SOFTBALL TO PLAY FIVE GAMES THIS WEEK, INCLUDING HOME DOUBLEHEADER VS. UC DAVIS
Shortstop Yesenia Alcala has started all eight games, and is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position
Sacramento State (4-4) will play five games over a five-day stretch this week, beginning on Wednesday when the team hosts rival UC Davis (7-9) for a doubleheader at 1 p.m. The Hornets conclude the week on the road in a three-game series at Santa Clara (2-9), which features a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m., followed by a single game on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Sacramento State will end a stretch of 10 consecutive days without playing a game once Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Aggies begins. The Hornets were scheduled to play a single game at San Jose State last week (Feb. 19), but that game was washed away because of rain. Wednesday will mark the Hornets’ second and third home games of the season (3-0 loss to Pacific on Feb. 12), and the team won’t play at Shea Stadium again until the first day of the Capital Classic on March 15.
Sacramento State is a combined 114-53 all-time against UC Davis and Santa Clara, and will look to continue its success against both schools this week. The Hornets are 60-33 against the Aggies, which includes a three-game winning streak and a 2-1 victory earlier this season in Fresno. Sacramento State owns a 54-20 record against Santa Clara, which includes a 21-game winning streak dating back to 2007.
All 20 home games this season will be broadcast live via audio stream at www.hornetsports.com by clicking here. Nate Goodyear and Kyle Madson, who are both entering their fourth year calling Hornet softball, will handle the announcing duties again in 2013. In addition, live stats for all home games can be found by clicking here.
AGAINST UC DAVIS
Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 1 p.m. (Doubleheader)
Shea Stadium - Sacramento, Calif.
Coverage: Live Audio, Live Stats
Series Record: Hornets Lead, 60-33
Streak: Sacramento State has won three straight meetings
Last Meeting: W, 2-1, in Fresno (2/10/13)
AGAINST SANTA CLARA
Friday-Saturday, March 2-3; Doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m., single game on Sunday at 11 a.m.
SCU Softball Field - Santa Clara, Calif.
Coverage: Live Stats
Series Record: Hornets Lead, 54-20
Streak: Sacramento State has won 21 straight meetings
Last Meeting: W, 7-4, in Sacramento (4/7/12)
• Sacramento State has played the 2013 season thus far with seven new positional starters. The only two returning starters from a year ago are third baseman Emily McCormick and center fielder Kelli Frye. New starters include Kortney Solis (C), Molly Smith (1B), Kayla Papez (2B), Yesenia Alcala (SS), Alexa Chattleton (LF), Paige Martin (RF) and Alexis Martinez (DP). Martin, Smith, Alcala and Chattleton all made starts last year, but did not finish the season as the starter at those respective positions.
• All eight of the Hornets’ games thus far have been decided by three runs or less, comprised of five one-run outcomes, one two-run outcome and a pair of three-run outcomes. One of those three-run outcomes was an 11-inning affair that saw the Hornets push across three runs in the 11th inning to defeat Saint Mary’s.
• Through the first eight games, Sacramento State’s pitching staff has yet to allow more than three runs in a game. The staff has allowed just 11 extra base hits in 58.0 innings, and opponents are combining to hit just .220 off Sacramento State pitching, including .203 with runners in scoring position. Each of the Hornets’ four pitchers, sophomore Caitin Brooks (1.53), freshman Kaitlyn Yerby (2.00), junior Taylor Stroud (2.15) and freshman Jennifer Hartman (2.33) have ERA’s below 2.35. The staff’s ERA of 1.81 is easily the best mark in the Big Sky Conference, and they have a very impressive 3-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (48 strikeouts, 16 walks).
• Sophomore right-hander Caitlin Brooks was named the Big Sky Conference’s Pitcher of the Week each of the first two weeks of the season. She was not eligible for a third straight award as the Hornets did not play last week. The Escalon, Calif., native is 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA, has completed all four of her starts, and has allowed just 23 hits and seven earned runs in 32.0 innings.
• The Hornets are currently the only team in the Big Sky Conference with a winning percentage of .500 or better. The other six teams in the league enter the week with a combined 19-47 record, including Idaho State (6-8), Northern Colorado (5-7-1), North Dakota (2-4), Portland State (4-11), Southern Utah (2-8) and Weber State (0-9).
• Sacramento State’s pitching has carried the load this year, as the team’s offense is off to a slow start. The Hornets are hitting just .236, and have yet to score more than three runs in a 7-inning game. That includes the team going 0-for-8 in bases loaded situations. Only one player (Kelli Frye .367) on the team is hitting above .300 after five different players hit better than .320 last season. Of the squad’s 52 hits, only 11 have gone for extra bases, which amounts to a Big Sky-low .318 slugging percentage.
• Although the offensive production is off to a slow start, the Hornets have come through with a number of big hits this season, as evidence by the team’s .320 batting average (16-for-50) with runners in scoring position. As far as clutch at-bats are concerned, senior center fielder Kelli Frye leads the way, batting .667 (4-for-6) with runners in scoring position, .667 (6-for-9) with two outs, and .462 (6-for-13) with runners on base.
• Speaking of Kelli Frye, the fourth-year senior and team tri-captain has been on an incredible roll since the midway point of last season. The Corona, Calif., native currently has a five-game hitting streak, has hit safely in all but one game this season, and has hit safely in a ridiculous 30 of her last 34 games dating back to last year. During that 34-game span, she is batting .390 (46-for-118) with 23 runs and 11 stolen bases.
• Sophomore right fielder Paige Martin has reached base safely in six straight games. Over that six-game stretch, she is hitting a team-best .389 (7-for-18), which includes three walks and a .476 on-base percentage. All of this comes after beginning the season 0-for-6 with three strikeouts during the first two games of the year.
• Only five players have started all eight games thus far, comprised of Kelli Frye (CF), Paige Martin (RF), Alexa Chattleton (LF), Yesenia Alcala (SS) and Emily McCormick (3B). Thirteen different Sacramento State players have already started at least two games this season.
• Sacramento State finished the 2012 season second in the nation with a program-record .979 fielding percentage, and the team is off to a nice start defensively in 2013. The Hornets have a Big Sky-best .971 fielding percentage and the team has committed no errors in five of its eight games thus far. Four of the team’s seven errors were committed in one game (against Fresno State). Take that game out of the equation, and Sacramento State has committed just three errors in 209 total chances.
• Senior third baseman Emily McCormick has 18 home runs and 91 RBIs during her career. She is just one home and two RBIs shy of moving into second place in both categories in Sacramento State’s career record book. Her .326 career batting average is also tied for the fourth best mark in school history.
• A total of 19 of the Hornets’ 20 players on the roster have appeared in at least two games this season. Of those 19 players, 13 are underclassmen, including eight freshmen and five sophomores.
• The road game at San Jose State that was rained out on Feb. 19 has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 26, at 1 p.m.