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SACRAMENTO -- Four Sacramento State pitchers combined to throw 14 shutout innings, nine different Hornets collected hits and senior Jessica Scott connected on her first career home run as the Hornets opened the season with victories over Cal Baptist (6-0) and Saint Mary's (2-0) on Friday afternoon.
The wins highlighted the first day of the three-day NorCal Kickoff at Shea Stadium. In the tournament opener, Cal Baptist beat Saint Mary's, 9-7. Day 2 of the tourney is tomorrow, and features Cal Baptist vs. UC Santa Babara at 9 a.m., Boise State vs. UC Santa Babara at 11:30 a.m., and Sacramento State vs. Boise State at 2:00 p.m. For tournament information and schedule, click here.
Jensen Main (6.0 ip, 4 h, 0 r) and true freshman Marissa Bertuccio (1.0 ip, 0 r, 2 k) combined on a four-hit shutout in the Hornets' win over Cal Baptist, and Danielle Sperry (4.0 ip, 2 h, 0 r) and Alyssa Nunez (3.0 ip, 2 h, 2 k) combined on a four-hit shutout of Saint Mary's. Main retired the final 12 batters she faced, Bertuccio was strong in her first collegiate appearance, Sperry faced just one batter over the minimum to earn the win, and Nunez notched her first collegiate save.
Offensively, Charizma Guzman had four hits, Katie Vretzos, Alondra Mejia, Shea Graves and Scott each had three hits, and Amber Rodriguez had a pair of hits. Hornet catchers Scott and Rodriguez combined to go 5-for-6 with a home run and three RBIs. Collecting their first collegiate hits were true freshmen Rodriguez, Lewa Day and Aliyah Robles.
Sacramento State scored twice in the second, fourth and fifth innings, and rode the right arm of Main, who dominated over her final four innings. In fact, after Main allowed three hits through the first two innings, and a leadoff hit in the fourth, she proceeded to set down 12 straight batters. The senior finished with no walks and two strikeouts and faced just three batters over the minimum. Bertuccio looked good in her inning of relief, striking out two of the four batters she faced.
The Hornets, who finished with 11 hits, got on the board first when Scott unloaded on a 1-2 pitch and deposited the ball over the center field fence. The home run was the first in the senior's career and drove home Graves who had doubled with one out. In the fourth inning, Sacramento State scored twice with two outs on a Guzman RBI-single plating Rylee Sager and Robles would later score on an error.
The Hornets tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth inning, again with two outs, after Graves RBI-triple scored Mejia, and a Guzman RBI-single later plated Graves. That was more than enough run support for Main and Bertuccio, and the Hornets finished with 11 hits and six runs off Lancer starter Kerisa Viramontes.
Pitching was impressive again in the win over Saint Mary's as Danielle Sperry worked the first four innings for the win, and Nunez worked the final three to pick up the save. Sperry allowed just two hits and one walk, and Nunez just two hits and no walks with a pair of strikeouts. Saint Mary's had runners at first and second with no outs in the fourth inning, and runners at second and third with two outs in the seventh, but could not score. Nunez got Kenedi Lopes to fly out to left with the tying runners on base in the final inning.
Sacramento State had 10 hits, but pushed across just two runs against Gael starter Eileen Perez. The first run came in the fourth inning when Graves' RBI-single scored pinch runner Haley Hanson. It was Hanson that came in to pinch run for Mo Spieth who singled sharply to center field with one out. Today was Spieth's first game back after a knee injury forced her to miss all but 12 games a year ago.
The Hornets scored again in the sixth inning when Day's pinch-hit single scored pinch runner Nevaeh Pinon.
Perez got the loss for Saint Mary's, allowing two runs and 10 hits over 5.1 innings.
Sacramento State head coach Lori Perez used 19 players in today's victories.
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