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Big Sky All-Conference Team (pdf)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A school-record 11 members of the Sacramento State softball program received some form of all-Big Sky Conference recognition today, including two first team selections, three second teamers, and six that were named honorable mention.

In addition, junior right-hander Caitlin Brooks, who was a unanimous first team choice, was also unanimously selected as the Big Sky's Pitcher of the Year. With 11 players, that means the Hornets' entire starting lineup as well as the team's top two pitchers were honored today. The 11 selections surpasses the previous school record of nine, set during the 2010 season while the program was in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference.

The Big Sky, which is a seven-member league for softball, is currently in its second year of sponsoring softball, and the league will host its second Big Sky Championship later this week in Pocatello, Idaho. The tournament field will feature No. 1 seed Idaho State, No. 2 Sacramento State, No. 3 Southern Utah and No. 4 Northern Colorado.

Freshman third baseman Alexis Martinez joins Brooks as the Hornets' two first teamers. On the second team were junior right fielder Paige Martin, senior pitcher Taylor Stroud and sophomore catcher/designated player Kortney Solis. Receiving honorable mention accolades were sophomore first baseman Sasha Margulies, junior shortstop Paige Castro, junior center fielder Alexa Chattleton, junior left fielder Nicole Clark, senior second baseman Yesenia Alcala and freshman catcher Nikki Gialketsis.

Sacramento State concluded the regular season with a 24-19 overall record and a 12-4 mark against the Big Sky. The Hornets will begin the Big Sky Championship tomorrow at 3 p.m. PDT when they face No. 3 Southern Utah in the first round of the double-elimination tournament.

CAITLIN BROOKS (First Team; Pitcher of the Year)
Named first team all-league for the second straight year…is 9-5 with a 1.44 ERA, and opponents are hitting just .211 when she is in the circle…in 14 starts, she has thrown 13 complete games with two shutouts and 94 strikeouts in 92.1 innings of work…the 1.44 ERA is the best mark in the Big Sky and 23rd best in the nation…has allowed two earned runs or less in 12 of her 14 appearances…in her five losses, Sacramento State's offense combined to score five runs…after her start against Cal Poly on March 8, she did not pitch again until April 4 because of injury…against Big Sky competition, she is 5-1 with a league-best 1.62 ERA and .204 opponents batting average…has a 4.5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against the league (45 strikeouts and 10 walks in 39.0 innings)…a four-time Big Sky Pitcher of the Week award winner.

One of two freshmen named to the Big Sky's first team…a redshirt freshman after missing the final 36 games of last season with a knee injury…has played in 40 games this year, including 36 starts (33 at third base, three at designated player)…currently hitting .318 (35-for-110) with a pair of home runs and team-leading 24 RBIs…has committed just two errors all season long (.968 fielding percentage)…hitting .370 with runners in scoring position, .351 with two outs, and a team-high 15 of her 24 RBIs have come with two outs…leads the Hornets with eight multiple-RBI games, and had a nine-game hitting streak earlier in the year…against Big Sky competition, she is hitting .373 with a team-high 15 RBIs in 16 games…has gone 22 consecutive games, and 34 of the last 35 games without committing an error.

A fourth-year senior, this marks the second time she has earned all-league recognition as she was an honorable mention all-PCSC choice in 2011 as a freshman…overall, she is 7-6 with a 3.28 ERA and opponents are hitting just .254 when she is in the circle…in conference play, Stroud is 4-1 with a 1.75 ERA, the Big Sky's second best mark…Big Sky opposition is batting just .237 off Stroud, and she has yielded only six extra base hits in 36.0 innings of work…has 25 strikeouts compared to six walks against the league…has a team-high three shutouts, and those came against Iowa State, North Dakota and Portland State.

PAIGE MARTIN (Second Team)
A fourth-year junior (redshirt in 2012), she was named honorable mention all-Big Sky last season…one of three Hornets to start all 43 games this year, and each of those starts have come in right field…is batting .327 with seven doubles, two triples, three home runs, 16 RBIs, a .509 slugging percentage and a team-high .493 on-base percentage…has been hit by a pitch a school-record 26 times, and her average of 0.6 hit-by-pitches per game is the second best mark in the nation…has reached base safely (via hit, walk and/or hit-by-pitch) in 21 straight games and 40 of 43 games…has scored a team-high 29 runs…has three hitting streaks of at least five games…against Big Sky pitching, she is batting .378 with a .548 on-base percentage, the second best mark in the league.

A sophomore, Solis was an honorable mention all-Big Sky selection last year…one of three Hornets to start all 43 games this year, including 29 starts at designated player, and 14 at catcher…batting .323 (41-for-127) with 10 doubles, 17 RBIs and a .421 on-base percentage…has not committed an error all season…has 10 multiple-hit games, tied for the top mark on the team…has four hitting streaks of at least four games, including a recent eight-game streak (April 5-19)…hitting a team-best .410 (16-for-39) with runners in scoring position…strikes out just once every 9.1 at-bats…batting a team-high .392 against Big Sky competition, including a .510 slugging percentage and .458 on-base percentage

SASHA MARGULIES (Honorable Mention)
A sophomore, Margulies is in her first year with the Hornets after transferring from Ball State…amazingly, she failed to gain first or second team accolades despite batting a team-high .359 overall and .381 against Big Sky competition…her .536 on-base percentage against Big Sky pitching is the fourth best mark in the league…has played in 42 games, including 41 starts (36 at first base, five at designated player)…overall, she leads the team in batting average, hits (42)  and walks (20), and ranks second in on-base percentage (.460), doubles (9), RBIs (22) and slugging percentage (.479)…had an 11-game hitting streak earlier this season, tied for the seventh longest in Sacramento State's Div. I history (1990-pres.).

PAIGE CASTRO (Honorable Mention)
In her first active season with the Hornets, the junior transferred from Fairleigh Dickinson during the summer of 2012…one of three Hornets to start all 43 games, she has started 37 games at shortstop and six at second base…hitting .328, the second best mark on the team…also has three doubles, four triples, 12 RBIs and a .349 on-base percentage…tied for the team lead in multiple-hit games with 10…had a seven-game hitting streak earlier this season…against Big Sky pitching, she is batting .352, and her 12 runs scored against league opposition are the second best mark on the team.

ALEXA CHATTLETON (Honorable Mention)
Has played in all 43 games, including 42 starts…currently the team's starting center fielder, she has started 25 games in center field and 17 in left…batting .279 with 26 runs cored, nine doubles, four triples, 17 RBIs, 17 walks, 11 stolen bases and a .373 on-base percentage…is 11-for-13 in stolen base opportunities, and the 11 bags are tied for the third best single-season mark in Hornet Div. I history (1990-pres.)…reached base safely in 18 straight games, and had an eight-game hitting streak earlier in the year…against Big Sky opposition, she is batting .278 with five stolen bases, a .344 on-base percentage and has yet to commit an error in 16 league games.

NICOLE CLARK (Honorable Mention)
In her third season with the program, the junior has appeared in 36 games, including 26 starts (all in left field)…has started all 16 conference games in left field…overall, she is batting .301 with 14 runs scored and six stolen bases in seven attempts…had an eight-game hitting streak, and hit safely in 12 of 13 games during a stretch from March 18-April 12…hitting .344 with runners in scoring position and .346 with two outs in an inning…against Big Sky competition, she is hitting .333 with nine runs scored.

YESENIA ALCALA (Honorable Mention)
A fourth-year senior…has started in 37 games, including 34 starts at second base and three at shortstop…has started all 16 league games at second base, and is batting .282 against Big Sky opposition with 11 runs scored, nine RBIs and a .356 on-base percentage…has committed just one error in conference play, good for a .980 fielding percentage…the Hornets are 22-12 when Alcala starts games at second base.

NIKKI GIALKETSIS (Honorable Mention)
A true freshman from Manhattan Beach, Calif…has appeared in 19 games, including 17 starts (14 at catcher, three at designated player)…overall, she is batting .306 with a .404 on-base percentage…has committed just one error all season, good for a .986 fielding percentage…had an eight-game hitting streak, which is tied for the third longest by a Hornet this year…batting .381 with runners in scoring position…has started 11 of the team's 16 conference games, and is hitting .375 against Big Sky opposition to go along with a .429 on-base percentage.

February 5, 2014 2014 SOFTBALL SEASON OUTLOOK