SOFTBALL FINALLY BACK AT HOME, PLAYS 3-GAME BIG SKY SERIES VS. PORTLAND STATE

SOFTBALL FINALLY BACK AT HOME, PLAYS 3-GAME BIG SKY SERIES VS. PORTLAND STATE

Full set of game notes (12 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Conference standings

WEEKLY PREVIEW

• Sacramento State (17-11, 3-3) and Portland State (10-24, 3-3) will play a three-game Big Sky Conference series this week, beginning with a game on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
• The two teams were supposed to play a doubleheader on Friday and single game on Saturday, but expected inclement weather in the Sacramento area pushed the series opener up one day.
• Following Thursday's game, Friday's scheduled games have been canceled and the two teams are now scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.
• In between games of Saturday's doubleheader, the 1988 Hornet team will be honored. The 1988 squad still owns the program record for most wins (57) and best winning percentage (57-12, .826). In addition, Saturday is Pediatric Cancer Day as Hornet players will be wearing gold laces.
• Thursday will mark the Hornets' first Big Sky Conference home game as each of the team's first six league games have come on the road. Sacramento State is one of just two teams in the Big Sky (Montana being the other) to play its first six conference games on the road.
• Last weekend, the Hornets took two of three games at defending Big Sky regular season champion Weber State. That included a seventh inning Suzy Brookshire grand slam in Saturday's finale that gave the Hornets a 4-3 win.
• Since beginning the season 4-7, Sacramento State has won 13 of its last 17 games.
• The Hornets will leave Sacramento just once in April, as 12 of the team's 15 games during the month will come at Shea Stadium. Nine of those games are against Big Sky opponents, including three-game sets vs. Portland State, Southern Utah (April 20-21) and North Dakota (April 27-28).
• Sacramento State is 6-4 at home, and will carry a four-game home winning streak into Thursday's game. The Hornets have not lost at home since Feb. 22, a 5-2 loss to Stanford in the second game of a doubleheader.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS

• Free live video streams will be available for all three games of the series via www.watchbigsky.com and Pluto TV channel 233.
• Live audio will be available for every home game this year via KSSU Student Radio.
• Live stats will be available for every game (home or away) the remainder of the season.
• All hyperlinks to the multimedia options can be found next to the games on the softball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

vs. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT

• In a series which dates back to 1979, Sacramento State owns a 48-21 all-time record against Portland State.
• The Hornets have won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the two teams, and are 12-3 against the Vikings since the Big Sky began sponsoring softball in 2013.
• Sacramento State has won eight straight home games against Portland State, a winning streak that dates back to 2008. The Hornets are 6-0 at home vs. the Vikings in Big Sky play.

TWO LENGTHY HITTING STREAKS

• Two Sacramento State players are currently riding lengthy hitting streaks, including Suzy Brookshire (17 games) and Zamari Hinton (16 games). Both are career high hitting streaks.
• The 17-game hitting streak for Brookshire is tied for the third longest in the Hornets' Div. I era (1990-pres.). During the streak, she is batting .480 (24-for-50) with 20 runs, six doubles, nine homers, 31 RBIs, 10 walks, a .557 on-base percentage and 1.140 slugging percentage.
• The 16-game hitting streak for Hinton is tied for the fifth longest in the team's Div. I era. During the streak, she is batting .492 (29-for-59) with 19 runs scored, 11 RBIs and two stolen bases.
• Hinton now has three career hitting streaks of at least 13 games. That includes a 15-game streak last season and a 13-game streak in 2016.
• Sacramento State's longest Div. I era hitting streaks are 21 games (Izmena Cabrera in 2009), 18 games (Lindy Winkler in 2006) and 17 games (Katie Cichy in 1998).

OFFENSE IS RIDING HIGH

• Sacramento State's offensive production has been very impressive this year as the team currently sports a .307 batting average. If the season ended today, that would rank as the second best mark in school history (.311 in 2008).
• Of the 289 Div. I softball playing schools, the Hornets rank among the nation's top 40 teams in batting average (32nd), doubles per game (36th; 1.54) and runs per game (37th; 5.61).
• Six regulars in the lineup are hitting better than .280, comprised of Suzy Brookshire (.422), Zamari Hinton (.404), Nene Alas (.360), Sydney Rasmussen (.326), Sydnee Strong (.298) and Mo Spieth (.289).

HORNET NOTABLES

• The Hornets have used the same batting order in 12 straight games: Alas (RF) batting first in the order, followed by Hinton (2B), Brookshire (LF), Spieth (1B), Rasmussen (SS), Diaz (DP), Strong (CF), Scott (C) and Maligad (3B).
• As a team, the Hornets are hitting a healthy .338 with runners in scoring position, and several players have come through in clutch at-bats this season. Top six Hornets with runners in scoring position: Hinton (.474), Strong (.407), Rasmussen (.400), Brookshire (.387), Spieth (.324) and Alas (.308).
• Brookshire has hit seventh inning home runs to give the Hornets a lead in back-to-back weeks. That includes a three-run shot at Northern Colorado that erased a 11-10 deficit and gave the Hornets an eventual 13-12 win. And last week's dramatic grand slam at Weber State that erased a 2-0 deficit in an eventual 4-3 victory.
• Right-hander Celina Matthias (10-4, 2-36) is just two wins shy of becoming the third pitcher in Sacramento State's Div. I era (1990-pres,) to post 50 career wins. For her career, she is 48-38 with a 3.23 ERA, and has posted double figures in wins in three different seasons.
• Hinton remains the toughest player in the nation to strike out, as she has yet to strike out in 104 at-bats this season.
• The Hornets have scored a combined 61 runs in the first two innings of games this year, including 31 in the first and 30 in the second, the two highest output innings.
• Hornet pitchers have done a nice job of limiting damage, holding the opposition to a .266 batting average with runners in scoring position.