SOFTBALL OPENS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT ON THURSDAY IN OGDEN

SOFTBALL OPENS BIG SKY TOURNAMENT ON THURSDAY IN OGDEN

Full set of game notes (17 pages) - pdf
Big Sky Championship Central
Big Sky Championship Brackets
Big Sky standings

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
• After winning the Big Sky Conference regular season championship with an 8-0 win at Montana on the final day of the regular season, Sacramento State (29-18, 14-7) will assume the No. 1 seed at this week's Big Sky Championship in Ogden, Utah.
• By virtue of winning this year's regular season title, the Hornets will host next year's conference tournament. Weber State is hosting this year's postseason event after winning the regular season title a year ago. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals.
• The tournament, which is a double elimination format, features four games on Thursday, four games on Friday, two on Saturday, and a game on Sunday if necessary.
• Sacramento State receives a first round bye, and will play its first game on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PDT against either No. 4 Portland State or No. 5 Montana. Portland State and Montana play that day at 8:30 a.m. PDT. Weber State is the 2 seed, North Dakota the 3, and Northern Colorado the 6. Idaho State and Southern Utah did not qualify.
• Should the Hornets win on Thursday, they would play again on Friday at 1:30 p.m. PDT. A loss on Thursday would see the Hornets play on Friday at 8:30 a.m. PDT.
• Sacramento State will be seeking its first Big Sky Tournament title, and its first NCAA Regional appearance since the 2008 season. That 2008 squad won the Pacific Coast Softball Conference.
• The host of the tournament has won the Big Sky's postseason event just once (Weber State did in 2016). Portland State won in 2013, Southern Utah in 2014, Weber State in both 2015 and 2016, and Montana last season. Idaho State hosted the first three years, Weber State now three straight.

MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS
• Free live video streams will be available for every game of the tournament via www.watchbigsky.com and Pluto TV channel 230. In addition, Saturday's games will be televised on Eleven Sports.
• Live stats will be available for every game of the tournament as well at www.bigskystats.com.
• All hyperlinks to the multimedia options can be found next to the games on the softball schedule at www.hornetsports.com.

HORNETS AT THE BIG SKY TOURNAMENT
• Sacramento State has qualified for the Big Sky Tournament all six years of the event.
• The Hornets are the No. 1 seed for the first time after being the No. 3 last season, the No. 2 three straight years (2014-16), and the No. 4 seed in 2013.
• Sacramento State is 6-10 all-time in Big Sky Championship play.
• The Hornets went 1-2 at last year's tournament with both losses coming to Idaho State. The one win was a 15-0 mercy rule victory over Southern Utah.
• Sacramento State in the tournament: 0-2 in 2013, 1-2 in 2014, 2-2 in 2015, 2-2 in 2016, and 1-2 a year ago.
• Fortunately for the Hornets, Idaho State did not qualify for this year's tournament as Sacramento State is 1-6 all-time vs. the Bengals in postseason play, and 5-4 against everybody else.
• All-time Big Sky Tournament records vs. this year's participants: 1-0 vs. Montana, 1-0 vs. Northern Colorado and 0-2 vs. Weber State. The Hornets have played a combined 12 games against the two teams that did not qualify for this year's event, Southern Utah (3-2) and Idaho State (1-6).

THIS YEAR VS. THE TOURNAMENT FIELD
• This season, Sacramento State is 10-5 against the tournament field, including 3-0 vs. Portland State, 2-1 vs. Weber State, North Dakota and Montana, and 1-2 vs. Northern Colorado.
• The Hornets went 5-1 at home vs. those teams, and 5-4 on the road.
• Sacramento State is 10-9 all-time vs. Weber State, and 4-4 when playing the Wildcats on their home field. The Hornets went 2-1 in Ogden this year, with all three games resulting in 4-3 scores.
• The Hornets are 12-3 all-time vs. North Dakota, including a 2-1 mark at home this season. All three games in the series were decided by two runs or less.
• Sacramento State is 51-21 all-time vs. Portland State. The Hornets swept the Vikings at home this year, but each of those games were close. Overall, Sacramento State has won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the two teams.
• The Hornets are 10-4 all-time vs. Montana, which includes taking two of three this past weekend in Missoula. The Hornets won the final two games of the series, allowing them to clinch the Big Sky's regular season title.
• The Hornets are 17-4 all-time vs. Northern Colorado, but the Bears took two of three in Greeley this year. Sacramento State was on the verge of getting swept by the Bears, but Suzy Brookshire's 3-run homer with two outs in the seventh gave the Hornets a 13-12 win in Game 3 of the series.

BROOKSHIRE MVP, MATTHIAS TOP PITCHER, PEREZ COACH OF THE YEAR
• Seven Sacramento State softball players received some form of all-Big Sky Conference recognition, 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 addition, head coach Lori Perez was named the Big Sky's Coach of the Year, the first time she has won the honor.
• 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.
• 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).
• Brookshire, Hinton and Matthias were all named first team for the second time in their careers. Hinton has been named all-league during each of her four seasons - first team each of the last two seasons and honorable mention during her first two years.