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SACRAMENTO -- In her first at-bat in a Sacramento State uniform, junior Krystal Aubert blasted a three-run, first-inning homer, and pitcher Celina Matthias went the distance as the Hornets beat Santa Clara, 6-2, on the first day of the Capital City Kickoff.
The Hornets are hosting the three-day tournament which features four teams and 10 games over three days. Today marked the season-opening games for all four teams as UC Santa Barbara defeated Santa Clara, 4-2, and Cal knocked off UC Santa Barbara by a 2-0 score in other action.
All four teams will play again tomorrow as the Saturday slate features four games, including the Hornets taking on UC Santa Barbara at 10:45 a.m., and Cal at 3:15 p.m. For complete tournament information, including schedule, please click here.
A transfer from the University of Washington, Aubert deposited the first pitch she faced in a Sacramento State uniform over the left-center field wall to give the Hornets a 3-0 lead in the first. The local product from Orangevale hit in the cleanup spot of the lineup and her round tripper scored both Suzy Brookshire and Nene Alas.
Sacramento State would add two more in the third inning, and one in the fifth to take a commanding 6-0 lead. In the third, a perfectly laid squeeze bunt by Mo Spieth not only allowed Zamari Hinton to score, but Spieth was able to leg out a single. Sydney Rasmussen followed with an infield hit scoring Brookshire. Spieth now has a 10-game hitting streak as she finished 2017 on a nine-game streak.
A sacrifice fly from Spieth scored Brookshire in the fifth inning to give the Hornets a 6-0 lead. That cushion was more than enough for Matthias who threw five shutout innings before allowing a pair of Bronco runs in the sixth. The fourth-year senior eventually picked up the complete-game win, yielding just five hits and two runs with four strikeouts over seven innings.
Sacramento State had 11 hits, as eight different Hornets had at least one knock, including Hinton who finished 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Aubert was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, and Brookshire scored three times after going 1-for-2 with a double and a walk. Spieth had two RBIs, and each of the Hornets' first seven batters collected hits. Kaitlyn Rubio, who is a transfer from New Mexico State, also collected a hit in her first at-bat in a Sacramento State uniform after collecting a pinch hit single in the sixth.
For Santa Clara, Aubree Kim took the loss, allowing six runs and 10 hits in four innings of work. Micaela Vierra worked two shutout innings of relief. Taylor Burns led the SCU offense with a pair of hits, including a double.
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