SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State's offense combined for 14 runs and 18 hits while the pitching yielded just three runs as the Hornets won a pair of games on the second day of the NorCal Softball Challenge Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Sacramento State beat Santa Clara, 7-1, and came back later in the day to knock off Pacific by a 7-2 score.
The Hornets, who had seven runs and nine hits in both games, improved to 3-0 at the three-day tournament which is being co-hosted by UC Davis. The Aggies, who hosted games on Friday, will host the final three games of the tournament tomorrow. Sacramento State concludes the NorCal Challenge with a game against Santa Clara tomorrow at 2 p.m in Davis. For scores from the first two days of the tournament and tomorrow's schedule, please click here for the tournament home page.
The Hornets (13-8) are currently playing their best softball of the season, having won four straight and nine of the last 10 games. The offense has exploded for at least seven runs in seven of the last eight games, and the team is now batting .302 this season. Sacramento State is a season-high five games above the .500 mark and the team has lost just once during the entire month of March.
Sophomore Suzy Brookshire led the offense, combining to go 3-for-6 with three runs, two homers and five RBIs. Zamari Hinton finished 4-for-7 with three runs and a pair of RBIs, and six different Hornets combined for at least two hits during the doubleheader. In the circle, both Savanna Corr (3-4) and Celina Matthias (8-3) picked up complete game victories.
Brookshire now has a career-high 10-game hitting streak while Hinton has a nine-game streak.
The Hornets scored all seven of their runs in the first two innings of the 7-1 victory over Santa Clara. The win was the second of the season over the Broncos as the Hornets won the season opener, 6-2.
Sacramento State pounced on Bronco starter Micaela Vierra for three runs in the first inning and four more in the second, thanks in large part to Brookshire. The sophomore crushed a three-run homer in the first inning and an opposite field two-run shot in the second. The first four Hornets of the game reached base safely, and Brookshire's 3-run blast scored Nene Alas and Hinton.
In the second inning, Alas had an RBI-groundout which plated Sydnee Strong, Hinton had an RBI-single and Brookshire followed with a mammoth two-run blast to right-center. By the time the second inning was complete, the Hornets had a 7-0 lead which was more than enough run support for Corr.
In fact, Corr allowed Santa Clara (4-19) just one hit through the first four innings before the Broncos scored their lone run in the fifth. Corr (3-4) notched her second complete game of the season, allowing just four hits and one run with no walks and a pair of strikeouts over seven innings. She faced just five batters over the minimum and needed 92 pitches to earn the win.
Brookshire finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored and five RBIs while Hinton was 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. The two combined for five of the Hornets' nine hits and six of the team's seven RBIs. Alas, Mo Spieth, Marissa Maligad and Strong had Sacramento State's other hits.
Vierra (2-9) took the loss, allowing six hits and seven runs (six earned) over two innings. McCall James was effective in relief, throwing four shutout innings.
After Pacific scored a pair of first-inning runs, the Hornets chopped the deficit in half with one run in the third before finally breaking through with six runs in the fifth. During that fifth inning, which essentially put the game away, Sacramento State sent 10 batters to the plate while accumulating six runs and six hits.
Pacific (10-16) had four of its eight hits in the first inning, but Matthias limited the damage to just two runs despite Pacific sending eight batters to the plate. Matthias would get a strikeout on a full count with the bases loaded to end the frame.
With Pacific leading, 2-1, heading to the bottom of the fifth, Sacramento State finally got to Tiger starter Megan Walters in the fifth, getting an RBI-grounder from Spieth, an RBI-single from Sydney Rasmussen, a two-run double from Alexxiss Diaz and a two-out, two-run single from Maligad. Sacramento State has now scored 26 runs in the fifth inning this year, its second highest total of any inning (28 in the second).
Seven different Hornets had hits, including a 2-for-3 effort with two RBIs from both Diaz and Maligad.
Matthias worked all seven innings, allowing eight hits and two runs with four strikeouts. The fourth-year senior is now 8-3 with a 1.62 ERA and is limiting the opposition to a .199 batting average. Walters (4-5) got the loss for Pacific, allowing six hits and six runs (three earned) over 4.1 innings.
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