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SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO SAN LUIS OBISPO FOR FOUR GAMES FRIDAY & SATURDAY

SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO SAN LUIS OBISPO FOR FOUR GAMES FRIDAY & SATURDAY

Sacramento State Game Notes (pdf)
Big Sky Conference standings

THE WEEK AHEAD

• After posting a 2-1 record at last week's CSUN/LMU Tournament in Northridge, Sacramento State (5-9) returns this week to play four games over two days at the Mustang Classic at Bob Janssen Field in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
• At last week's tourney, the Hornets defeated CSU Bakersfield (4-1) and College of Charleston (5-4) while falling to Cal State Northridge (8-0). Sacramento State was supposed to play two more games on Sunday as part of tournament play, but both those games were rained out.
• This week will mark the third straight year, and sixth time in the last eight years the Hornets will play at the Mustang Classic. Over the Hornets' last five appearances at the tournament (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014), the team has combined for a 12-12 record.
• The Hornets will play twice on Friday against Bryant (9 a.m.) and IUPUI (11:30 a.m.), and return Saturday to take on both San Diego (9 a.m.) and tournament host Cal Poly (2 p.m.).
• Three of the Hornets' four games during the tournament will start before noon. The team has posted a 4-3 record in its seven morning games played thus far.
• Of the Hornets' nine losses this season, three have come in extra innings, and a total of five have come by two runs or less.
• All but two positional players on the roster have appeared in at least seven games, and each of the team's four pitchers have made at least five appearances.
• This week's games will mark the fourth of five preseason tournaments Sacramento State will play this season, including next week's Capital Classic (Mar. 12-15).

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.
• Cal Poly is offering live stats for all four Sacramento State games this week.
• 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 32-29 record. That includes Bryant (4-6), IUPUI (10-3), Cal Poly (8-11) and San Diego (10-9).
• The Hornets' game against Bryant on Friday morning will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams. After beginning the season with a 3-0 record, Bryant has lost six of its last seven games.
• Sacramento State has played IUPUI just once, and the Hornets posted an 8-2 victory on March 14, 2002, during Capital Classic play. At 10-3 this season, IUPUI has the best record of any of this week's tournament teams and has won six straight games.
• The Hornets are 20-23 all-time against Cal Poly, and have lost the last three meetings against the Mustangs. Cal Poly, which will be playing its first home games of the season, is currently 8-11.
• Sacramento State is 28-9 all-time against San Diego, including a 3-1 mark when playing at a neutral field. The Toreros will enter tournament play with a 10-9 record.

ABUNDANCE OF CLOSE GAMES

• Seven of the Hornets' last nine games have been decided by two runs or less, and the Hornets are 2-5 in those outcomes.
• Overall, eight of the team's 14 games have been decided by two runs or fewer, with the Hornets compiling a 2-6 record in those games.

FIRST INNING BLUES

• Sacramento State has been outscored, 18-4, in the first inning of games this season.
• The 18 runs are easily the most allowed in any inning this year, and Hornet pitchers are yielding an average of 1.3 runs in the first inning of games this year.

GETTING IT GOING IN THE CLUTCH

• Over the last four games, Sacramento State is batting .344 (21-for-61) with runners on base.
• Coincidentally, the Hornets are averaging nearly five runs (4.8) per game over that four-game span.
• During the first 10 games of the season, the Hornets were hitting just .229 (33-for-144) as a team with runners on base.
• Overall, the Hornets are batting .263 with runners on base, and .246 with runners in scoring position.

MOVING RUNNERS OVER

• Sacramento State already has 20 sacrifices this year, which is easily the top mark in the Big Sky.
• Seven different Hornets have laid down at least two sacrifices this season.
• That includes shortstop Paige Castro, who has a team-high five sacrifices in 43 plate appearances.

HORNET NOTABLES

• Sacramento State leads the Big Sky Conference in both ERA (3.54) and fielding percentage (.967).
• Hornet pitching has limited the opposition to a very respectable .241 batting average, but the staff has already issued 67 free passes (53 walks, 14 hit-batters) in 99.0 innings. That breaks down to average of 4.7 free passes allowed per game.
• Sacramento State has four players batting over .340, comprised of Shelby Johnston (.353), Zamari Hinton (.343), Sasha Margulies (.343) and Alexa Chattleton (.341). Both Margulies (.452) and Johnston (.450) have very high on-base percentages.
• Freshman right-hander Celina Matthias has pitched in eight of the Hornets' 14 games, including two starts and six relief appearances. She has factored into six decisions and has a team-high 3.03 ERA.
• Whether starting at shortstop or third base, freshman Marissa Maligad has been very impressive with the glove, and is the only Hornet infielder yet to commit an error.
• Amazingly, Johnston has yet to strike out this year in 34 at-bats and 40 plate appearances.
• Opponents are batting just .139 (5-for-36) with runners on base against pitcher Caitlin Brooks, and .163 (13-for-80) in the same situations against Matthias.
• Chattleton has hit safely in nine of the last 10 games, and had her eight-game hitting streak snapped last weekend after going 0-for-2 against Cal State Northridge.
• Senior Paige Martin (right field) is the only Hornet to start all 14 games this year. Senior Paige Castro has started all but one game at shortstop, missing the Pacific game with a hand injury.