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PUERTO VALLETTA, Mexico — Sacramento State dropped a pair of games on the second day of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, falling to 11th-ranked Arkansas, 8-2, before losing to Southern Illinois later in the day by a 6-1 score.
The Hornets, who opened the tournament yesterday with an 8-5 loss to 25th-ranked Mississippi, fell to 0-3 at the three-day tournament. Sacramento State will wrap up the event tomorrow morning against Central Florida at 9 a.m. PST. Overall, the Hornets are now 3-5 while Arkansas improved to 8-1 and Southern Illinois is 6-2.
Of the first three games Sacramento State has played at the tournament, two of its opponents have been nationally ranked. The three opponents (Mississippi State, Arkansas and Southern Illinois) have combined for a 19-6 record thus far.
The game was scoreless through the first four innings until Southern Illinois scored three times in both the fifth and seventh innings to eventually defeat Sacramento State, 6-1. The Salukis outhit the Hornets, 7-5, and got home runs from Kathleen Massa, Megan Brown and Jenny Jansen.
A Brown homer to open the fifth was the game's first run and Southern Illinois would tack on two more in the inning to take a 3-0 lead. Sacramento State cut the deficit to 3-1 in the sixth after Katie Vretzos' single up the middle drove home Suzy Brookshire. However, the Salukis put things away in the seventh after connecting on back-to-back home runs by Jansen and Massa.
The Hornets had other chances to score, but stranded eight runners on base. That included leaving multiple runners aboard in the third, fourth and seventh innings.
Saluki pitcher Brianna Jones (5-1) went the distance for her fifth win of the season, allowing one unearned run and five hits with 10 strikeouts over seven innings. Savanna Corr (2-2) worked the first 6.1 innings for the Hornets, and picked up the loss. Jensen Main got the final two outs in the seventh inning.
Sacramento State received hits from Nene Alas, Sydney Rasmussen, Shea Graves, Brianna Bowers and Vretzos.
A two-run single from Brookshire gave the Hornets a 2-1 lead in the third inning, but that advantage was short lived as Arkansas scored seven times over the next three innings and eventually won, 8-2. Sacramento State's defense, which has struggled thus far in the early going, committed five errors which led to five unearned runs for Arkansas.
Three of those unearned runs came in the top of the fourth when the Hornets were looking for a shutdown inning after taking the lead. Sacramento State committed two errors in the fourth, and two more in the fifth. Arkansas scored unearned runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings as each of the team's first five runs were unearned.
Sacramento State finished with four hits, and its biggest threat to score came in the bottom of the third when Brookshire's two-out, two-run single scored both Alas and Graves. The Hornets had a threat in the seventh inning, putting two runners aboard, but could not score.
Main (0-3) picked up the loss, working the first 5.2 innings. Main was effective, but the Hornets' defense let her down as she allowed eight hits and eight runs, but only three of those were earned. Mary Haff (5-1) got the win for the Razorbacks, and Autumn Storms earned her fist save of the season.
Alas, Brookshire, Vretzos and Rasmussen accounted for the Hornet hits. Vretzos, Alas and Rasmussen each hit safely in both games.