GREELEY, Colo. — Sacramento State received homers from Krystal Aubert and Shea Graves, and the Hornets won at Northern Colorado, 5-4, in the final game of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Gloria Rodriguez Field.
With the win, the Hornets, who won both games of a doubleheader yesterday, completed a three-game series sweep of the Bears. The Hornets have now won five straight and 10 of their last 11 games while improving to 27-18 overall and 8-3 in the Big Sky Conference. Today wrapped up a seven-game road trip that saw Sacramento State post a 6-1 record. In addition, the Hornets have won six straight conference games, and improved to 10-2 during the month of April.
With just six conference games remaining in the regular season, Sacramento State sits in second place in the Big Sky standings with an 8-3 record. Weber State continues to reside in first place at 12-1 after sweeping a three-game series from Montana. With the losses, Northern Colorado, which entered the series as winners of five of its last seven games, dropped to 11-33 overall and 5-9 in the Big Sky.
During the three-game sweep, the Hornet offense combined to hit .375 (36-for-96) with 23 runs, 11 doubles, two triples, five homers and 22 RBIs. Leading the way was Aubert, who put together an incredible two-day display of offense. The senior first baseman hit homers in all three games, and finished the series batting .778 (7-for-9) with five runs, four walks, a double, three homers, seven RBIs and a ridiculous 1.889 slugging percentage. Dating back to the first game of the series, she has reached base safely in a program-record 10 straight plate appearances.
Aubert now has 13 home runs this season, which is the third best mark in Sacramento State history. Those 13 homers sit behind teammate Suzy Brookshire's 18 home runs a year ago, and her 15 homers in 2017.
Aubert wasn't the only Hornet who went off during the series, as freshman Brianna Bowers was 7-for-13 with five runs scored, a double, triple and three RBIs. Six different Hornets hit better than .330 in the series, including Suzy Brookshire (.417), Jessica Scott (.375), Nene Alas (.333) and Sydnee Strong (.333).
In today's game, Sacramento State never trailed, scoring twice in the top of the second, and once in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Northern Colorado kept things close throughout as the Hornets never led by more than two runs. That included a stressful bottom of the seventh when the Bears scored a run and had runners at first and second before Savanna Corr got No. 5 hitter Hailee Swanson to ground out and end the game.
Speaking of Corr, the senior right-hander went the distance, striking out nine batters over seven innings. She improved her record to 17-9, and the 17 wins are not only a career high, but also tie for the eighth best mark in the program's Div. I era (1990-pres.).
The Hornets scored twice in the second on an Aubert leadoff homer and Sydney Rasmussen scoring on a Northern Colorado error. The Bears would eventually tie the game with single runs in the bottom of the second and third, before the Hornets tacked on runs in the fourth (Graves solo homer) and fifth (Bowers RBI-double).
After Northern Colorado cut the Hornet lead to 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the fifth, Sacramento State picked up a huge insurance run in the top of the seventh when Brookshire doubled home Bowers. Corr then worked through a Northern Colorado bottom of the seventh that featured a run and two hits before getting Swanson to ground out and end the game.
Both Bowers and Aubert had multiple-hit games while Alas, Brookshire, Graves and Scott also had hits. Aubert reached base safely in all four plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two walks, a run scored, homer and an RBI. One of those walks was an intentional pass in the seventh inning.
Valerie Vidal (8-24) picked up the loss for Northern Colorado, allowing five runs (four earned) and eight hits with zero strikeouts in seven innings.
Sacramento State returns to action next week when the Hornets host a three-game conference series against Portland State. The Hornets and Vikings will play a doubleheader on Friday at noon, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.