SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sophomore left-hander Kaitlyn Yerby threw a six-hit shutout to highlight Sacramento State's 4-0 victory over Princeton in the second game of a non-conference softball doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Tigers won the first game by a 3-1 score.
Today's doubleheader served as the final tune-up for conference as the Hornets open Big Sky play at home later this week for a three-game series against North Dakota. Sacramento State was also playing the fourth and fifth contest of a season-long eight-game homestand that will take them through the North Dakota series.
The Hornets moved their record to 11-14 while Princeton is now 3-10.
Yerby threw the first shutout of her collegiate career after allowing just six hits (five singles) with one walk and two strikeouts. She threw 93 pitches, faced just six batters over the minimum, and lowered her season ERA to a 2.62. The Modesto, Calif., native allowed a pair of singles in both the first and second innings, and, after working out of those jams, she gave up just two hits the rest of the way. She retired 16 of the final 19 batters she faced spanning the second through the seventh innings.
"Kaitlyn was phenomenal today," Sacramento State head coach Lori Perez said. "She's been working very hard, and gave us some really good innings today. When she got in a little trouble early on, she was able to make good pitches. She induced a lot of ground ball outs and some pop-ups, and when she is on her game, these are the type of results we will see."
The Hornets scored all four of their runs in the second inning, benefitting from a crucial error by Princeton right fielder Marissa Reynolds. With two outs and runners at second and third base, Yesenia Alcala hit a routine fly ball that Reynolds slightly overran, and after reaching back, she dropped the ball allowing both runs to score. Paige Martin then followed with a two-run double to give the Hornets a 4-0 lead.
That was more than enough run support for Yerby (1-1), who was a big factor in the game finishing in a swift one hour and 31 minutes. Erica Nori (1-2) took the loss for Princeton, allowing six hits and four unearned runs while striking out four batters over six innings.
Alexis Martinez finished 2-for-2 with a walk for the Hornets while Martin had a double and two RBIs. T.J. Watts, Alexa Chattleton and Nicole Clark all had stolen bases.
Sacramento State had seven hits off Princeton pitchers Shanna Christian and Meredith Brown, but pushed across just one run while leaving 10 runners on base. The Hornets stranded multiple runners on base in three different innings, including leaving the bases loaded twice. Perhaps the most disheartening of all the stranded runners was a leadoff triple by Paige Castro in the fifth inning that the Hornets were not able to cash in for a run.
Trailing, 3-0, in the bottom of the seventh, the Hornets mounted a big threat, loading the bases with two outs. Sasha Margulies worked a walk to plate one run, but Alcala grounded out on an 0-1 pitch to end the game. Sacramento State outhit Princeton, 7-4, and got hits from six different players, including Martin who was 2-for-3.
The Tigers scored twice in the fifth inning and once more in the sixth as Danielle Allen and Emily Viggers both had RBIs. Christian (2-3) picked up the win, allowing four hits with nine strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Brown earned her first save of the season, allowing one run and three hits in 2.2 innings.
For Sacramento State, sophomore Jennifer Hartman (3-4) got the loss, yielding four hits and three runs (two earned) in seven innings of work.
NOTES -- Sacramento State's three-game series against North Dakota later this week will begin with a doubleheader on Friday at noon, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon…Friday is breast cancer awareness day, and fans are encouraged to wear pink…Princeton's win in the first game of today's doubleheader was its first ever against Sacramento State…the Hornets are now 5-1 all-time against the Tigers…the Hornets' four runs in the nightcap marked the first time in 11 games the team has scored more than three runs…Margulies hit safely in both games today, and now has a four-game hitting streak…the Hornets are now 10-4 when scoring the first run of a game.