SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Senior Alexa Chattleton's one-out, walkoff RBI-triple in the seventh inning scored senior Nicole Clark all the way from first base as Sacramento State completed a come-from-behind 5-4 victory against UC Davis in a non-conference softball game on Wednesday evening at Shea Stadium.
UC Davis jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning before Sacramento State chipped away with two runs in the second inning, two more in the sixth to tie the score at 4-4, and eventually the game-winning run in the seventh.
With the victory, Sacramento State won for the ninth time in its last 12 games to improve to 18-19 overall. The win was also the first of the season against UC Davis as the Hornets had dropped the first two games in the series on Feb. 13 (neutral site) and March 10 (on the road). The Aggies fell to 13-20 with the loss.
The two teams combined to use 32 players as today marked one of the final non-conference games of the season for both squads. In addition, seven different pitchers appeared in the circle, the game lasted two hours and 11 minutes, and the two teams combined to strand 16 runners on base.
With the score tied at 4-4, Clark began the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff walk. After a failed sacrifice attempt resulted in the first out of the winning, Chattleton ripped a full-count pitch to left-center that sent Clark streak around the base paths and ahead of the UC Davis relay throw home. The Chattleton triple not only gave the Hornets the victory, but also gave the team its first lead of the game. In addition, four of the Hornets' five runs in the game came with two outs.
ln the first inning, UC Davis sent nine batters to the plate while scoring three times off Hornet starter Caitlin Brooks. Sacramento State responded in the second inning after sophomore Alexis Martinez ripped an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two-out, two-run homer which scored Sasha Margulies.
Both teams were held scoreless the next three innings until UC Davis tacked on a run in the top of the sixth to take a 4-2 lead. The bottom of the sixth saw the Hornets put runners at second and third with two outs. That brought up senior Paris Prado, who had just entered the game in the fifth inning as a pinch runner. Prado jumped on a full-count pitch that she crushed to the base of the center field wall, easily allowing both Marissa Maligad and pinch runner Makenzie Wayadande to score and tie things at 4-4.
Hornet reliever Kaitlyn Yerby worked a 14-pitch top of the seventh for the all-important shutdown inning. Yerby (2-0) got the win in relief, working the final two innings. Brooks went the first five innings of the game, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned) with six strikeouts. After allowing the three first-inning runs, and the first two runners to get aboard in the second inning, Brooks did not allow another hit the remainder of her outing.
Sacramento State outhit UC Davis, 9-8, and had hits from seven different players. That included multiple-hit games from Chattleton (2-for-4 with an RBI) and Martinez (2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs). Clark, Margulies, Martinez, Wayadande and Maligad scored the Hornets' runs.
UC Davis used five pitchers and Leah Munden (8-8) picked up the loss, allowing two hits and three runs over 2.2 innings.
Sacramento State will now jump back into Big Sky Conference play as the team travels to Grand Forks tomorrow for a three-game series at North Dakota on Friday and Saturday. The Hornets are currently in a tie for first place in the Big Sky standings with a 7-2 league record.
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