SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Saint Mary's overcame late deficits in both games to eventually sweep a non-conference softball doubleheader from Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Saint Mary's won the first game, 7-6, in eight innings before taking the second game by a 4-2 score.
The Gaels were erased a 2-0 deficit in the fifth inning of the first game, and came back from a 2-1 deficit in the sixth inning of the nightcap.
With the sweep, Saint Mary's improves its record to 5-8 while the Hornets dropped to 3-7.
Sacramento State, which was playing its home opener, concludes its brief three-game homestand on Tuesday against Pacific for a single game at 2 p.m.
Of the Hornets' last four losses, three have come in extra innings. The losses overshadowed a big day from Sacramento State junior Sasha Margulies. The first baseman combined to hit .714 (5-for-7) with two runs, a double, two home runs, five RBIs and 12 total bases during the doubleheader.
Saint Mary's scored a run in the top of the eight inning without the benefit of a hit, taking advantage of two hit-by-pitches, a walk and a Hornet error. With the bases loaded and two outs, Hornet reliever Jennifer Hartman got Shannon Low to ground into what looked like an inning-ending comebacker, but the ball slipped under Hartman's glove for an error, allowing Hailey Sparacino to score.
The Hornets had just scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh when Margulies connected on a two-run blast that tied things up. The Hornets had trailed, 6-2, after Saint Mary's put up six runs in the top of the fifth against two Sacramento State pitchers.
Sacramento State got two of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth after RBI-doubles from Paige Martin and Margulies got the Hornets within, 6-4.
The Hornets, who took a 2-0 lead in the first inning via Margulies and Johnston RBI-singles, pounded out nine hits in the game. That included multiple-hit games from Margulies (3-for-4 with a double, home runs and four RBIs), Martin (2-for-3 with a double and two runs) and Johnston (2-for-3 with an RBI).
Saint Mary's reliever Katie Moss (2-1) got the win despite allowing two runs and three hits over three innings while Katlyn Whitt pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth to register her first save of the season. Hartman (0-3) got the loss, pitching the final 2.2 innings. Caitlin Brooks pitched the first 4.2 innings of the game and Kaitlyn Yerby threw two-thirds of an inning.
The Gaels erased a 2-1 deficit by scoring two times in the sixth inning and once more in the seventh to defeat the Hornets, 4-2. Back-to-back home runs by Sparacino and Andrea Hazel to open the sixth inning highlighted the scoring. Saint Mary's tacked on one more run in the top of the seventh on an RBI-single from Katelyn Mamizuka.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Hornets put runners at first and second with no outs, but Whitt, who entered the game after the first two batters reached, got a double play ball followed by a groundout to end the game.
After the Gaels took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, Sacramento State scored twice in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run from Margulies and a two-out, RBI-single from Nikki Gialketsis.
Sacramento State outhit Saint Mary's, 10-8, but the Hornets stranded eight runners on base, including two each in the second, third and fourth innings. All but one Sacramento State starter had at least one hit, including Margulies (2-for-3 with a run, homer and an RBI) and freshman Zamari Hinton (2-for-4).
Whitt (1-2) got the win, allowing 10 hits and two runs in six innings. Lujane Mussadi picked up the save, getting three outs in the bottom of the seventh despite facing just two batters.
Sacramento State freshman Celina Matthias (1-3) went the distance in the loss, allowing eight hits and four runs in seven innings.
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