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SOFTBALL CRUSHES SOUTHERN UTAH, ADVANCES IN THE BIG SKY TOURNEY

SOFTBALL CRUSHES SOUTHERN UTAH, ADVANCES IN THE BIG SKY TOURNEY

POCATELLO, Idaho -- Paige Martin and Zamari Hinton both scored three runs, and Caitlin Brooks tossed a 3-hit shutout to lead Sacramento State to an 8-0 victory over Southern Utah in an elimination game of the Big Sky Conference Softball Tournament Friday afternoon at Miller Ranch Stadium. The game was stopped after the fifth inning because of the eight-run mercy rule.

With the victory, Sacramento State (27-25) moves on to play Idaho State (34-17) later today at 2 p.m. PDT in another elimination game. The Hornets lost their first game of the tournament to Weber State, which has put them in an elimination game scenario the rest of the way in the double-elimination tournament. The winner of the Sacramento State - Idaho State game will advance to the championship round tomorrow to face Weber State.

However, the Hornets or Bengals would need to beat Weber State twice tomorrow to win the championship as the Wildcats have yet to lose a game at the tournament. The first game will be played on Saturday at 11 a.m. PDT, and if necessary, the second game would take place at 2 p.m. PDT. The Wildcats have already beaten both the Hornets and Bengals in tournament play.

Southern Utah was eliminated from the tournament and concluded its season with a 20-30 record.

Sacramento State had little trouble against Southern Utah pitchers Ashley Ostler and Jordan Theurer, combining for eight runs and nine hits over five innings. The Hornets put up crooked numbers in the first (3), second (2) and fourth (2) innings while also taking advantage of three Southern Utah errors that accounted for five unearned runs.

Martin (2-for-3 with a walk, double, home run and an RBI) and Hinton (3-for-4 with three runs) combined to go 5-for-7 with six runs scored, and accounted for five of the Hornets' nine hits.

Sacramento State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, highlighted by an Alexa Chattleton RBI-single and RBI-groundout from Nicole Clark which allowed Kortney Solis to score. The Hornets added a pair in the second on a two-out, two-run double from Sasha Margulies which scored Hinton and Martin.

The Hornets broke open the game in the fourth inning with three more runs, including a solo homer from Martin, an error which allowed Hinton to score, and an Alexis Martinez RBI-single which plated Margulies.

That was more than enough run support for Brooks, who notched her fourth shutout of the season. In the process, Brooks (14-6) won her career-high tying 14th game, allowing just three hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over five innings. Brooks threw 90 pitches (60 strikes) and allowed just one runner past second base.

Oster (7-10) got the loss for Southern Utah, allowing five hits and five runs (two earned) in two innings. Theurer allowed four hits and three runs (one earned) in three innings of relief.

Joining Martin and Hinton with a multiple-hit game was Margulies, who finished 2-for-3 with a run, double and two RBIs. Both Chattleton and Martinez had a hit and an RBI.