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SEVENTH INNING COMEBACK SPARKS SOFTBALL TO SPLIT AT SOUTHERN UTAH

SEVENTH INNING COMEBACK SPARKS SOFTBALL TO SPLIT AT SOUTHERN UTAH

CEDAR CITY, Utah -- Sacramento State scored four times in the top of the seventh inning with two outs to win the second game of a Big Sky Conference doubleheader over Southern Utah, 8-5 on Friday afternoon at Kathryn Berg Field. That salvaged a doubleheader split as the Thunderbirds took the opener by a 10-2 score.

With the Hornets down to their last strike and trailing, 5-4, with a pair of runners aboard in the top of the seventh, the Hornets got three straight hits to take the lead, 8-5, and eventually win. Sasha Margulies' RBI-double on an 0-2 pitch gave the Hornets a 6-5 lead, and her big hit was followed by an RBI-double from Kortney Solis and RBI-single from Alexis Martinez.

With the split, Sacramento State moved its record to 17-18 overall and 7-1 in the Big Sky. The Hornets' loss in the first game snapped a string of six consecutive Big Sky victories to open the conference portion of the season. Had Sacramento State won that game, it would have marked the first time in program history the team had started the year with seven straight conference wins.

Southern Utah moved its record to 11-22 overall and 3-5 in the Big Sky. The Hornets and Thunderbirds will play the rubber game of their three-game series tomorrow at 11 a.m. PDT.

GAME 2

Southern Utah scored twice in both the first and second innings to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Sacramento State scored three times in the third and once more in the fourth to tie, but the Thunderbirds jumped right back on top with a solo home run from Lyndsey Healey in the bottom of the fourth to take a 5-4 lead.

It looked like that lead would hold up as the Hornets were held scoreless in both the fifth and six innings. In the seventh, however, Paige Castro led off the inning by singling off Thunderbird reliever Ashley Ostler. A sacrifice from Paige Martin and an infield single from Shelby Johnston put runners at the corners with one out. Ostler then got Alexa Chattleton to strike out for the second out of the inning. That set up Margulies' heroics as the junior first baseman was down to her last strike before lacing an 0-2 pitch to left field for a two-run double.

Sacramento State added insurance when Solis doubled home Margulies, and Martinez followed with an RBI-single scoring Solis. By the time the inning ended, the Hornets had pushed across four runs on five hits while notching their first win of the season when trailing after six innings (1-9). The two-run clutch double from Margulies capped a big game for the first baseman as she finished 2-for-4 with a run, double and game-high four RBIs.

It was also Margulies that had a two-out, two-run single in the third inning to draw the Hornets within, 4-3. Margulies has been big all year in the clutch, batting a team-high .442 (19-43) with runners in scoring position, .395 (15-38) with two outs, and 13 of her team-high 25 RBIs have come with two outs in an inning.

Sacramento State's other runs came via RBI-single from Martin in the third, and an RBI-double from Castro in the fourth. The Hornets pounded out 11 hits, including 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI for Castro and 2-for-4 with an RBI from Martinez. Each of the team's first six hitters in the lineup had at least one hit and four or those players scored a run.

Although not as sharp as usual, Brooks (8-3) got the win, allowing five runs and nine hits while striking out eight batters over seven inning. After allowing five runs and seven hits through the first four innings of the contest, Brooks settled down to allow no runs and two hits over the final three innings. Ostler (2-7) got the loss, allowing seven hits and four runs in relief. Thunderbird starter Hanna Wynn had a similar line, allowing four hits and four runs over four innings.

GAME 1

After the Hornets jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Southern Utah posted crooked numbers in the third (3), fourth (3) and sixth (4) innings to score 10 unanswered runs and post a six-inning, mercy rule victory. The Thunderbirds finished the game with 11 hits and five different Southern Utah players had at least one RBI. That included Katie Greenberg who had a three-run homer in the fourth inning and Kaitlin Williams who had three RBIs, including a two-run double in the sixth. Jordan Theurer followed with a walkoff, two-run double in the sixth to enforce the mercy rule and give the Thunderbirds the victory.

After Sacramento State scored two runs through the first three innings, Southern Utah starter Greenberg allowed just one hit while shutting out the Hornets the final three innings. Greenberg (6-9) got the win, allowing just three hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings.

Sacramento State got a run in the second inning after Chattleton scored on a Thunderbird error, and tacked on another in the third after an RBI-single from Shelby Johnston which scored Martin.

The Hornets' Celina Matthias (8-9) got the loss, working 5.1 innings. Martin, Johnston and Martinez had hits for the Hornets, and each of those three hit safely in both games of the doubleheader.