SOFTBALL HOSTS FOUR-GAME SERIES AGAINST LOYOLA MARYMOUNT THIS WEEKEND
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Saturday, April 25 vs. Loyola Marymount – DH (Shea Stadium) Noon STATS, AUDIO
Sunday, April 26 vs. Loyola Marymount – DH (Shea Stadium) Noon STATS, AUDIO
STATS - Get live stats at www.hornetsports.com
AUDIO - Follow the game via live audio at www.hornetsports.com
THIS WEEK’S PREVIEW
Sacramento State (20-22, 6-5) will play its final four-game home series of the season this weekend against Loyola Marymount (22-24, 8-4), and the series is huge for both teams...the teams will play doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday at noon...the Hornets will celebrate last year’s Pacific Coast Softball Conference championship with a ring ceremony after Saturday’s doubleheader is completed...all but one player from last season’s will be in attendance and each of those players will get their championship rings in a ceremony on the field...prior to Sunday’s first pitch, Sacramento State seniors Izmena Cabrera, Sherry Clark, Whitney Loomis, Rachel Miles and Jamie Schloredt will be honored for their contributions to the program...the fivesome has combined to make up one of the best senior classes in school history...this weekend’s series is a big one, and could have major implications on the race to win this year’s PCSC championship and receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals...only three games separate the top five teams in the six-member conference with Portland State, which took three of four from Sacramento State last weekend, leading the way with a 9-3 record. Trailing Portland State is Loyola Marymount (8-4), Sacramento State (6-5), Saint Mary’s (6-5), San Diego (6-6) and Santa Clara (0-12)...four of the teams in the conference have just eight games remaining while Sacramento State and Saint Mary’s have nine games left, including a makeup game in Sacramento on April 29 at 3:30 p.m...the Hornets are 2.5 games of first-place Portland State, but are essentially 3.5 games back because the Vikings own the tiebreaker based on a 3-1 record against the Hornets in their head-to-head matchup...that means Sacramento State will likely have to go at least 8-1 over its last nine games and receive help from other teams to have a shot at the conference title...since PCSC play began in 2003, Loyola Marymount has owned Sacramento State to the tune of an 18-6 record...the Hornets have yet to win a series against Loyola Marymount (home or away) since 2003, including a 1-7 mark over the last two years...the Hornets are 4-8 at home against the Lions since 2003.
• Sacramento State entered last weekend with a 19-19 record and had won nine of its last 11 games. However, the Hornets’ offense, which had averaged 6.3 runs over that 11-game stretch, went dormant in Portland. During the four-game series, Sacramento State’s offense combined for just eight runs, and six of those came in the 6-5 extra-inning win on Sunday. The Hornets were shut out in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, marking the just the fourth and fifth time the team was held scoreless all season. The Hornets hit .222 as a team in Portland, and combined for just five extra base hits and 33 total bases.
• The Hornets are 12-4 at home this year and 77-40 (.658 winning percentage) inside the friendly confines since the 2004 season. Including a 2-1 win over 12th ranked Cal on March 24, Sacramento State has found ways to win the close games at home as well. In fact, six of the team’s 12 wins at home have come by a single run, and five of those victories came via walkoff hit.
• Senior Izmena Cabrera’s 21-game hitting streak came to a close last weekend after she went 0-for-3 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Portland State. That hitting streak is still tied for the longest in the nation with Stephen F. Austin’s Kayla Gutowski, who accomplished the feat earlier this season. The streak is also the longest in both Sacramento State and PCSC history. Cabrera, who owns a .363 career batting average in her second season with the Hornets, ranks among the top 10 conference leaders this season in batting average (.347), runs (23), doubles (16), total bases (64), slugging percentage (.516), hits (43), and on-base percentage (.401).
• Six of the Hornets’ 20 victories this season have via walkoff hit. Sacramento State won in its last at-bat as the home team against UC Davis (1-0), Colorado State (8-7), Dartmouth (5-4), Cal (2-1), Cal State Bakersfield (2-1) and Portland State (6-5). Junior Jenice Bartee has been a part of four of those victories, scoring the game-winning run three times, and her RBI-double beat Cal State Bakersfield in the 11th inning.
• Senior Jamie Schloredt has a home run in five of her last nine games, lifting her career total to 35 round trippers. The 35 home runs has already shattered the Sacramento State record, and is now just three shy of the conference record of 38, set by Loyola Marymount’s Danielle Kaminaka from 2003-05. A three-time first team all-Big Sky selection and last year’s conference MVP, Schloredt also owns the school and conference record with 144 RBIs, and is now six walks shy of setting the PCSC record for most walks (102, set by Saint Mary’s Bronwyn Russell). For her career, Schloredt is batting .368 and is on pace to post the top career batting average in school and conference history. The current conference mark is .366, set by Loyola Marymount’s Sami Strinz in 2003-04.
• After homering one time each of the first three years of her career, senior third baseman Rachel Miles has four home runs this season, including three in her last nine games. This year, Miles, who is one of three fourth-year seniors on the team (Schloredt, Loomis), has already posted single-season career highs in batting average (.313), runs (27), home runs (4) and RBIs (28). In fact, Miles has improved her batting average every year of her career, from .223 in 2006, .274 in 2007, .284 in 2008, and .313 this season.
• Despite being a freshman, shortstop Desiree Beltran leads the Hornets in batting average (.386), hits (49), total bases (79), multiple-hit games (15) and is tied for the team lead with nine sacrifices. She has five hitting streaks of at least four games this year, and has hit safely in 29 games overall. Her .386 batting average ranks second in the PCSC, behind San Diego’s Lindsay Fleet’s .390 average.
• Since returning from a hamstring injury three weeks ago (a span of 11 games), freshman first baseman Alyssa Nakken is batting .333 (11-for-33) with just three strikeouts. Prior to her injury, Nakken was batting just .228, but has lifted her average to .267 with the 11-game surge.
• Sacramento State has five players hitting better than .310 against PCSC competition, comprised of Schloredt (.556), Beltran (.361), Miles (.342), Nakken (.333) and Jenice Bartee (.313).
• Sophomore right-hander Megan Schaefer continues to lead the PCSC with a 2.24 ERA, and the closest pitcher in the PCSC in that category is Saint Mary’s Britany Linton (2.50 ERA). She has thrown 54.0 of a possible 70.0 innings against conference competition this year, including three of the four games against Portland State last weekend. Since beginning the season with a 2-3 record, Schaefer (11-6) has won nine of her last 12 decisions, and has already earned PCSC Pitcher of the Week accolades three times. Opponents are hitting .257 off Schaefer, and she averages just one walk every 4.2 innings pitched.