DAVIS, Calif. — Suzy Brookshire hit two home runs and Sydnee Strong also homered to lead Sacramento State to a 6-3 win over Santa Clara in the fourth and final round of the NorCal Softball Challenge on Sunday afternoon at La Rue Field.
The win allowed Sacramento State (14-8) to post a perfect 4-0 record at the NorCal Challenge, a three-day tournament co-hosted by the Hornets and UC Davis. Sacramento State hosted tournament games on Saturday while UC Davis hosted games on Friday and today. Today's win was the second of the tournament against Santa Clara, and the Hornets also posted victories vs. Pacific and Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Hornets have now won a season-high tying five straight, and 10 of the last 11 games. The team's only loss during the entire month of March was a 3-2 defeat against Saint Mary's in Albuquerque. Sacramento State began the season with a 4-7 record before posting a 10-1 mark over its last 11 games.
During the four-game tournament, the Hornets hit .371 as a team with six homers and 27 RBIs while the pitching staff went 4-0 with a 1.25 ERA and a .184 opponents batting average.
Brookshire continues to terrorize opponent pitching as she now has four homers in the last three games. In fact, the sophomore just had a multiple homer game against Santa Clara yesterday, and now has seven bombs this year. She set a school record with 15 homers a year ago. This season, she leads the team in batting average (.415), runs (23), doubles (8), homers (7), RBIs (21), total bases (56), slugging percentage (.862) and on-base percentage (.500).
Brookshire connected on a two-run homer in the fifth, and a solo shot in the seventh. Strong connected on her third home run of the season in the fourth inning, and in the process, improved her career-best hitting streak to seven games. Brookshire now has a career-high 11-game hitting streak and second baseman Zamari Hinton, after going 1-for-3 with a run, has a 10-game hitting streak.
Sophomore left-hander Danielle Sperry (3-1) recorded her third victory of the season, throwing a complete game while allowing just two hits and two earned runs in seven innings. She threw 104 pitches, and, of the 21 outs recorded, 15 were ground ball outs. Sperry retired each of the first 12 batters she faced until issuing a leadoff walk in the fifth inning.
Sacramento State never trailed, scoring single runs in the first (Mo Spieth RBI-single) and third (Alexxiss Diaz sacrifice fly) innings. Strong's homer in the fourth made it 3-0, and Brookshire's two-run blast in the fifth put the Hornets up, 5-0. Santa Clara used an infield hit, two walks and two wild pitches to score twice in the fifth and cut the deficit to 5-2. Brookshire's solo homer in the seventh gave the Hornets some extra cushion as Santa Clara took advantage of a Hornet error in the bottom of the seventh to scratch across a run and get within, 6-3. The The Broncos had the potential tying run at the plate but Sperry got Morgan Modesto to fly out and end the game.
Brookshire went 3-for-4 with three runs, two homers and three RBIs, Sydney Rasmussen went 2-for-4 and Nene Alas was 2-for-4 with a run. The trio combined for seven of the Hornets' 13 hits, and all nine Sacramento State starters had at least one hit.
McCall James (0-3) got the loss for Santa Clara (4-21), allowing 13 hits and six runs in seven innings. Sacramento State is now 3-0 against the Broncos this season.
The Hornets return to action on Wednesday for a road game at 16th-ranked Cal at 4 p.m.
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February 22, 2018 MATTHIAS’ SHUTOUT LEADS SOFTBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SPLIT WITH STANFORD
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