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SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO PACIFIC BEFORE 1ST PLACE SHOWDOWN WITH IDAHO STATE

SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO PACIFIC BEFORE 1ST PLACE SHOWDOWN WITH IDAHO STATE

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

THE WEEK AHEAD

• Winners of four straight, and 12 of the last 15 games, Sacramento State (21-19, 10-2) will play four times this week, beginning with the team's final non-conference game of the regular season on Wednesday at Pacific (10-32) at 6 p.m.
• The Hornets will then jump back into Big Sky Conference play for the team's biggest three-game series of the season on Friday and Saturday at home vs. Idaho State (25-14, 10-2). The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday at noon followed by a single Saturday at noon.
• The series against the Bengals is a first-place showdown as Sacramento State and Idaho State are tied atop the Big Sky standings with nine conference games remaining in the season.
• The Idaho State matchup marks the first of huge back-to-back conference series at home as the Hornets will host Weber State (11-3 in league) for three games next week.
• The winner of the Big Sky's regular season will host the double-elimination conference tournament May 7-9. The Big Sky Tournament champion receives an automatic berth into NCAA Regionals, a place the Hornets haven't been since 2008.
• The quest for the Big Sky regular season title will likely go to either Sacramento State (10-2), Idaho State (10-2) or Weber State (11-3) in the eight-team league. The top four teams qualify for the conference tournament.
• Sacramento State needs just one victory to assure itself of winning at least 22 games for the fourth consecutive season. (27-19 in 2012; 22-22 in 2013; 25-21 in 2014).
• Over the last six games, the Hornets are averaging a robust 9.3 runs per contest.
• A win on Wednesday would give the Hornets their longest winning streak (five games) since the 2013 squad ripped off seven straight wins.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS FOR THIS WEEK

• Pacific will be offering a free video stream of Wednesday's game. The link for the video can be obtained by clicking here or by finding the link on the softball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.
• Live stats for every game the remainder of the season (home or road) 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 OPPONENTS

• In a series which dates back to 1979, Sacramento State is 36-53-1 all-time against Pacific, including a 15-23-1 record when playing the Tigers in Stockton.
• The Tigers have won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams, including an 8-6 victory in Sacramento earlier this season on Feb. 24.
• In what has become a pretty spirited rivalry, Sacramento State and Idaho State battled down to the final game of the season last year for the Big Sky regular season title, only to see the Bengals win the title by a half game over the Hornets.
• In a series which dates back to 2007, Sacramento State is 5-7 all-time against the Bengals, including a 1-3 record when playing at Shea Stadium.
• Idaho State has taken two of three games each of the last two years in regular season play, and the Bengals also beat the Hornets in the Big Sky Tournament two straight years. That included a 10-7 win in Pocatello at last year's tournament, and 10-9 in eight innings in the 2013 tournament in Pocatello.

10-2 IN BIG SKY PLAY

• Sacramento State's 10-2 record in Big Sky play matches the team's best conference record after 12 games since the program joined the Div. I ranks in 1990.
• Both the 1993 (Western Athletic Conference) and 2004 (Pacific Coast Softball Conference) squads also began the season with 10-2 league marks. The 2004 squad would lose its next game while the 1993 team eventually pushed its league record all the way to 12-2 before losing again.
• The Hornets currently rank third in the eight-team league (in conference games only) in team batting average (.345), ERA (3.76) and fielding percentage (.965).
• Sacramento State is outscoring conference teams by an average of 4.4 runs per game.
• The Hornets have four players hitting better than .415 in conference play, comprised of Alexa Chattleton (.457), Sasha Margulies (.457), Kortney Solis (.440) and Nicole Clark (.417).

MASHING

• Sacramento State's offense is clicking on all cylinders right now as the Hornets combined to outscore North Dakota, 36-5, in last weekend's three-game series in Grand Forks.
• In fact, the Hornets have scored at least four runs in 15 of the last 16 games, and over that span, are averaging 7.4 runs per game. Its no coincidence the team is 12-4 during that 16-game spurt.
• The Hornets' 16-2 thrashing of North Dakota on Saturday pushed the team's batting average above the .300 mark for the firs time all season, and now stands at .302.
• The Hornets' 62 doubles are the top mark in the Big Sky, and the team's average of 1.55 doubles per game is the 36th best mark in the nation among the 300 Div. I squads.
• Junior first baseman Sasha Margulies (.415) and senior outfielder Alexa Chattleton (.405) are attempting to become the first set of teammates to hit .400 during the same season in the program's Div. I era (1990-pres.).
• Only three players in the Div. I era have hit at least .400, comprised of Lindy Winkler (.434 in 2006), Desiree Beltran (.413 in 2009), and Jamie Schloredt (.408 in 2008).

HORNET NOTABLES

• Junior first baseman Sasha Margulies and senior right-hander Celina Matthias swept this week's Big Sky Player and Pitcher of the Week awards, respectively. It was Matthias' second weekly honor this year while Margulies earned the Hornets' first weekly player award since Paige Martin on March 12, 2013.
• Paige Martin hit three home runs during the North Dakota series, pushing her career total to 11 round trippers, tied for the seventh most in school history.
• Both Sasha Margulies and Alexa Chattleton have six-game hitting streaks while Paige Martin (22) and Chattleton (21) have lengthy consecutive games streak of reaching base safely.
• Celina Matthias tossed the program's first no-hitter in Friday's five-inning 12-0 victory over North Dakota, the first no-hitter for the program since April 16, 2011.
• In her second season as head coach, Lori Perez is just four wins shy of her 50th career victory.
• Senior Caitlin Brooks struck out a career-high 16 batters in Friday's 8-3 victory over North Dakota, which were one shy of the school record for a seven-inning game (17), set by Cassie Cervantes in 2006.