SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State kicked off the 22nd version of the Capital Classic Softball Tournament by knocking off Penn State, 6-1, on Thursday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
After a one-year hiatus, the Capital Classic is back this season as a four-team tournament that will be played out over four days. There were two games today, including a 4-1 Grand Canyon victory over Penn State. The tournament resumes tomorrow with three more games, including Sacramento State facing Grand Canyon at 3:45 p.m. Loyola Marymount is the fourth tournament team.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 8-12 and secured its first home win of the season, With the loss, Penn State dropped to 9-12. The two teams were playing each other for just the second time ever, and first time since a 7-2 Hornet win in 1989.
In today's game, the Hornets scored once in both the fourth and fifth innings, and broke things open with a four-run sixth inning. Senior Caitlin Brooks (4-2) was dominant, allowing just two hits and one run while walking one and striking out nine batters in the complete-game effort. She faced just four batters over the minimum, threw 115 pitches, and allowed just two runners past first base the entire game. In fact, she set down the first nine batters of the game in succession, which included striking out the side in the first inning.
Sacramento State banged out 10 hits, and three different players had multiple-hit games, comprised of Sasha Margulies (3-for-4 with 2 RBIs), Alexa Chattleton (2-for-4 with an RBI) and Shelby Johnston (2-for-3). All 10 hits for the Hornets were singles.
The Hornets scored the game's first run in the fourth inning after Paige Castro (walk) and Margulies (single) started off the frame by getting on base, followed by Chattleton's RBI-single which scored Castro. After Penn State tied it with a run in the top of the fifth, Sacramento State took the lead for good in the bottom half of the inning after Margulies beat out a two-out, infield single which scored Paige Martin.
The Hornets broke it open with a four-run sixth inning that saw the team send nine batters to the plate. Sacramento State had four hits, took advantage of two Penn State errors, and the inning was highlighted by RBI-singles from Nicole Clark, Martin and Margulies.
For Penn State, Marissa Diescher (2-3) got the loss, allowing six hits and three runs in five innings. Diescher and reliever Jessica Cummings failed to strike out a Hornet batter during the entire game.
For information on the Capital Classic, including schedule and results, please click here.
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