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SACRAMENTO -- Right-hander Savanna Corr held Cal scoreless through seven innings, but the Golden Bears eventually came out on top, 2-1, in eight innings on the third and final day of the Capital City Softball Kickoff Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Sacramento State played two games on the final day of the tournament, falling to UC Santa Barbara this morning, 8-4.
With today's losses, the Hornets completed the three-day, four-team tournament with a 1-3 record. However, that record could have easily been better as Sacramento State dropped extra inning nail biters to UC Santa Barbara yesterday in nine innings and today's loss to Cal in eight innings. The Hornets' lone tournament win came on Friday against Santa Clara by a 6-2 score.
Cal finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record while UC Santa Barbara went 4-1, the Hornets 1-3, and Santa Clara 0-5. Sacramento State was supposed to play Cal yesterday as well, but that game was cancelled due to darkness. The tournament marked the season-opening games for all four teams.
The Hornets' Zamari Hinton and Suzy Brookshire both hit safely in all four games, with Hinton going 9-for-16 (.563) and Brookshire 6-for-14 (.429) with six runs scored, three doubles and a pair of RBIs.
Sacramento State and Cal treated 525 fans to a well-played ball game that saw both teams fail to score during the first seven innings. Hornet starter Savanna Corr and Cal starter Kamalani Dung were locked in a pitchers duel for the majority of the contest. In fact, Dung was perfect through 3.2 innings before Brookshire lined a two-out double to right-center in the fourth inning.
With the tiebreaker rule going into effect to start the eighth inning (each team begins the inning by placing a runner at second base), Cal finally broke through with a pair of runs. Jazmyn Jackson was placed at second to start the inning, and Lindsay Rood followed by hitting a shot that ricocheted off Zamari Hinton's glove and trickled into right field for what turned into an RBI-double. The Bears tacked on another run on an RBI-single from Mikayla Coelho. Hornet reliever Celina Matthias was then inserted into the game and escaped further damage by retiring three batters in succession.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Hornets placed Sydnee Strong at second base to start the inning and Sydney Rasmussen immediately drove an 0-1 pitch deep into the left-center field gap for an RBI-double. Rasmussen was then moved over to third after Jessica Scott's groundout to the right side.
Rylee Sager then stepped up, and, after a pair or hard-hit foul balls, Cal elected to insert reliever Zoe Conley into the game in the middle of the at-bat. On Conley's first pitch, Sager hit a ground ball that Cal third baseman Karlee Sparacino threw across the diamond for the second out. As soon as Sparacino threw, Rasmussen broke for home, but was gunned down at the plate by Bear first baseman Kobie Pettis for a 5-3-2 double play to end the game.
Corr (0-1) was brilliant despite taking the loss, allowing eight hits and two runs (one earned) over seven-plus innings against a Cal team that is currently receiving votes in the top 25. Dung (2-0) got the win, allowing three hits and one unearned run in 7.1 innings while Conley earned the save.
Hinton, Brookshire and Rasmussen accounted for the Hornets' three hits in the game.
UC Santa Barbara scored five times in the first inning, and led from start to finish in an 8-4 win over Sacramento State. The Gauchos scored eight times on nine hits off Hornet starter Danielle Sperry, who was pulled after the fifth inning.
Sacramento State had nine hits and pushed across four runs, but had numerous opportunities to put more runs on the board. In fact, the Hornets stranded 10 runners on base one day after leaving 17 runners on base in yesterday's extra inning loss to the Gauchos.
While Sacramento State stranded 10 runners aboard, UCSB stranded just two runners. The Gauchos had two homers, two doubles and a pair of sacrifice flies. They sent eight players to the plate in the first inning, and all five players that reached base came around to score. The big blow in the inning was a two-out, two-run double from Kayla Krantz who finished the game 2-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs.
Sacramento State got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the first when Strong's two-out single scored both Brookshire and Hinton. Sacramento State would eventually load the bases but Sager fouled out to end the inning. The Hornets would strand multiple runners aboard in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings. UCSB would eventually score twice more in the third and once in the fifth to take a commanding 8-2 lead.
The Hornets plated two runners in the sixth on a wild pitch scoring Sager and an RBI-single from Brookshire scoring Nene Alas.
For UCSB, Felisha Noriega (2-1) got the win in relief, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings. Sperry (0-1) took the loss, working the first five-plus innings. Corr worked two innings of scoreless relief, and finished the tournament with a 1.00 ERA over 14.0 innings.
Sacramento State had three players finish with multiple-hit games, including Hinton (2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base), Brookshire (2-for-3 with a double and RBI) and Rasmussen (2-for-3). Mo Spieth went 0-for-4 and saw her 11-game hitting streak snapped. She had hit safely the final nine games a season ago and the first two games this year.
Sacramento State returns to action next week when it travels to Palm Springs to play in the three-day, five-game Mary Nutter Classic. The Hornets open the tournament on Saturday against Cal Poly at 3:30 p.m.