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SOFTBALL TO PLAY FIVE GAMES OVER THREE DAYS IN NORTHRIDGE

SOFTBALL TO PLAY FIVE GAMES OVER THREE DAYS IN NORTHRIDGE

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

THE WEEK AHEAD

• After completing a brief three-game homestand, Sacramento State (3-8) begins a stretch that will see the team play 10 consecutive games away from home.
• The first five of those games will take place this week at a tournament co-hosted by CSUN and Loyola Marymount. All five of the Hornets' games will take place on CSUN's field.
• On Friday, Sacramento State will take on both CSU Bakersfield (9:30 a.m.) and CSUN (12 p.m.). The Hornets will then face College of Charleston on Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by a pair of games Sunday against CSU Bakersfield (9 a.m.) and Loyola Marymount (11:30 a.m.).
• After beginning the season with a 2-1 record, the Hornets have lost seven of their last eight games. However, each of the team's last five losses have come by two runs or less, and three of those defeats came in extra innings.
• The Hornets went 0-3 at home over the last week, which matches the team's loss output at home from all of last season (11-3).
• All but one positional player on the roster has appeared in at least five games, and each of the team's four pitchers have made at least four appearances.
• This week's games will mark the third of five tournaments Sacramento State will play this season, including next week's Mustang Classic (Mar. 6-7) and the Capital Classic (Mar. 12-15).
• The Hornets' current 10-game road trip is followed by a 14-game homestand that runs from March 12-29. That homestand will match the longest for the program in the Div. I era (1990-pres.) as the 2009 and 2011 squads also played 14-game homestands.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS FOR THE SEASON

• Live stats for all home games and most road games 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.
• However, this week, live stats will only be made available for Saturday's game against Northridge.
• 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's opponents this week will enter the tournament with a combined 30-24 record. That includes Cal State Northridge (15-3), College of Charleston (7-4), CSU Bakersfield (4-8) and Loyola Marymount (4-9).
• In a series which dates back to 1985, the Hornets are 22-15 all-time against Bakersfield, including a 3-1 record against the Roadrunners last season.
• In a series which dates back to 1979, the Hornets are 21-49 all-time against CSUN, including 7-20 when playing on the Matadors' home field. Sacramento State and Northridge have not played since a 5-4 Hornet victory on Feb. 16, 2003, at a tournament in Poway, Calif.
• Saturday's matchup vs. College of Charleston will be the Hornets' first ever against the Cougars.
• In a series that dates back to 1987, the Hornets are 20-25 all-time against Loyola Marymount. That includes a 4-1 victory earlier this year in Los Angeles in which Paige Martin hit a 7th-inning 3-run homer.

ABUNDANCE OF CLOSE GAMES

• Each of the Hornets' last six games, and seven games overall this season, have been decided by two runs or less. Sacramento State is 2-5 in those games.
• During the last six games, which includes four extra-inning games, the Hornets are just 1-5, and have been on the short end of some bad breaks.

FIRST INNING BLUES

• Sacramento State has been outscored, 12-4, in the first inning of games this season.
• In fact, of the Hornets' 11 games this season, the opposition has scored in the first inning of six of those games and the Hornets are 1-5 in those contests.

IN NEED OF SHUTDOWN INNINGS

• One of the more underrated stats in softball are shutdown innings, or the ability of a pitcher to hold the opponent scoreless the half inning after her team scores.
• Over the last eight games, Hornet pitchers have posted just four shutdown innings in the last 15 opportunities, making it more difficult for Sacramento State to keep its momentum after scoring.

A NOTORIOUSLY SLOW STARTING TEAM

• Though the Hornets have gotten off to a 3-8 start, Sacramento State fans need to keep in mind that the softball program has been a notoriously slow starting team.
• In fact, Sacramento State has not had a record above .500 through the first 10 games of a season in any year since 2005.

THE MASHING FIVE

• Sacramento State has five players hitting better than .320 this season, comprised of Shelby Johnston (.391), Zamari Hinton (.385), Alexa Chattleton (.364), Sasha Margulies (.333) and Paige Castro (.321).
• Chattleton is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak while Castro (6 games) and Margulies (4 games) also had lengthy hitting streaks during the season.
• The five are currently combining to hit .358 (49-for-137) with 67 total bases.

HORNET NOTABLES

• The Hornets are 3-0 when limiting the opposition to two runs or less, and 0-8 otherwise.
• Paige Martin's current career on-base percentage of .412 is the third best mark in school history.
• Paige Castro has reached base safely via hit or walk in nine straight games.
• In 19 opportunities with a runner at third base and less than two outs, the Hornets have driven in the run nine times (.474), a much better percentage than the opposition (.242, 8-for-33).
• Over the last six games, Sacramento State is batting .302 as a team, including a .388 on-base percentage, nine doubles, three home runs and 24 RBIs.
• Paige Martin is the only Hornet to play and start all 11 games this year. Each of those games were played in right field and she has hit anywhere between No. 1 and No. 3 in the lineup.
• Paige Castro missed Tuesday's game against Pacific with a hand injury. Otherwise, she would have started all 11 games this season as well.