GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Sacramento State clubbed a program-record five home runs in a 12-6 nightcap victory to gain a doubleheader split at North Dakota on Friday afternoon at the Apollo Sports Complex. The Hornets lost the first game to the Fighting Hawks by a 4-1 score.
These same two teams will play the rubber game of their three-game Big Sky Conference series tomorrow at 11 a.m. PDT. The Hornets moved their record to 14-21-1 overall and 4-6 in the Big Sky while North Dakota is now 18-25 and 4-6 in league.
Sacramento State had been 9-0 all-time against North Dakota prior to the loss in the first game, and now own a 10-1 mark against the Fighting Hawks.
After the Hornets totaled just one run and four singles in the opener, Sacramento State's bats came alive in the nightcap with season highs in runs (12), hits (17), home runs (5) and total bases (34). The Hornets' five homers eclipsed the previous program record of four, set on four occasions. Of the five home runs, four were hit by true freshmen. That included third baseman Mo Spieth who went 3-for-4 with two runs, two home runs and six RBIs. She became just the eighth player in program history to hit two homers in the same game, and the six RBIs were one shy of a school single-game record.
Fellow freshman Suzy Brookshire banged her ninth home run, setting the new school record for most homers by a freshman. She surpassed the previous single-season freshman mark of eight, set by Erin Jones in 2010. Not to be outdone, Traci Shaw, who received her first start of the season, had the rare distinction of seeing her first collegiate hit leave the park for a home run. Shaw entered the game hitless in five at-bats, but went 2-for-4 with a run, double, homer and three RBIs.
Senior Jessica Ravetti also hit her seventh home run in the 12-run uprising and has combined with Brookshire (9) and Spieth (7) to hit 23 of the team's 29 home runs. In the third inning of the nightcap, the Hornets hit back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time in school history when Spieth, Ravetti and Shaw connected on consecutive round trippers, respectively. Sacramento State's 29 homer runs are five shy of the program record of 34, set in 2008 and 2009.
Sacramento State put up crooked numbers in the first (3), third (5) and sixth (3) innings while also tallying a single run in the seventh. The Hornets saw six different players finish with multiple-hit games, and three players had multiple-RBI games. Spieth's six RBIs were one shy of the school single-game mark of seven, set by Erin Jones on April 29, 2010.
Spieth launched a three-run homer in the first inning to get the Hornets off to good start. After North Dakota scored twice in the first and once more in the second to tie the game, the Hornets sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run third inning that was sparked by a two-run homer to center field by Spieth, followed by Ravetti's homer to right field and Shaw's blast over the center field wall. Brookshire would later add an RBI-single in the inning that scored Shelby Johnson.
In the sixth, Spieth's RBI-double and a two-run double from Shaw accounted for the team's three runs. Those three runs proved to be large as North Dakota's offense had just sliced the Hornet lead to 8-5 prior to the beginning o f the sixth. Sacramento State picked up a run of insurance in the seventh when Brookshire hit the first pitch of her at-bat over the right-center field wall to give the Hornets a 12-5 lead. All five of the Hornets' home runs were either hit to center field or the opposite way towards right.
Brookshire was 3-for-5 with two runs, a homer and two RBIs, Zamari Hinton was 2-for-5 with two runs, Sydney Rasmussen 2-for-2 with two runs, a sacrifice and a hit-by-pitch, Spieth was 3-for-4 with two runs, a double, two homers and six RBIs, Shaw was 2-for-4 with a run, double, homer and three RBIs, and Johnston finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. Those six players accounted for all but two of Sacramento State's 17 hits in the game.
Freshman left-hander Danielle Sperry started just her fourth game of the season, and while she wasn't as effective as usual, got the win. Sperry (3-6) lasted four-plus innings, allowing nine hits and five runs (four earned) with just one strikeout. Celina Matthias picked up her first save of the season after allowing just two hits and a run during the final three innings. Both North Dakota pitchers got hit hard with Hannah Bergh (9-9) taking the loss.
The Hornets won for the first time all season when allowing four runs or more.
Kaylin VanDomelen was dominant over seven innings as North Dakota took the opener, 4-1, over the Hornets. VanDomelen allowed just four hits and one run while walking two and striking out 11 batters. All four hits allowed were singles and the 11 strikeouts were tied for the most whiffs by a Sacramento State lineup all season. If that wasn't enough, VanDomelen, who is the team's No. 3 hitter in the lineup, also connected on a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
VanDomelen (9-12) and Hornet starter Taylor Tessier were locked in a pitchers duel early as the two teams were scoreless through three innings. Tessier, who struck out five batters through two innings, worked her way out of one-out, bases loaded jam in the second.
North Dakota broke through in the fourth after Marina Marzonino doubled home Alicia Young, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning. The Fighting Hawks tacked on three more in the fifth after VanDomelen and Taylor Nadler connected on back-to-back homers. By the time the Nadler ball cleared the center field wall, the Fighting Hawks had a 4-0 lead, more than enough run support for VanDomelen.
Sacramento State got a run back in the sixth inning after Spieth's RBI-single scored Hinton from second base with one out. The Hornets got the tying run to the plate in the seventh, putting runners at the corners with two outs, but VanDomelen got Hinton to ground out to end the game. Hinton accounted for a pair of hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Sacramento State's Nos. 5-9 hitters combined to go 0-for-13.
Tessier (4-9) got the loss, allowing five hits and four runs (three earned) with seven strikeouts over 4.1 innings. Savanna Corr allowed two hits in 1.2 innings of relief.
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