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SACRAMENTO — Sacramento State split a pair of games on the final day of the NorCal Kickoff, falling to CSU Bakersfield, 10-2, before coming back later to knock off Nevada in five innings by a 9-0 score.
The three-day tournament at Shea Stadium was the season-opening games for Sacramento State, and the Hornets concluded the event with a 3-2 record. The Hornets were supposed to play just one game this afternoon, but added the Nevada contest after the Wolf Pack had both of their scheduled games canceled today because of an unplayable field at UC Davis. Sacramento State and UC Davis were co-hosts of the NorCal Kickoff.
The Hornet offense averaged 7.8 runs per game during the tournament, which included an 8-0 win over Bakersfield on Friday, 14-6 over Santa Clara on Saturday, and today's 9-0 win over Nevada. Prior to today's loss to Bakersfield, the Hornets' only other loss came to UC Santa Barbara, 12-6, on Friday.
Six different Hornets are currently hitting better than .400, and the team's batting average is .367. Katie Vretzos is hitting .563, Nene Alas .529, Mo Spieth has two homers and eight RBIs in 13 at-bats, and Krystal Aubert has three home runs and nine RBIs in 17 at-bats. The Hornets also went 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.
In the circle, three Hornet pitchers posted ERAs of 3.00 or lower, including Savanna Corr who tossed a two-hit shutout in the win over Nevada today. Corr is now 2-0 with a 2.23 ERA, and has 14 strikeouts in 15.2 innings pitched.
Sacramento State had little trouble against Nevada (1-1), posting two runs in the first inning, five more in the second, and two in the fourth. The game was stopped prior to the bottom of the fifth inning after the eight-run mercy rule went into effect.
Sacramento State pounded out nine runs on seven hits, and got home runs from Aubert (a three-run blast in the second) and Spieth (a two-run shot in the fourth). In the circle, Corr (2-0) was dominant, allowing just two hits and one walk with five strikeouts over five innings. Corr faced just three batters over the minimum, allowed one runner past first base, and needed only 77 pitches to complete the shutout.
Three Hornets had big games offensively, including Aubert who was 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. One of her RBIs was a bunt single in the first inning that gave the Hornets an early 1-0 lead. Spieth was 1-for-1 with three runs scored, a walk, sacrifice fly, home run and three RBIs. Her sac fly came in the second inning. Alas went 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
Spieth is currently riding a four-game hitting streak while both Aubert and Alas have reached base safely in all five games. Vretzos had hit safely in the first four games before going hitless against Nevada.
The Wolf Pack committed three errors over the first two innings, helping the Hornets score five unearned runs over that span. Kali Sargent (0-1) got the loss, allowing five hits and seven runs (two earned) over 1.1 innings.
In what was the exact opposite of the Hornets' win over Nevada, Sacramento State had trouble defensively and in the circle in its loss to CSU Bakersfield (3-1). The Hornets committed six errors, the most in program single-game history and Sacramento State's pitching staff issued six walks.
The Roadrunners used the Hornet mistakes and free passes to their advantage while also mustering 11 hits. A good majority of those hits came in the seventh inning when Bakersfield scored seven times on five hits.
The Roadrunners never trailed, scoring twice in the second inning, once in the sixth, and seven times in the seventh. Sacramento State scored twice in the sixth to cut the deficit to 3-2, and had more opportunities to score throughout the game. That included failing to score after placing runners at first and second with no outs in the first inning, and loading the bases with no outs in the second.
Sacramento State, which finished with four hits, scored its runs on RBI-doubles in the sixth inning by Spieth and Jessica Scott. True freshman Brianna Bowers also had a hit, and hit safely in both games today.
Hornet starter Jensen Main (0-2) took the loss, but was effective. In 4.2 innings, she allowed six hits and two runs (both unearned) as the Hornet defense committed four errors while she was in the circle. She needed just 58 pitches while facing 22 batters. Danielle Sperry and Alyssa Nunez both pitched in relief.
Kiara Acevedo (3-1) got the win for Bakersfield, allowing three hits and two runs in 5.2 innings of relief.
Sacramento State will travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to play five games over three days on Feb. 15-17. The Hornets will open the tournament on Friday against Mississippi State at 8 a.m. PST.
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