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SOFTBALL TAKES PERFECT LEAGUE RECORD TO SOUTHERN UTAH

SOFTBALL TAKES PERFECT LEAGUE RECORD TO SOUTHERN UTAH

Sacramento State Game Notes (29 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

THE WEEK AHEAD

• Winners of seven of its last eight games, Sacramento State (16-17, 6-0) will embark upon its first road trip of the Big Sky Conference portion of the season when the team travels to Southern Utah (10-21, 2-4) for a three-game series on Friday and Saturday.
• The Hornets and Thunderbirds will play a doubleheader at Kathryn Berg Field on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. PDT, and a single game on Saturday at 11 a.m. PDT.
• Last Sunday, Sacramento State completed a 14-game homestand in which the Hornets posted a 9-5 record. The Hornets swept conference opponents Northern Colorado and Montana.
• The Hornets are 6-0 in league play for the first time since the 1993 squad opened the year with six straight Western Athletic Conference victories.
• The Hornets have been in four different conferences since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990, comprised of the WAC (1993-96), Big West (1997-02), PCSC (2003-12) and Big Sky (2013-pres.).
• No Hornet squad in the Div. I era has began a season with seven straight conference victories.
• Only one game separates the top three teams in the Big Sky, as Weber State (6-0) is tied atop the standings with Sacramento State, while Idaho State (5-1) sits one game back.
• The Hornets are just 1-4 when playing on an opponent's home field this year with the lone win coming during the third game of the season, a 4-1 victory at Loyola Marymount on Feb. 7.
• Friday begins a stretch that will see the Hornets play each of their next six conference games on the road, and nine of their final 15 Big Sky games will take place on the road.
• In conference play, Sacramento State currently sits among the top two squads in both pitching (first with a 1.88 ERA) and batting (second with a .345 batting average).
• The Hornets have scored at least five runs in eight of the last nine games, while limiting the opposition to one earned run or less in six of the last eight contests.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS FOR THIS WEEK AND THE SEASON

• Southern Utah will be offering live stats for all three games this week.
• Live stats for all home games and 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.
• Live audio will be available for every Sacramento State home game this season courtesy of KSSU Student Radio. Links to live audio can also be found on the softball schedule.

VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT

• Southern Utah will enter Friday with a 10-21 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the Big Sky. The Thunderbirds have played just six games at home thus far (2-4), including getting swept last week in three games by Idaho State. The Bengals outscored the T-Birds, 29-6, over those three games.
• The Hornets are 17-6 all-time against Southern Utah, but are just 2-5 against the Thunderbirds since both teams joined the Big Sky for softball in 2013.
• Two of those losses have come in the Big Sky Tournament where Southern Utah won in 2013 by a 5-4 score, and last season by a 5-2 score.
• Last year, the Hornets and T-Birds split two games in Sacramento (the third game was rained out), before the Southern Utah win in the first round of the Big Sky Tourney in Pocatello, Idaho.

6-FOR-6 IN BIG SKY PLAY

• Sacramento State is off to a 6-0 start in Big Sky play, matching the team's best start to a conference season since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990 (the 1993 team won its first six WAC games).
• Of those six wins, three have come in mercy rule fashion, and only two of the games have been close.
• The Hornets have outscored the opposition, 46-15, including 10-0 during the first two innings.
• Sacramento State is batting .345 as a team, and six of the team's nine starters are hitting at least .333 in league play. That includes Alexa Chattleton (.563), Marissa Maligad (.529) and Kortney Solis (.429). Chattleton's batting average leads the Big Sky while Maligad's average ranks sixth.
• The Hornets have used just two pitchers during Big Sky play, and when looking at the numbers, its easy to see why. The combination of Caitlin Brooks (3-0, 1.24 ERA) and Celina Matthias (3-0, 2.33 ERA) have combined to go 6-0 with a 1.88 ERA and a .227 opponents batting average.

LINEUP LOOKS TO BE SET

• Outside of a switch between the Nos. 3 and 7 hitters, head coach Lori Perez has used practically the same lineup each of the last nine games. Not coincidentally, the team is 7-2 over that stretch.
• In each of those nine games, Paige Martin (RF) has led off, Zamari Hinton (2B) has hit second, Sasha Margulies (1B) cleanup, Alexa Chattleton (LF) fifth, Kortney Solis (C) sixth and Marissa Maligad (3B) ninth. Alexis Martinez (DP) has hit eighth during eight of those games and Shelby Johnston (CF) or Paige Castro (SS) have flip flopped between the Nos. 3 and 7 spots in the lineup. Currently, Johnston is third.
• Prior to the recent nine-game stretch, Perez used a different starting lineup in nearly every game of the season. In fact, Paige Martin remains the only Hornet to play, and start, in all 33 games thus far.

POTENT 4-5 PUNCH

• Though nearly the entire lineup is currently hitting well, its been the Hornets' Nos. 4 and 5 hitters Sasha Margulies and Alexa Chattleton, respectively, who have remained hot the majority of the year.
• Chattleton is currently batting .404 and Margulies .388, easily the top two marks on the team.
• The two have combined to score 33 times and drive in 34 runs while both have on-base percentages above .440, and an ops above .960.
• Not coincidentally, both have been outstanding in clutch at-bats, as Margulies is hitting a team-high .425 (17-40) with runners in scoring position and Chattleton is hitting .385 (15-39) with RISP.
• Margulies has hit safely in 10 of her last 11 games, and already has four hitting streaks this year of at least four games long.
• Chattleton has hit safely in nine of her last 10 games, and has hit safely in 27 of 32 games overall.

HORNET NOTABLES

• On Monday, right-hander Caitlin Brooks won her second Big Sky Player of the Week award, and conference-record 11th weekly award of her career. Brooks is 7-3 with a 2.71 ERA, and ranks 15th in the nation allowing 4.01 hits per seven innings, and 38th in the nation with 8.5 strikeouts per seven innings.
• Freshman Celina Matthias has won four of her last five decisions and now has an 8-8 record to go along with a 2.95 ERA. Either Brooks or Matthias has gotten the decision each of the last 10 games.
• Catcher Kortney Solis is batting .474 over her last eight games, raising her batting average 78 percentage points to its current mark of .321.
• Freshman second baseman Zamari Hinton, who has 13 sacrifices, ranks fifth in the nation with an average of 0.43 sacrifices per game.