Big Sky Conference standings
GREELEY, Colo. — Led by Krystal Aubert's two homers and six RBIs, Sacramento State's offense combined for 18 runs and 28 hits on the way to a doubleheader sweep at Northern Colorado on Friday afternoon at Gloria Rodriguez Field. The Hornets won the first game, 6-5, before taking the nightcap by a 12-9 score.
Many of Sacramento State's hitters had big days, but Aubert's performance stood out as the senior first baseman combined to go 5-for-7 with four runs scored, two walks, two homers and six RBIs. It was her solo home run in the top of the seventh that broke a 5-5 tie in the first game, and she reached base safely in all five plate appearances in the second game. In fact, Aubert has reached base safely in six straight plate appearances spanning both games today.
The Hornets will attempt go get the three-game sweep tomorrow when the teams play at 11 a.m. PDT. Sacramento State (26-18, 7-3) has been really good during the month of April as the team has now won nine of its last 10 games. In addition, the Hornets have won five straight games against Big Sky competition, which includes a three-game home sweep of Montana on April 5-6.
Sacramento State remains in second place in the Big Sky standings, trailing Weber State (11-1) which swept a doubleheader against Montana today. Both teams have seven conference games remaining. The Hornets also improved to 9-5 on the road, and have won six of their last seven games on an opponent's home field.
Northern Colorado, which entered today as winners of five of its last seven games, dropped to 11-32 and 5-8 in Big Sky play.
While the usually reliable Hornet pitching staff was a bit shaky today, the Hornet offense was on fire all afternoon. Of the team's 28 hits, 13 went for extra bases, including eight doubles, two triples and three homers. The team finished with a .472 on-base percentage and all nine starters finished the doubleheader with at least two hits. Both Aubert and Brianna Bowers had five hits, Suzy Brookshire had four hits (including a homer and four RBIs), and both Sydnee Strong and Nene Alas had three hits.
In a wild game the featured a combined 21 runs, 29 hits, four errors, 19 runners left on base, and 268 pitches, it was the Hornets that outlasted Northern Colorado, 12-9. The only inning both teams did not score was the third, and Sacramento State put up crooked numbers in the first (3), fourth (4) and sixth (4) innings. Northern Colorado, meanwhile, posted crooked numbers in the second (3), sixth (3) and seventh (2) innings. A total of seven pitchers were used in a game which lasted two hours and 30 minutes.
Sacramento State never trailed, jumping out to a 4-1 lead after the top of the 2nd, an 8-4 lead after the fourth, and a 12-4 lead after the top of the sixth. The Bears scored three times in the bottom of the sixth and twice in the seventh to make things interesting. In fact, in the seventh inning, Northern Colorado had the bases loaded with the potential tying run at first before Savanna Corr struck out Maddee Blood-Smyth to end the game.
The big blows for the Hornets were a two-run single from Aubert in the first, a two-run double from Brookshire and two-run homer from Aubert in the fourth, and a two-run double from Strong in the sixth.
Five different Hornets had multiple-hit games, including Aubert who was 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two walks, a homer and four RBIs. Bowers was 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored, and Brookshire, Shea Graves and Strong each had two hits. All nine Sacramento State starters had hits, including Alas, Sydney Rasmussen, Jessica Scott and Katie Vretzos.
Danielle Sperry (8-2) got the win as she worked the first 5.2 innings before Jensen Main pitched an inning of relief, and Corr got the final out for her second save of the day. Corr also recorded the final out in the first game, and she improved her season save total to three. Northern Colorado used four pitchers, and Maggie Thurston (2-8) got the loss, allowing six earned runs and 12 hits in 3.1 innings.
In a game that featured five lead changes, it was Sacramento State that scored last in the seventh inning on an Aubert solo home run with one out.
Sacramento State pounded out 12 hits, as eight of the team's nine starters had at least one hit. That included two hits apiece from Alas, Bowers, Brookshire and Aubert. Both Aubert and Brookshire finished 2-for-4 with a run, homer and two RBIs. The Brookshire homer was a two-run shot in the fifth that put the Hornets on top, 4-3.
Sacramento State began the game with four straight hits, which included RBI-singles from Bowers and Aubert. After Northern Colorado scored once in the second and twice in the fourth, Brookshire's two-run blast to right-center put the Hornets back in the lead, 4-3. The Bears reclaimed the lead with a two-run bottom of the fifth before a Vretzos RBI-double scoring Strong tied things at 5-5.
That set up Aubert's home run, as she crushed a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall. Aubert now has 12 homers, tied for the third best single-season mark in program history. The Brookshire home run was her ninth and she increased her program record tally to 42 career round trippers.
Main got the win in relief, throwing 2.2 innings. Corr worked the first four innings, and was re-inserted into the game to get the final out as Northern Colorado had a runner at first with two outs in the seventh with No. 3 hitter Emma Brockmann coming up. Corr got Brockmann to fly out and end the game.