SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State's bats went silent as the Hornets failed to score over 15 innings while dropping a pair of non-conference home games to Saint Mary's on Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Gaels won the first game, 1-0, before taking the nightcap, 2-0, in eight innings.
In 55 at-bats, the Hornets had 11 hits, including just two extra base hits. In addition, Sacramento State went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
The offense, which was hitting .311 as of March 24, has scored four runs or less in 12 straight games. The team has not scored a run in 23 consecutive innings, and has been shut out in three straight games for the first time in 16 years.
Sacramento State pitchers Celina Matthias (14-6) and Savanna Corr (4-8) were very good as the tough-luck losing pitchers in today's doubleheader. In the first game, Matthias allowed just five hits and one run while walking one and striking out eight over seven innings. She threw 101 pitches and her lowered her season ERA to 2.12. Corr, meanwhile, threw a career-high 7.1 innings, allowing just six hits and two runs. She shut out Saint Mary's through seven innings before the Gaels broke through for a pair of runs in the eighth.
Sacramento State has dropped a season-high four straight games, but still owns a 22-15 record. The Hornets had won eight straight home games until today's loss in the opener. Sacramento State is now 10-6 at Shea Stadium, and today began a season-long eight game homestand.
Saint Mary's improved to 13-27 with the victories.
In the first game, Saint Mary's Nikki Alexander lined a two-out, RBI-double to center field which scored Julia McCormack with what proved to be the game-winning run. Sacramento State threatened in bottom of the seventh, getting runners to second and third with two outs, but Saint Mary's starter Katlyn Whitt got a groundout to end the game.
The Hornets had just five hits in the game, and two of them came from Sydnee Strong who was 2-for-3. The Hornets stranded six runners on base, which included squandering a leadoff double by Nene Alas in the sixth inning. In the fifth, the Hornets had runners at the corners with two outs, but failed to score. Sacramento State was held hitless by Whitt the first 4.2 innings of the game.
Whitt (5-12) got the win, allowing five hits with one walk and zero strikeouts in seven innings. Matthias took the loss despite throwing a complete game while allowing five hits.
In the nightcap, Eileen Perez (5-9) tossed a six-hit shutout while striking out eight batters. The Hornets stranded seven runners on base, including at least one runner in every inning but the second and fourth.
The big hit in the game came off the bat of the Gaels' Hailey Sparacino who had a two-run single in the eighth inning. One-out singles from Alas and Hinton in the bottom of the eighth got the potential tying runners aboard for the Hornets, but Perez got a popout and strikeout to end the game.
Perez improved to 5-9 with the victory while Corr took the loss. Matthias retired the final two batters of the eighth inning in relief.
Alas was 3-for-3 with a walk, and Hinton was 2-for-3. Those two players combined for five of the Hornets' six hits as Strong had the other hit. Alas and Strong were the only Hornets to hit safely in both games.
Sacramento State jumps back into Big Sky Conference play later this week for a three-game home series against Southern Utah. The Hornets and Thunderbirds will play a doubleheader on Friday at noon, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.
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