CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. — Sacramento State split a pair of games on the second day of the Mary Nutter Softball Classic on Sunday at the Big League Dreams Complex. The Hornets began the day with a 3-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara before falling in the second game to Army by a 7-4 score.
The three-day tournament, which began yesterday, features 16 teams and 42 games. Sacramento State is playing in the prestigious tournament for the first time, and will play once more tomorrow morning vs. UC Riverside at 9 a.m. The Hornets are now 2-2 at the tournament, which includes yesterday's outcomes, a 4-1 victory over Cal Poly followed by an 8-0 loss to Syracuse. Sacramento State is now 3-5 overall this season.
In today's split, senior right-hander Celina Matthias was dominant, tossing a four-hit shutout in the first game, and then coming back against Army to toss 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. In two games today, Matthias allowed six hits and no runs in 10.1 innings while walking one and striking out 12 batters. She limited the opposition to a .167 batting average and all six hits allowed were singles.
Offensively, the Hornets hit .345 as a team, which included shortstop Sydney Rasmussen going 5-for-6 with three runs scored, Nene Alas going 4-for-8, Mo Spieth 3-for-7 and Suzy Brookshire cranked her first home run of the season.
Matthias dominated UC Barbara (5-4), tossing a four-hit shutout which included just one walk and seven strikeouts. She needed just 94 pitches to notch her 11th career shutout, and she faced just five batters over the minimum. Matthias (3-1) retired 11 straight batters between the third and sixth innings, and allowed just one runner past second base the entire game. Matthias was also dominant in yesterday's 4-1 victory over Cal Poly, going the distance while striking out six.
Sacramento State finished with 12 hits, which tripled the Gauchos' output, and the Hornets were able to scratch across a run in the second and two more in the fifth. In that second inning, after two outs had been recorded, Sacramento State got three straight hits from Rasmussen, Jessica Scott and Marissa Maligad, respectively. The Maligad single allowed Rasmussen to score, and provided all the run support Matthias would need.
In the fifth inning, the Hornets mounted another two-out rally, as a Sydnee Strong RBI-double scored Spieth, and Rasmussen followed with a double to left scoring Strong.
UC Santa Barbara's Veronika Gulvin (1-2) took the loss, allowing three runs and 12 hits over six innings. She walked none and struck out five batters. Sacramento State stole three bases in the game, including thefts from Rasmussen, Alas and Zamari Hinton. Rasmussen finished 3-for-3 with a run, double and an RBI while Alas was 3-for-4. Scott also had a multiple-hit game, finishing 2-for-3.
Matthias limited UCSB's Nos. 5-9 hitters to a combined 0-for-13 from the plate. Sacramento State and UC Santa Barbara have already faced each other three times this year with the Gauchos winning the first two meetings.
Sacramento State held a 2-1 lead after three innings, but Army used a six-run fourth inning to break things open. The Hornets used all three of their pitchers in today's game, but Army combined for seven runs and nine hits off Savanna Corr and Danielle Sperry. In that fourth inning, the Black Knights sent 11 batters to the plate while scoring six runs on seven hits and taking advantage of one Hornet error.
Sacramento State had good offensive production, accounting for four runs and eight hits while scoring single runs in the first, second, sixth and seventh innings. The Hornets opened the scoring in the first inning when Brookshire launched a two-out solo homer to the opposite field, notching her 16th career round tripper in the process. After Army (2-7) tied the score at 1-1, the Hornets got another run in the bottom of the second when Maligad's RBI-single scored Rasmussen.
After the six-run fourth inning, Matthias was inserted into the game and kept the Hornets afloat with 3.1 innings of shutout relief. During that stint, she faced just one batter over the minimum while allowing just two singles and striking out five batters.
The Hornets mounted yet another two-out rally in the sixth inning. After the first two outs were recorded, Rasmussen singled and Scott walked before back-to-back wild pitches eventually allowed Rasmussen to score. The Hornets cut the deficit to 7-4 in the seventh inning on an RBI-double from Spieth scoring Brookshire, but would get no closer.
Corr (0-3) took the loss, working the first 3.2 innings. Madison Bryant (1-0) got the win for Army, allowing six hits and two runs in 4.1 innings, while Renee Poirier earned the save, yielding just two runs and two hits in 2.2 innings.
Brookshire (2-for-3 with two runs, a homer, walk, stolen base and RBI), Spieth (2-for-4 with a double and RBI) and Rasmussen (2-for-3 with two runs) all had multiple-hit games for Sacramento State.
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