SOFTBALL SPLITS A PAIR OF GAMES, NOW 3-1 AT NEW MEXICO TOURNAMENT

SOFTBALL SPLITS A PAIR OF GAMES, NOW 3-1 AT NEW MEXICO TOURNAMENT

ALUBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sacramento State split a pair of games on the second day of the Lobo Softball Classic on Saturday. Sacramento State began the day with a 17-1 mercy rule victory over Howard before squandering a 2-0 lead in a 3-2 loss to Saint Mary's later in the day.

With the split, the Hornets are now 3-1 at the three-day tournament, which includes victories against Howard and tournament host New Mexico yesterday. Sacramento State is now 9-8 overall, and had won five straight games prior to the Saint Mary's loss. The Hornets conclude the tournament tomorrow against New Mexico at noon PDT.

Four different Sacramento State players finished the day with at least three hits, including Mo Spieth who was 4-for-5 with four runs, two walks and a pair of RBIs. Zamari Hinton was 4-for-8, Suzy Brookshire 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs, and Sydnee Strong was 3-for-5 with four runs scored, three doubles and two RBIs. Left-hander Danielle Sperry (1-1) picked up the win in the first game, and Celina Matthias (6-3) got the loss in the nightcap.

GAME 1

Sacramento State pounded out 17 runs on 15 hits in a 17-1 victory that was stopped after five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule. The Hornets had 10 different players pick up at least one RBI, and the team scored nine runs in a second inning in which it sent 13 batters to the plate. In fact, Sacramento State scored twice in the first, nine times in the second, twice in the fourth and four more in the fifth inning.

Highlighting the nine-run second inning uprising was a three-run triple from Nene Alas, a two-run homer from Brookshire and a two-run double from Strong. Ten different Hornets also had at least one hit, including Strong who went 2-for-2 with four runs, a walk, two doubles and two RBIs. Alas went 2-for-2 with two runs, a triple, stolen base and three RBIs, and Hinton was 3-for-4 with a run and RBI. Spieth was 1-for-2 with two walks, a stolen base and three runs scored.

Amazingly, Sacramento State had 10 players with RBIs, comprised of Alas (3), Brookshire (2), Strong (2), Jaciana Vasquez (1), Hinton (1), Rylee Sager (1), Spieth (1), Jessica Scott (1), Kaitlyn Rubio (1) and Marissa Maligad (1). The Hornets had little trouble against Howard starter Mackenzi Steele who gave up 13 hits and 16 runs (nine earned) over four innings.

Meanwhile, Hornet starter Danielle Sperry got her first victory of the season, allowing just three hits and one run with two strikeouts over five innings. She needed just 62 pitches to pick up the complete game victory.

Howard dropped to 2-19 with the loss.

GAME 2

Sacramento State held a 2-0 lead after four innings, but Saint Mary's scored once in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to squeak out the 3-2 victory.

The Hornets got off to a good start in the first inning after a two-out, RBI-single from Spieth scored Hinton from second base. Sacramento State tacked on another run in the fourth after a ground ball off the bat of Alexxiss Diaz allowed Spieth to score from third base. The Hornets had more chances to score, but stranded a pair of runners on base in the sixth and seventh innings.

In fact, the Hornets had runners at second and third with one out in both the sixth and seventh innings, but failed to score. That included a leadoff double from Strong in the seventh. Those missed opportunities hurt Sacramento State as the Gaels kept mounting late-inning rallies.

After Sacramento State starter Celina Matthias breezed through the first four innings allowing just one hit over that span, the Gaels took advantage of a Hornet error to score an unearned run and cut their deficit to 2-1 in the fifth inning. In the sixth, a sacrifice fly tied the game, and in the seventh, it was a two-out, walkout RBI-double from Halle Sullivan that ended the game.

The Hornets stranded six runners on base (four in the last two innings) while the Gaels (7-17) left just three runners aboard. Matthias got the loss despite allowing just four hits and three runs (two earned) with four strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Katlyn Whitt (4-7) went the distance for Saint Mary's, allowing six hits and two runs over seven innings.

Spieth accounted for three of the Hornets' six hits in the game, finishing 3-for-3 with with a run, two doubles and an an RBI. Charizma Guzman had a stolen base in the seventh inning, and the Hornets have now stolen at least one base in six straight games. Over that six-game span, they have swiped 15 bags. Overall this season, the team is now 20-for-22 in stolen base opportunities.