CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. -- Sacramento State played twice on the first day of the Mary Nutter Classic, winning its first game over Cal Poly, 4-1, before dropping the nightcap to Syracuse, 8-0, in a mercy rule shortened five inning contest.
The three-day tournament, which began today, features 16 teams and 42 games at the Big League Dreams Complex in Cathedral City. Sacramento State is playing in the prestigious tournament for the first time, and will play twice more on Sunday, and once on Monday. Tomorrow's schedule sees the Hornets taking on UC Santa Barbara at 3 p.m. and Army at 5:30 p.m. Sacramento State wraps up the tournament on Monday morning against UC Riverside at 9 a.m.
The split moved Sacramento State's record to 2-4 while Cal Poly dropped to 3-3 and Syracuse improved to 3-2.
Sacramento State right-hander Celina Matthias was impressive against Cal Poly, finishing with a complete game while retiring nine batters in a row midway through the 4-1 victory. In seven innings, she allowed just four hits (all singles) and one run with three walks and six strikeouts. Matthias did not allow a hit through five innings before the no-hit bid was broken up on a Noellah Ramos single to open the sixth inning. The fourth-year senior (2-1) allowed a run in the sixth and worked her way out of a first and third with no out situation in the seventh inning.
Matthias and Cal Poly starter Dakota Casper were locked in a pitchers duel as both teams were scoreless through five innings. However, the Hornets pushed across a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, after Casper was pulled for reliever Steffi Best, Sydnee Strong drew a one-out walk, and Sydney Rasmussen reached on a fielders choice that put runners at first and second. Jessica Scott then followed with an RBI-single that scored Strong. On the play, the throw home was wild, and allowed Rasmussen to come all the way around to score.
Sacramento State tacked on two more on Suzy Brookshire's RBI-double scoring Nene Alas. Later in the inning, a throwing error by Best allowed Zamari Hinton to score.
Cal Poly scored once in the sixth, and had runners at first and third with no outs in the seventh, but Matthias worked out of the jam, striking out No. 3 hitter Stephanie Heyward to end the game. Best (1-1) got the loss for Cal Poly, allowing three hits and four runs (two earned) over two innings Casper allowed five hits and no runs over five innings.
Three Hornets had multiple-hit games, including Brookshire's 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, Hinton went 2-for-4 with a run scored, and Scott was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Syracuse pitcher Alexa Romero threw a mercy rule shortened perfect game over five innings. Sacramento State did not get a runner on base in any of the five innings, and Romero (3-0) finished the game with no walks and nine strikeouts. In fact, the sophomore and reigning second team all-region selection struck out nine of the 15 batters she faced. The Orange are now 3-0 when Romero pitches and 0-2 when she's not in the circle.
In the process, Hinton went 0-for-2 and saw her nine-game hitting streak snapped. The streak dated back to last season.
Syracuse scored eight times via 10 hits and three Hornet errors as Savanna Corr (0-2) worked the first three innings while Danielle Sperry worked 1.2 innings in relief. The three Sacramento State errors were as many as the team had combined to commit during the first five games of the season.
Syracuse's Alicia Hansen went 3-for-3 with two runs while Miranda Hearn was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.