Mercy Hospital/Mercy Foundation.

Every home game this season will be broadcast live via audio stream at www.hornetsports.com. KSSU student radio will handle the announcing for every home game the rest of the season. In addition, live stats for all home games can be found via www.hornetsports.com.

vs. Princeton (2-9 this year)
Tuesday, March 18, at 1 p.m. - Doubleheader
Sacramento, Calif. - Shea Stadium
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: Sacramento State Leads, 4-0
Current Streak Against The Tigers: Won 4
Last Meeting: W, 10-1, in Sacramento - 3/18/12

vs. North Dakota (1-14 this year)
Friday-Saturday, March 21-22
Doubleheader on Friday at noon; Single game on Saturday at noon
Sacramento, Calif. - Shea Stadium
Coverage: Live Stats, Live Audio
Series Record: First Meeting


• Sacramento State has scored three runs or less in nine straight games, and during that nine-game stretch, the team is batting .200 (45-for-225) with 14 runs scored, 11 extra base hits and 10 RBIs. The Hornets are still finding ways to get on base, however, as the team's .335 on-base percentage is currently the third best mark in the Big Sky.

• The Hornets have been plunked by 27 pitches this year, easily the top mark in the conference. Six different Sacramento State players have been hit by two pitches or more. No one has felt the pain more than right fielder Paige Martin, who has been plunked 11 times, five more than any other Hornet. In fact, she is being hit by pitch an average of 0.48 times per game, the 10th highest mark in the nation.

• Sophomore Jennifer Hartman was extremely impressive over the weekend after the right-hander went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA against CSU Bakersfield. Hartman allowed just two hits and one unearned run in 10.2 innings of work. She went the distance in a complete-game victory over the Roadrunners in Saturday's 2-1 win, and then tossed 3.2 innings of hitless relief in a 2-1 victory on Sunday. In the process, Hartman lowered her season ERA to 3.14, and opponents are batting just .223 when she is in the circle.

• The Hornets' pitching staff of Caitlin Brooks, Jennifer Hartman, Taylor Stroud and Kaitlyn Yerby leads the Big Sky in ERA (2.97), complete games (15), shutouts (3), hits allowed (139) and runs allowed (78). The staff has yielded just five home runs in 146.1 innings thus far, and has gone five straight games without allowing a round tripper.

• Sacramento State is 7-0 when leading after four innings, and 0-11 when trailing after the fourth…the team is 9-4 when scoring first, and 1-9 when the opponent scores the first run of the game…Sacramento State has scored just five first-inning runs, the lowest total of any inning. The team has scored 16 times in the fourth inning, the highest total of any inning.

• The Hornets are batting .240 with runners in scoring position, and the team's best players in those situations have been Alexis Martinez (.364), Kortney Solis (.333), Alexa Chattleton (.333) and Nicole Clark (.333).

• Sacramento State is 15-for-17 in stolen base opportunities, including 5-for-6 from Alexa Chattleton and 3-for-3 from Paige Castro. All 15 of those stolen bases have come in the last 17 games.

• Of the 16 active non-pitchers on the roster, 14 different players have started games this year. Only Paige Castro, Kortney Solis and Paige Martin have started all 23 games, and only Martin has started each of those 23 games at the same position (right field).

• Alexa Chattleton reached base safely via hit or walk the first 18 games of the season until going 0-for-3 last week against Nevada in the first game of that doubleheader.

• Paige Castro has started games at second base and shortstop, and is batting .353 when starting at second compared to .293 when starting at shortstop.

Makenzie Wayadande has scored seven times in her 13 pinch-running appearances. The rest of the team has scored five times in a combined 17 pinch-running appearances.

• Seven different Hornets have tallied hitting streaks of at least four games or more this year, comprised of Alexa Chattleton (8-gamer and a 7-gamer), Paige Martin (6), Sasha Margulies (5-gamer and a 4-gamer), Paige Castro (5), Paris Prado (4), Shelby Johnston (4) and Kortney Solis (two 4-gamers).

February 5, 2014 2014 SOFTBALL SEASON OUTLOOK