RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Sacramento State erased a one-run deficit in the seventh inning against Cal Baptist, highlighted by Nene Alas' walkoff RBI-single, as the Hornets split two games on the final day of the UCR Classic on Sunday at Amy S. Harrison Field. Sacramento State beat Cal Baptist, 2-1, after falling to UTEP, 6-5, in a game that was stopped after five innings.
The loss to UTEP was unlucky as the game was stopped after five innings because the Miners had to catch their flight home. Prior to the game, both coaches agreed to a drop-dead game time of one hour and 40 minutes. The game was stopped after the Hornets had their at-bat in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Sacramento State (8-7 overall) completed the three-day tournament with a 2-1 record. The Hornets, who opened tourney play with a 5-0 victory over host UC Riverside on Friday, saw both of their games canceled yesterday because of rain. Sacramento State has now won five of its last six games, and senior right-hander Savanna Corr has earned the win in four of those victories during that stretch. UTEP improved to 5-13 while Cal Baptist dropped to 3-10.
Making the Alas walkoff single even sweeter is the knock extended her hitting streak to a career-high nine games. During the hitting streak, the fourth-year senior is batting .429 with seven runs, 12 hits, five stolen bases and a .529 on-base percentage. True freshman Shea Graves saw her seven-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-3 against Cal Baptist.
Corr pitched both games in relief today, allowing just one hit and one run in five innings. She was the tough-luck losing pitcher against UTEP after allowing just one run and one hit over four innings. She then entered the Cal Baptist game in the top of the seventh after the Lancers got a leadoff double to start the frame. The Hornets were trailing, 1-0, at the time, and Corr proceeded to retire the next three batters in succession while holding the Hornets' deficit to one run.
That set the stage for Sacramento State's bottom half of the seventh which began with a Katie Vretzos single down the right field line. She was moved up to second on a sacrifice from Sydney Rasmussen, and advanced to third when Cal Baptist committed an error on Alondra Mejia's ground ball. Kailie Hargis pinch ran for Mejia, and, with runners at the corners, a wild pitch allowed Vretzos to score and Hargis raced all the way to third base. Alas then singled up the middle allowing Hargis to score the game-winning run.
Suzy Brookshire finished the game 2-for-3 with a stolen base while Alas, Vretzos, Mejia and Krystal Aubert also had hits. Staring pitcher Jensen Main did a nice job in the circle, allowing just four hits and one run with five strikeouts over six-plus innings. Main now has a 2.45 ERA this season while Corr is sitting at a 2.56 ERA.
In the Hornets' first game of the day against UTEP, a combined five runs were scored in the first inning, as the Miners scored twice in the top of the first followed by the Hornets scoring three times in the bottom of the inning. In the second, the Miners scored three times to take a 5-3 lead, only to see the Hornets score twice in the third to tie things at 5-5. The game-winning run was scored with two outs in the fifth inning on an RBI-double from Linda Garcia scoring Bryanna Molina from first base.
The Hornets scored their three runs in the first despite recording just one hit in the inning. Alas led off the inning with an infield single, and the Hornets then took advantage of three walks, a wild pitch and two hit batters. The hit-by-pitches came in bases loaded at-bats from Aubert and Vretzos. The Hornets tacked on their third run when Sydnee Strong's sacrifice fly drove home Brookshire.
Trailing, 5-3, the Hornets tied things in the third inning after Alas' two-out, two-run single scored both Graves and Strong. After UTEP scored in the top of the fifth, Sacramento State threatened in the bottom half of the inning, getting runners to first and second with two outs. However, Alas grounded out to end the inning and game.
Alas finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs while Graves was 2-for-3 with a run, and Mejia 1-for-2. Those three players combined for all six of Sacramento State's hits. Corr threw well in relief, but took the loss. Danielle Sperry started the game for the Hornets. Julia Wright (3-4) got the win in relief for UTEP, allowing five hits and two runs with four strikeouts over five innings.
Sacramento State has a busy week ahead as the Hornets will play seven games away from home over a five-day span. That stretch begins with a doubleheader on Wednesday at Stanford, followed by five games over three days (Friday-Sunday) at the Louisville Slugger Tournament in Stockton.
NOTES — Junior first baseman Mo Spieth, who is batting .394 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 12 games, did not play in any of the tournament games because of an injured knee…Alas has led off an inning 20 times this season, and has reached base safely on 14 of those occasions.