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SOFTBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKER TO IDAHO STATE, WILL BE THE 3 OR 4 SEED AT NEXT WEEK’S BIG SKY TOURNAMENT

SOFTBALL DROPS HEARTBREAKER TO IDAHO STATE, WILL BE THE 3 OR 4 SEED AT NEXT WEEK’S BIG SKY TOURNAMENT

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POCATELLO, Idaho - With the Hornets leading by one run in the bottom of the seventh, Idaho State's Aubrey Creekmore hit a two-out, walkoff three-run homer to deliver a 6-4 Bengal win over Sacramento State on Saturday afternoon at Miller Ranch Stadium.

The game marked the regular season finale for both teams, as Idaho State swept the three-game series over the Hornets. It marked the first time Sacramento State has been swept by a Big Sky Conference opponent in a three-game series since dropping three at Weber State on April 29-30, 2016.

The game was a heartbreaker not only for the outcome, but it also cost the Hornets the No. 2 seed and a first round bye at next week's Big Sky Tournament. Instead, Idaho State (20-25, 10-7) will be the 2 seed, and get the bye. Sacramento State (29-23, 9-8) will either be the No. 3 or 4 seed and play in the first round on Wednesday morning. As of right now, the Hornets are the 3 seed, but if Montana wins at Southern Utah tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. PDT, Sacramento State would drop to the No. 4 seed, and Montana would be the No. 3.

If the Hornets wind up as the 3 seed, they would play against No. 6 Northern Colorado (11-37, 5-12) on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. When the two teams played earlier this season, the Hornets swept the three-game series at Northern Colorado. If the Hornets finish as the No. 4 seed, they would play No. 5 Portland State (19-29, 8-9) on Wednesday at 9 a.m. The Hornets dropped two of three at home to Portland State last weekend.

The Hornets are hosting the four-day Big Sky Tournament (May 8-11) at Shea Stadium, and tournament information, including schedule, tickets and more, can be found by clicking here.

The Hornets may have to play twice on Wednesday at the double-elimination tournament. With a win in that first round game, they would play again vs. Idaho State at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Should the Hornets lose their first round game, they would play on Thursday at 11 a.m.

Creekmore had a monster series for Idaho State, as she also connected for walkoff single in the series-opening 3-2 win. That walkoff also came with two outs. The Bengals' shortstop and No. 3 hitter finished the series 6-for-11 with three runs scored and seven RBIs.

In today's game, Sacramento State never trailed until Creekmore's blast in the seventh. The Hornets scored twice in the first inning with two outs via RBI-single from Krystal Aubert and RBI-double from Sydney Rasmussen. However, Idaho State bounced right back in the bottom half of the inning with two runs and two hits.

The Hornets took a 3-2 lead in the fourth (RBI-ground ball from Jessica Scott scoring Shea Graves), and tacked on another in the fifth via RBI-single from Sydnee Strong. Idaho State took advantage of two Hornet errors in the fifth, scoring once without the benefit of a hit as the Hornets' lead was cut to 4-3.

Idaho State had a chance to tie in the sixth, but Hornet right-hander Savanna Corr worked out of a runners at second and third base, one-out jam. In the seventh, however, after the first out of the inning was recorded, No. 9 hitter Jayden DeMoss drew a walk followed by a single up the middle from MaKenzie Van Sickle. A sacrifice bunt from Haley Harrison pushed the runners to second and third, and Creekmore hit the first pitch she saw over the left field wall for the 6-4 win.

Corr (19-12) took the loss, allowing four hits and six runs (five earned) with five strikeouts over 6.2 innings. Mariah Mulcahy (4-10) got the win, allowing eight hits and four runs (three earned) with four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

For Sacramento State, Rasmussen finished 2-for-4 with a run, double and RBI while Brianna Bowers was 2-for-4 with a triple. Nene Alas, Aubert, Graves and Strong also had hits. Rasmussen improved her hitting streak to six games.

Sacramento State does not play again until the opening the Big Sky Tournament on Wednesday.