BROOKSHIRE NAMED MVP, MATTHIAS PITCHER OF THE YEAR; SEVEN SOFTBALL PLAYERS NAMED ALL-LEAGUE

BROOKSHIRE NAMED MVP, MATTHIAS PITCHER OF THE YEAR; SEVEN SOFTBALL PLAYERS NAMED ALL-LEAGUE

Big Sky All-Conference Team

SACRAMENTO — Seven Sacramento State softball players received some form of all-Big Sky Conference recognition today, highlighted by sophomore outfielder Suzy Brookshire being named the league's Most Valuable Player, and senior right-hander Celina Matthias being named the conference's Pitcher of the Year.

In all, three Hornets were named to the first team, including Brookshire, Matthias and senior second baseman Zamari Hinton. Senior third baseman Marissa Maligad and junior outfielder Nene Alas were both named to the second team, and honorable mention selections included junior shortstop Sydney Rasmussen and sophomore first baseman Mo Spieth.

Brookshire becomes the first Hornet to be named Big Sky MVP since the conference began sponsoring softball in 2013. In addition, she is just the second underclassman in league history to earn Most Valuable Player accolades. Idaho State's Vicky Galasso was a sophomore when she won the award in 2013. Every other league MVP has been a junior or a senior.

Matthias, who has established herself as one of the greatest pitchers in school history, has received league pitcher of the year accolades twice in the last three seasons (2016, 2018). She becomes just the second pitcher in conference history to earn the top pitcher award twice in a career, joining former Sacramento State hurler Caitlin Brooks (2014, 2015).

Sacramento State has posted a 29-18 overall record, a 14-7 conference mark, and won the Big Sky regular season title. The Hornets clinched their first Big Sky title last weekend on the final day of the regular season with an 8-0 road victory at Montana. Sacramento State will be the No. 1 seed at this week's double-elimination Big Sky Tournament, which begins on Thursday in Ogden, Utah. The Hornets will host next year's postseason event by virtue of winning this year's regular season championship.

The conference title was the second in Sacramento State's Div. I era (1990-pres.), and 10th in program history. The 2008 team won the other Div. I conference crown when it was crowned Pacific Coast Softball Conference champs in 2008.

The three first team all-Big Sky selections are the most in Sacramento State history, and both Brookshire and Matthias were unanimous selections. Hinton, Brookshire and Matthias have each earned first team accolades twice during their careers.

SUZY BROOKSHIRE - Sophomore Outfielder (Big Sky MVP; First Team)
Started all 47 games in left field, and has been named first team all-league each of the first two seasons of her career…batting .374 with 41 runs, 25 walks, 13 doubles, 15 homers, 48 RBIs, an .806 slugging percentage, a .464 on-base percentage and a 1.270 ops…ranks among the Big Sky's top three players in 10 different categories, including first in home runs, slugging percentage, ops and total bases (112), second in RBIs, batting average and on-base percentage, and third in runs scored and doubles…hit .381 in conference play with eight home runs and 27 RBIs in 21 games…overall, she is averaging 1.02 RBIs per game which is the 32nd best mark in the nation…her 15 home runs tied the program single-season record, a mark she set last year as a freshman…the 48 RBIs are five shy of the single-season program record…has hit safely in 36 games, including a 17-game hitting streak earlier this year…with the Hornets down to their last out, Brookshire has game-winning home runs on two occasions, including a grand slam at Weber State in the seventh inning that gave the team a 4-3 win.

CELINA MATTHIAS - Senior Pitcher (Big Sky Pitcher of the Year; First Team)
Named Big Sky Pitcher of the Year for the second time (2016), and named first team all-league for the second time (2016)…enjoying the best season of her career, as she is currently 18-9 with five saves and a 2.10 ERA…in 38 appearances (25 starts), she has 21 complete games, six shutouts and has struck out 195 batters in 190.1 innings pitched…opponents are batting just .209 when she's in the circle, and Matthias has factored into 23 of the team's 29 victories with a win or a save…Matthias' 195 strikeouts are the 35th best mark in the nation…leads the Big Sky in virtually every pitching category, including wins, ERA, strikeouts, opponents batting average, innings and appearances…she also ranks second in saves…has been named Big Sky Pitcher of the Week three times in the last five weeks, and 10 times in her career…became just the third Sacramento State pitcher during the Div. I era (1990-pres.) to notch 50 career victories earlier this season…is currently 56-43 with a 3.04 ERA and 504 strikeouts in 658 innings pitched…Matthias has pitched over 100 innings all four years of her career.

ZAMARI HINTON - Senior Second Baseman (First Team)
Has started all 47 games at second base…currently leads the Big Sky with a .407 batting average, a mark which ranks her 33 percentage points higher than the next closest player in the conference…leads the nation with an average of just one strikeout every 81.0 at-bats…has struck out just twice in 162 at-bats…went the first 140 at-bats of the season without a strikeout…has hit safely in 39 of 47 games, including two lengthy hitting streaks…had a 21-game hitting streak (March 6-April 13), which tied her for the best mark in the 51-year history of the program…currently riding an 11-game hitting streak…has scored 32 runs with 15 RBIs, and is 9-for-10 in stolen base attempts…hitting a team-best .439 in conference play and .440 with runners in scoring position…has committed just six errors in 160 fielding attempts (.963 fielding percentage)…if the season ended today, the .407 batting average would rank fourth in program single-season history…is a career .352 hitter, and has never hit less than .315 in any of her four seasons.

NENE ALAS - Junior Outfielder (Second Team)
Has started all 47 games in right field…ranks third on the team and sixth in the Big Sky with a .356 batting average…in 160 at-bats, she has scored 29 runs with 57 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, a homer and 14 RBIs…has a .416 on-base percentage, and nine stolen bases…hitting .390 (16-for-41) with two outs…has not committed an error all season in the outfield (45 total chances)…has hit safely in 37 of 47 games, and has three hitting streaks of at least five games long…that includes a pair of eight-game hitting streaks…second on the Hornets with 16 multiple-hit games…has posted career highs in every statistical category…was a career .222 hitter until batting .356 this season.

MARISSA MALIGAD - Senior Third Baseman (Second Team)
Has started all 47 games, primarily at third base…that includes 41 starts at third base, and six in center field…is hitting .278 in Big Sky play with 15 hits and seven runs scored in 54 at-bats…batting .296 (16-for-54) with runners on base…has committed just five errors all season long…started the first six games of the season at center field before making the switch to third base the last 41 games…in seven opportunities with a runner at third base and less than two outs, she has driven home the run five times.…has stated at least 43 games three times during her four seasons at Sacramento State, and has played in 151 career games (140 starts).

SYDNEY RASMUSSEN - Junior Shortstop (Honorable Mention)
Has started all 47 games at shortstop…ranks fourth on the team with a .297 batting average…in 143 at-bats, she has 42 hits with 21 runs scored, eight doubles, 16 RBIs, a .348 on-base percentage and nine walks…has struck out just 12 times in 143 at-bats (one strikeout per 11.9 at-bats)…is 9-for-10 in stolen base attempts, and 26-for-29 over the course of her three-year career…batting .297 with just five strikeouts in 64 at-bats during Big Sky play…batting .324 with runners on base, and .333 with runners in scoring position…has hit safely in each of her last six games heading into the Big Sky Tournament…is a .290 career hitter, and has started all 142 games in which she has appeared at Sacramento State.

MO SPIETH - Sophomore First Baseman (Honorable Mention)
Has started all 47 games at first base…in conference play, she is batting .254 (16-for-63) with three doubles, two homers and 12 RBIs…came up big during the Hornets' last two games of the regular season (both wins), going a combined 3-for-6 with two runs, two homers and five RBIs…hit a three-run homer in the first inning of Saturday's must-win game to put the Hornets on top, 3-0, in an eventual 8-0 victory at Montana…overall, her 26 RBIs are the second most on the team…batting .308 (16-for-52) with runners in scoring position…13 of her 26 RBIs have come with two outs…in 93 career games, Spieth has 74 RBIs, and is just eight RBIs shy of cracking the program's all-time top 10 in that category despite being just a sophomore.