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SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO FRESNO FOR FIVE GAMES OVER THREE DAYS

SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO FRESNO FOR FIVE GAMES OVER THREE DAYS

Sacramento State Game Notes (26 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

THE WEEK AHEAD

• Winners of two straight games, both coming via seventh-inning rallies, Sacramento State (2-1) will play five games over three days this week at the Fresno State Kickoff on Margie Wright Diamond on the Fresno State campus.
• The Hornets will take on both UC Davis (2-4) and Cal (4-0) on Friday at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively. On Saturday, Sacramento State will play twice more against Santa Clara (1-5) and UC Riverside (3-2) at 11:15 a.m. and 3:45 p.m., respectively. The Hornets wrap up tournament play with another meeting against UC Riverside on Sunday at 9 a.m.
• This year marks the fourth straight season the Hornets will compete at the Fresno State Kickoff. The team has combined for a 9-6 record at the tournament over the past three seasons.
• This year also marks the fourth straight season Sacramento State has played UC Riverside at the tourney, as the Hornets have compiled a 3-2 record over the Highlanders during that time.
• Sacramento State opened the season last week at the So Cal Collegiate Classic, losing to Long Beach State (8-0) before bouncing back to defeat both Northwestern State (4-2) and Loyola Marymount (4-1). In both victories, the Hornets snapped ties with runs in the top of the seventh.
• Amazingly, despite the season being just three games old, all 20 players on the Hornets' roster have seen game action this year, comprised of 16 position players and four pitchers.
• This weekend will mark the end of a stretch that will see Sacramento State play each of its first eight games away from home, as the team's home opener will come via doubleheader against Saint Mary's on Saturday, Feb. 21, at noon.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS FOR THE SEASON

• Live stats for every game this season can be found on the softball schedule at www.hornetsports.com by clicking on the link next to each game on the schedule.
Live audio will be available for every Sacramento State home game courtesy of KSSU Student Radio. Links to live audio can also be found on the softball schedule.

VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS

• Sacramento State is 62-35 all-time against UC Davis. The two teams split their two-game series last season with each team winning on its home field.
• The Hornets are 11-50 all-time against Cal, and the Golden Bears have won six straight in the series. The Hornets' last win over the Bears came in a 2-1 victory in eight innings at home on March 24, 2009.
• Sacramento State owns a 71-21 all-time record against Santa Clara, good for a robust .772 winning percentage. Amazingly, Sacramento State has won 27 straight games against the Broncos.
• The Hornets are 9-7 all-time against UC Riverside, including 7-4 when playing at a neutral site. In fact, each of the teams' last 11 meetings dating back to 2007 have come on a neutral field.

RELIEF PITCHERS CARRYING THE LOAD THUS FAR

• Through three games, there has been a stark contrast between the success of Hornet starting pitchers compared to the team's relievers.
• Relief pitchers Kaitlyn Yerby and Celina Matthias have been nearly untouchable, combining for a 2-0 record and a 0.00 ERA, allowing just four hits and no runs with eight strikeouts in 11.1 innings.
• Hornet starting pitchers have combined to allow nine hits, 11 walks, three hit batters and 11 runs (five earned) in just 6.2 innings. That breaks down to a 5.25 ERA with just three strikeouts.
• Both Yerby and Matthias pitched at least 5.1 innings of relief in their appearances with Yerby getting the victory against Northwestern State and Matthias getting the win at Loyola Marymount.

PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE COMING BACK

• Second-year head coach Lori Perez will oversee a roster that returns 16 players from last season's team, including eight position starters and three pitchers.
• The Hornets return starters at catcher (Nikki Gialketsis), first base (Sasha Margulies), shortstop (Paige Castro), third base (Alexis Martinez), left field (Nicole Clark), center field (Alexa Chattleton), right field (Paige Martin) and designated player (Kortney Solis).
• All eight of those players received some form of all-league recognition last season, including first teamer Martinez and second teamers Martin and Solis. The remaining five were each selected honorable mention all-conference.
• Three pitchers, comprised of Caitlin Brooks, Kaitlyn Yerby and Jennifer Hartman, also return. Brooks, who is the reigning Big Sky Pitcher of the Year and second team all-region selection, leads a pitching staff that paced the conference in ERA (2.83) and ERA against league opposition (2.22).

SPREADING OUT THE PLAYING TIME

• All 16 position players have appeared in at least one game this year, and 12 of those players have garnered the start in at least one game. Only three players have yet to receive an at-bat, and those three each appeared in games as a pinch runner.
• In addition, all four pitchers have at least one appearance under their belts.

HORNET NOTABLES

• Sacramento State pitchers have limited the damage when getting into trouble, holding opponents to a .217 (5-for-23) average with runners in scoring position, a .188 (6-for-32) average with runners on base, and the opposition is just 1-for-9 in driving in a runner from third base with less than two outs.
• Dating back to last year, Paige Martin, who crushed a three-run seventh inning homer on Saturday at Loyola Marymount, now has four home runs in her last 27 at-bats. This comes after totalling just three home runs during the first 367 at-bats of her collegiate career.
• Second baseman Kayla Papez, who missed an extended amount of time last year with a shoulder injury, is the only Hornet to hit safely in all three games thus far. In three games, she is batting .375 (3-for-8) with two runs scored, a double, and a .444 on-base percentage.
• Dating back to last year, Martin has hit safely in 11 of her last 12 games.
• After committing three errors in the first 19 fielding opportunities of the season, Sacramento State has fielded 68 straight chances flawlessly spanning all the way back to the fourth inning at Long Beach State.
• In five chances with a runner at third base and less than two outs, the Hornets have driven in the run on four of those occasions. That includes Jessica Ravetti, who is 2-for-3 in those situations thus far.
• Five of the Hornets' eight runs scored this season have come in the seventh inning.