SOFTBALL SWEEPS CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD, IMPROVES WINNING STREAK TO FOUR
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Freshman Desiree Beltran combined for six hits, junior Jenice Bartee had a walkoff RBI-double in the first game and sophomore Megan Schaefer allowed just six hits and one unearned run over 11.0 innings to lead Sacramento State to a doubleheader sweep of Cal State Bakersfield Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
The Hornets won the first game, 2-1, in 11 innings on Bartee’s walkoff hit, before overcoming a 3-1 deficit to win the second game, 7-3. Each of Sacramento State’s last four wins had resulted in a walkoff hit prior to the Hornets winning the conventional way in today’s second game.
With the victories, Sacramento State (14-17) won its season-high fourth straight and the team has now won 10 of its last 15 games. The Hornets are 7-2 at home and open Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) play this weekend when they host San Diego for a four-game series. Cal State Bakersfield, which officially joins the PCSC next year, dropped to 19-20 overall with the losses.
Beltran had four hits in the first game and two more in the second, and finished the day 6-for-7 with two runs and three RBIs. That lifted her team-high batting average this season to .396. Bartee had three hits in the doubleheader, none bigger than the 11th inning double which ended a game that lasted two hours and 29 minutes. Schaefer was dominant in the first game, allowing just six singles and an unearned run while walking none and striking out seven over 11.0 innings.
“We haven’t played since (last Tuesday’s win over 12th-ranked Cal) and we really needed these games today to get ready for PCSC play this weekend,” Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan said. “We kept battling all day long, and by the end of the second game, I felt like we were back in sync again.”
The first game featured a pitchers dual between Cal State Bakersfield’s Brittany Johnson and Schaefer. In fact, Johnson was inserted into the game in the bottom of the second in place or starter Katie Chavez, and proceeded to throw nine shutout innings before the Hornets finally broke through in the 11th. Schaefer was equally as brilliant, retiring seven straight, and 10 straight Roadrunners at different parts of the game. In fact, Schaefer did not allow a runner past first base in every inning but the seventh.
Sacramento State scored its first run of the game in the bottom of the first when senior Izmena Cabrera’s RBI-double scored Beltran from second base with two outs. The double for Cabrera was her 15th of the season and she continues to lead the nation with an average of 0.52 doubles per game.
It looked like that first-inning run might hold up as Schaefer was cruising along through the first six innings. However, Cal State Bakersfield was able to tie the game in the seventh with the help of a Hornet error and two Roadrunner hits. In fact, CSUB could have scored more, but Bartee fielded a sharp-hit bouncing ball in right field and threw out Stefanie Frei at first base preventing what would have been a single.
After both pitchers put up zeros the next three innings, Schaefer laced a one-out single to left field in the 11th and advanced to second base when Cal State Bakersfield left fielder Nette Puente misplayed the ball. Bartee then lined the first pitch she saw of the at-bat down the left field line which scored Schaefer easily from second base. Schaefer (6-3) got the win while Johnson (8-9) took the loss.
In the nightcap, Sacramento State erased a 3-1 deficit by scoring once in the fourth inning, two more runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to put the game away. All but two Hornet starters had at least one hit, including two each from Beltran, Bartee and Whitney Loomis. The three players combined for five RBIs and Beltran finished with three, including a two-out, two-run single in the sixth inning.
The Hornets took the lead for good in the fifth when Cabrera laid down a perfect bunt single which scored Rachel Miles from third base. That base hit extended Cabrera’s hitting streak to 14 games, which is the third longest in Sacramento State’s Div. I history (1990-pres.).
Freshman Shelby Voelz (5-6) went the distance for the win, allowing three runs (two earned) and nine hits over 7.0 innings. Trailing, 3-2, in the top of the fifth, Voelz was able to work her way out of a no-out, bases loaded jam keeping the Hornets in the game. Shawna Truan (7-7) got the loss for the Roadrunners, allowing seven hits and five runs over 5.0 innings.
Sacramento State has now played seven of its season-long 15 game homestand, and returns to action this weekend for the team’s Pacific Coast Softball Conference opener. The Hornets will play a four-game series against San Diego with the teams playing doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday at noon.