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SACRAMENTO -- An Alondra Mejia ground ball was booted by Boise State, allowing Katie Vretzos to score all the way from second base and give Sacramento State a 4-3 walk-off victory over Boise State in eight innings in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 605 fans at Shea Stadium.
The win improved the Hornets to 3-0 at the season-opening NorCal Kickoff which Sacramento State is hosting over three days. The final day of the tournament will take place with three more games tomorrow, including UC Santa Barbara vs. Santa Clara at 9 a.m., followed by the Hornets taking on UC Santa Babara at 11:30 a.m. and Santa Clara at 2 p.m.
Sacramento State is now 3-0 for the first time since the 1995 season as the Hornets opened with wins over Cal Baptist and Saint Mary's yesterday afternoon. Today's win was impressive as it came against a Boise State team that is currently receiving votes in the NFCA top 25 poll, and qualified for the NCAA Regionals a year ago. The loss was the first of the season for the Broncos, who dropped to 3-1.
In her first collegiate start, true freshman Marissa Bertuccio (1-0) was impressive, earning the complete game win. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing just three hits and three runs while walking one and striking out three. She was able to escape a one out and runner at third base situation in the top of the eighth, which set the Hornets up nicely for the win in the bottom half of the inning.
Per tournament guidelines, the tiebreaker rule went into effect after the seventh inning. Vretzos was placed on second base to begin the bottom of the eighth, and, after a strikeout, Mejia hit a sharp ground ball to Bronco first baseman Alison Seng. The ball was booted by Seng, and it kicked far enough into foul territory to allow Vretzos to score all the way from second base. That set off a celebration that saw the entire Sacramento State roster storm the field and mob Mejia.
The Hornets got off to a strong start, scoring three times on three hits in the first inning against Boise State starter Hannah Bailey. In fact, Bailey lasted just five batters and did not record an out before being replaced in the circle by Micaela Leal. Charizma Guzman and Haley Hanson began the first inning with singles, and, after a Vretzos walk, freshman Lewa Day hammered a two-run double to right field. Mejia then hit a sharp ground ball to second base that allowed Vretzos to score and give the Hornets a 3-0 lead.
Boise State cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third inning after Ashlyn Adams hit a two-run homer that cleared the right field wall.
Leal held the Hornets scoreless for six innings, which set up Boise State's comeback in the seventh. Bertuccio posted shutout frames in the fourth, fifth and sixth, and retired the first two batters of the seventh. However, the Broncos got three straight singles from Autumn Bennett, Ashlyn Adams and Jessica McKay to tie things at 3-3 and force extra innings.
Leal (0-1) was the tough luck losing pitcher, allowing just two hits and an unearned run in 7.1 innings. The Hornets had just five hits with Guzman, Hanson, Day, Mejia and Shea Graves accounting for those knocks. The only two extra base hits of the game were the Adams home run and Day double. Boise State left seven runners on base, and the Hornets stranded six.
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