SOFTBALL DROPS TWO OF THREE GAMES IN TRIPLEHEADER AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
Center fielder Kelli Frye finished the day 5-for-10 with a triple and three RBIs
LOS ANGELES -- Loyola Marymount’s Kelly Sarginson, Sam Fischer and Olivia Alvarez combined for five home runs and 18 RBIs over three games to lead the Lions to a pair of victories over Sacramento State in a Pacific Coast Softball Conference tripleheader Sunday afternoon at Smith Field.
The Hornets won the first game of the day by a 4-3 score before the Lions won the second game, 7-5, and the nightcap by a mercy-rule shortened 11-1 score. The two teams were supposed to play doubleheaders yesterday and today as part of the four-game series, but a late start yesterday because of a saturated field forced today’s tripleheader. Loyola Marymount won yesterday’s game in 10 innings by an 8-7 score.
The Lions improved to 29-16 overall and 7-5 in the PCSC while the Hornets dropped to 22-16 and 5-6 in the conference. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season (and nine conference games to play), Sacramento State has a lot of work to do if it wants to challenge for a conference title. San Diego won all four games against Santa Clara this weekend and sits in first place with a 10-2 conference record, followed by Saint Mary’s (8-3), Loyola Marymount (7-5) and the Hornets (5-6) to round out the top four.
Sacramento State will host Cal State Bakersfield for a four-game series next weekend, and wrap up the season with a four-game series at San Diego in two weeks. The Hornets still need to make up a rained out game at Saint Mary’s at some point before the regular season concludes.
Today, it was Sarginson (two home runs, six RBIs), Fischer (two home runs, five RBIs) and Alvarez (one homer, seven RBIs) that combined for 18 of the Lions’ 20 RBIs. Fischer, who is one of the top offensive players in the nation, was intentionally walked 11 times during the four-game series, but still found a way to go 3-for-6 with seven runs scored, two homers and an .824 on-base percentage.
Sacramento State took a 4-0 lead with one run in the third inning and three runs in the fourth, and the combination of pitchers Caitlin Brooks and Taylor Stroud made the lead hold as the Hornets were able to win, 4-3. Center fielder Kelli Frye had a big game, singling home Shannon Kaufman for the game’s first run in the third, and coming through with a two-out, two-run triple in the fourth inning.
The two-run triple pushed the Hornets’ lead to 4-0 and Sacramento State looked to be in control as Brooks had allowed LMU no runs and two hits through four innings. However, in the fifth, Kelly Sarginson roped a three-run homer over the left field wall to get the Lions back within, 4-3. At that point, Stroud was inserted into the game, and recorded the final seven outs to pick up her third save of the season.
Stroud walked a pair of batters in the seventh inning before getting Brittany Pereda to ground out and end the game. Brooks (6-5) won her sixth decision of the season as the freshman allowed three runs and three hits while walking six and striking out two over 4.2 innings. Loyola Marymount wound up leaving nine runners on base, including stranding at least one runner in every inning but the fifth.
Sacramento State had seven hits, including two each from Frye (2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs), Marissa Navarro (2-for-3) and Kaufman (2-for-3 with two runs, a double and an RBI).
Loyola Marymount starter Dana Waldusky picked up the loss, allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings of work.
In a game that was tied at 1-1 after three innings, 2-2 after four innings, and 5-5 after the sixth, it was a two-run top of the seventh inning that propelled the Lions to a 7-5 win.
Sacramento State, which was the designated home team per conference rules in the first and second games of today’s tripleheader, had just scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the score at 5-5. After the first LMU batter of the seventh inning was retired, the next three Lion hitters reached base safely off the combination of starter Stroud and reliever Shelby Voelz. A passed ball would allow Meghan Harman to score the Lions’ first run, and an Alvarez RBI-fielders choice put LMU ahead, 7-5.
Sacramento State had two hits in the seventh inning, but could not push any runs across. The Hornets scored once in the third inning (RBI-double from Emily McCormick), once in the fourth (Alyssa Nakken homer) and three times in the sixth (solo homer from McCormick, two-run double from Kaitlyn Taylor). McCormick finished the four-game series with three home runs and six RBIs.
Stroud (10-7) took the loss for Sacramento State, allowing seven runs (six earned) over 6.1 innings of work. Voelz allowed three walks in two-thirds of an inning of relief. LMU reliever Waldusky (12-8) got the win, pitching the final two innings.
Sacramento State outhit Loyola Marymount, 11-5, but the Lions made the most of their hits, including a three-run homer from Sarginson in the sixth inning. For the Hornets, Frye (3-for-4 with a run), McCormick (3-for-4 with a run, double, home run and two RBIs), Navarro (2-for-4) and Nakken (2-for-4 with a run, homer and two RBIs) each had multi-hit games.
Loyola Marymount got grand slams in the first inning (from Alvarez) and fifth inning (from Fischer) to beat the Hornets, 11-1, in five innings. The Fischer grand slam was a walk-off shot as the round tripper gave the Lions the mercy-rule shortened win.
Alvarez finished the game with six RBIs, including a two-run double in the second inning, while Fischer had four RBIs. Sacramento State pitchers Voelz (1.2 innings) and Brooks (3.0 innings) were both hit hard in the loss, and it was Voelz (6-4) that picked up the loss.
Sacramento State scored its lone run in the fourth inning on an RBI-grounder from Taylor which allowed Jessica Abelia to score. The Hornets finished the game with just five hits, including two from Caldwell.
LMU’s Stevie Goldstein (2-1) got the win, allowing five hits and one unearned run while walking none and striking out three over five innings.
NOTES -- Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan was not with the team in any of the four games as she did not make the trip to Los Angeles while battling severe flu-like symptoms…next weekend’s four-game series against Cal State Bakersfield will be the Hornets’ final home games of the season…Hornet seniors Jessica Abelia, Nakken, Navarro and Voelz, as well as junior Kelly Shepard will be honored prior to Sunday’s doubleheader for their contributions to the program.