GREELEY, Colo. - In a game that saw the two teams combine for 25 runs and 31 hits, Sacramento State came back from a four-run deficit in the last inning to eventually defeat Northern Colorado, 13-12, in the finale of a three-game Big Sky Conference softball series on Saturday afternoon.
The victory allowed Sacramento State to salvage a win during the there-game set after Northern Colorado swept yesterday's doubleheader. The Hornets improved their record to 15-10 overall and 1-2 in the Big Sky as the three-game series marked the conference-opening games for both teams. Northern Colorado dropped to 20-16 overall and 2-1 in league play.
In what turned out to be an absolute slugfest of a series, two two teams put up a combined 58 runs and 69 hits during the three-game set. Today's game was no different as Northern Colorado scored in each of the final five innings, including crooked numbers in the third (4), fifth (2) and sixth (4). Meanwhile, it was the Hornets scoring in just three innings, but putting up two runs in the third, five more in the fourth, and six in the seventh.
In fact, Sacramento State entered the seventh inning trailing, 11-7, before mounting a massive comeback in the seventh that included six runs and five hits. With three runs in, and the Hornets down to their last out and still trailing, 11-10, it was Suzy Brookshire who crushed a three-run homer plating both Zamari Hinton and Jessica Scott. The three-run blast was part of a huge game for Brookshire, as she finished with six RBIs, which included a three-run double in the fourth. The six RBIs for Brookshire were one shy of the school record of seven, set by Erin Jones in 2010.
Seven different Hornets had multiple-hit games, including Mo Spieth (3 hits), Nene Alas (2), Hinton (2), Brookshire (2), Sydney Rasmussen (2), Sydnee Strong (2) and Marissa Maligad (2). In fact, the Hornets' Nos. 1-5 hitters of Alas, Hinton, Brookshire, Spieth and Rasmussen combined to go 11-for-20 in today's game with seven runs, four walks, four doubles, a homer and 10 RBIs.
Seven different Sacramento State players had RBIs, including Brookshire (6), Hinton (2), Spieth (1), Rasmussen (1), Strong (1), Scott (1) and Maligad (1).
The Hornets held a 7-5 lead, but the Bears scored twice in the fifth and four times in the sixth to take an 11-7 lead. However, in the top of the seventh, the Hornets got RBI-doubles from Strong and Scott, and a Maligad RBI-groundout. With runners at the corners and two outs, Brookshire stepped up and crushed a three-run blast down the left field line that was barely fair and gave Sacramento State a 13-11 lead.
No lead was safe in today's game, however, and the Bears made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh. Celina Matthias entered the game in the seventh and quickly retired the first two batters. However, after a walk to Mady Young, Rachel Johnson followed with an RBI-double to get the Bears within, 13-12. After another walk put runners at first and second with two outs, Matthias was able to record the final out on a ground ball to shortstop off the bat of Cheyenne Talmadge.
Sacramento State used all three pitchers on its staff today, and Danielle Sperry (4-1) got the win while Matthias picked up her second save of the season. Matthias started the game and worked the first three-plus innings, before Savanna Corr worked two innings, Sperry went an inning, and Matthias was put back into the game to nail down the save in the seventh.
Lauren Paige (4-6) got the loss for Northern Colorado as the Bears also used three pitchers.
Sacramento State will continue its six-game road trip to begin the Big Sky portion of the season next week for a three-game series in Ogden, Utah, against Weber State. The Hornets and Wildcats will play a doubleheader on Friday followed by a single game at noon.
NOTES -- Hitting streaks were extended by Brookshire (14 games), Hinton (13 games) and Alas (8 games)…the hitting streaks for Brookshire and Alas are career highs…Hinton has four hitting streaks of at least 10 games long during her career…the Brookshire streak is the sixth longest in Sacramento State's Div. I era (1990-pres.).
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