SOFTBALL HOSTS 3-GAME SERIES AGAINST MONTANA ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

SOFTBALL HOSTS 3-GAME SERIES AGAINST MONTANA ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

Full set of game notes (pdf) - 10 pages
Big Sky Conference standings

THIS WEEK'S PREVIEW

• Fresh off a doubleheader split with 24th-ranked Stanford on Tuesday, Sacramento State (18-17, 2-3) will jump back into Big Sky Conference play on Friday when the Hornets begin a three-game home series against Montana (11-23, 1-2). The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday at noon, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.
• There is rain in the forecast on Friday, so there is a chance the schedule changes slightly.
• Saturday is Kids Day, and all kids 12-under will be admitted free. In addition, after the game, Hornet players will sign free autograph posters.
• Saturday will also include a Ring Ceremony, as all members of the 2018 Big Sky championship winning Sacramento State team will receive their championship rings. The ring ceremony will take place at the conclusion of Saturday's game. Last year's team won both the Big Sky's regular season and tournament titles, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.
• On Tuesday, after dropping the opener to #24 Stanford, 8-7, the Hornets won the nightcap by a 5-2 score. The win was the first for Sacramento State over a nationally ranked opponent since a 2-1 home victory over #12 Cal on March 24, 2009. That snapped a string off 22 straight losses to opponents that entered the game with a national ranking.
• After winning their first two conference games against Southern Utah, Sacramento State has dropped its last three. That includes last weekend when it dropped a pair of games at Weber State. The two teams were supposed to play a three-game series, but snow canceled one of the games.
• The Hornets are 12-6 at home this season, including 2-1 against conference competition. Dating back to last season, Sacramento State has won 10 of its last 12 home games vs. Big Sky opposition.
• After this weekend's games conclude, the Hornets will have reached the midway point of the conference season. There are seven teams in the Big Sky, and each team plays six three-game series against the other members.
• The top six teams in the seven-member league will qualify for the Big Sky Tournament (May 8-11), which Sacramento State will host by virtue of winning last year's regular season title.
• Currently, Weber State sits atop the conference standings with a 4-0 record, followed by Idaho State (4-1), Sacramento State (2-3) and Portland State (2-3) to round out the top four.
• Montana completed a nine-game homestand last week by dropping two of three games to Idaho State. This week's games will be the first time Montana has played away from home since March 10.
• The Griz are 1-8 when playing on an opponent's home field.
• Sacramento State is 11-4 all-time against Montana, including a 4-2 record when the teams play at Shea Stadium. Overall, the Hornets have won three straight in the series, including a 7-3 victory in the first round of last year's Big Sky Tournament in Ogden, Utah.
• Freshman outfielder Brianna Bowers is riding a seven-game hitting streak, and over that time, is batting .476 (10-for-21) with four runs and two stolen bases. After starting four of the first 29 games of the season, Bowers has started each of the last six games in the outfield or at designated player.
Nene Alas has reached base safely in 14 straight games. Amazingly, in 47 plate appearances to lead off an inning, she has reached base 23 times (.489).
Shea Graves has hit safely in seven of her last eight games, which included going 4-for-7 with her first two collegiate home runs in Tuesday's doubleheader at Stanford.
• Sacramento State pitching has allowed at least seven runs in three of the last four games after doing so five times during the first 31 games of the season. Still, the Hornets have a Big Sky-leading 2.92 ERA. Savanna Corr (2.37) leads the conference in ERA while Danielle Sperry (2.49) ranks third.