BROOKSHIRE’S 7TH INNING GRAND SLAM LEADS SOFTBALL TO 4-3 VICTORY AT WEBER STATE AND SERIES WIN

BROOKSHIRE’S 7TH INNING GRAND SLAM LEADS SOFTBALL TO 4-3 VICTORY AT WEBER STATE AND SERIES WIN

OGDEN, Utah — Trailing, 2-0 in the seventh inning and down to their last out, the Hornets' Suzy Brookshire connected on a grand slam to provide what would eventually be a 4-3 victory at Weber State in the rubber game of a three-game series at Wildcat Field.

The win allowed the Hornets (17-11, 3-3) to take two of the three games in the series over Weber State (15-16, 3-3). The two teams split a doubleheader yesterday. All three games in the series were decided by 4-3 outcomes, and the game-winning run was scored in the seventh inning of each of the three contests. The Wildcats are the Big Sky Conference's defending regular season champions and were picked to finish second in the preseason coaches poll while Sacramento State was picked third.

Brookshire's dramatic blast came on a 1-0 pitch with two outs in the seventh, as she deposited a ball over the center field fence. The homer scored Zamari Hinton, Marissa Maligad and Jaciana Vasquez ahead of Brookshire, and erased a 2-0 deficit. Prior to the homer, Sacramento State had no runs and four hits off Weber State starter Kirtlyn Bohling. With one out in the seventh, Vasquez and Maligad walked to put runners at first and second. Nene Alas lined out to left field for the second out, and Sacramento State caught a break when Wildcat shortstop Sydney White committed an error on Hinton's ball. The White error extended the inning and game, and allowed Brookshire to step to the plate and crush her 10th home run of the season.

In the last eight days, Brookshire has two game-clinching home runs with two outs in the seventh inning. It was her there-run blast with two outs in the seventh inning last Saturday at Northern Colorado which allowed Sacramento State to win, 13-12. Brookshire, just a sophomore, set the program record with 15 homers a year ago and now has 25 career round trippers. That already ranks second in school history, and she trails Jamie Schloredt's 35 homers, set from 2006-09. In addition, Brookshire is now batting .410 with 37 RBIs in 28 games this year. The school record for single-season RBIs is 53, set by Izmena Cabrera in 2008.

Sacramento State, which played its first six conference games on the road, will now get some home cooking as the team will play three-game Big Sky series at home three times over the next four weeks. That begins with next week's three-game set vs. Portland State.

Once again, Hornet starter Celina Matthias (10-4) picked up the win, allowing seven hits and three runs (one earned) with six strikeouts over seven innings. She was the winning pitcher in both Hornet victories this weekend, and is now 48-38 in her four-year career. She is two wins shy of becoming just the third pitcher in the Hornets' Div. I era (1990-pres.) to win 50 games. In 14 starts this year, she has 11 complete games.

Weber State scored once in the first and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, and Bohling made that lead hold up until Brookshire's heroics in the seventh. In the bottom half of the seventh, the Wildcats took advantage of a Hornet error and a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 4-3, but Matthias got Rae Gall to fly out and end the game.

Bohling (6-6) took the loss, allowing five hits and four unearned runs with five strikeouts in seven innings.

Brookshire was the only Hornet with a multiple-hit game as she finished 2-for-4 with a run, home run and four RBIs. Alas, Hinton and Maligad also had hits. The Hinton hit in the first inning was significant as she extended her hitting streak to a career-high 16 games. That ranks as the fourth longest hitting streak in Sacramento State's Div. I era.

Next week's three-game home series vs. Portland State will include a Friday doubleheader at noon, followed by a Saturday single game at noon.