SOFTBALL AND UC DAVIS GET SET TO FACE EACH OTHER FOR THE 90TH TIME WEDNESDAY AT SHEA
In her last three starts at catcher, Molly Smith is hitting .750 (6-for-8) with two runs, a homer and an RBI
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento State softball team opens a season-long 14-game homestand this Wednesday, March 30, against UC Davis at 2 p.m. at Shea Stadium. The Hornets and Aggies will be meeting for the 90th time in a series which dates back to the 1970’s.
Sacramento State owns a 57-32 record against UC Davis, but the Aggies have won the last six meetings between the two teams dating back to 2009. That includes a pair of wins this season, one coming at the San Diego Classic (3-1 on Feb. 20) and the other coming in Davis (2-1 on Feb. 23). Both games were pitching duels as the two teams have combined for just seven runs in 14 innings against one another this season.
The Hornets are currently 8-14 overall, and posted a 1-3 record at last week’s Stanford Invitational, including a 3-1 victory on Sunday against Coastal Carolina. Heading into this week, UC Davis (14-12) has won nine of its last 12 games after defeating Santa Clara at home on Tuesday.
Like every Sacramento State home game this season, live audio and live stats will be available via www.hornetsports.com.
Tuesday’s game begins a 14-game homestand which ties for the most consecutive stretch of home games in program history (the 2009 squad also played 14 straight home contests).
The homestand also includes a game next Wednesday against ninth-ranked Cal, and is then followed by each of the team’s first three Pacific Coast Softball Conference four-game series of the season. The Hornets will play four times against conference rivals San Diego (April 9-10), Saint Mary’s (April 16-17) and Loyola Marymount (April 22-23).
- Sophomore third baseman Emily McCormick brings a five-game hitting streak into Wednesday’s game, and has batted .375 (6-for-16) with two runs, a homer and two RBIs over that span. McCormick has hit safely in 16 of the 20 games she has appeared in, including a career-high tying six-game hitting streak earlier this year.
- Junior Alyssa Nakken (first base) and freshman Devin Caldwell (second base) are the only Hornets to start all 22 games this season. Sophomore Emily McCormick would have started all 22 games at third base, but missed two games with a concussion.
- In her last three starts at catcher, sophomore Molly Smith is hitting .750 (6-for-8) with two runs, a homer and an RBI. Since her two-hit game in the second game of a doubleheader against Pacific on March 9, Smith has raised her batting average 221 points to its current mark of .304.
- Junior Alyssa Nakken’s 14 runs are seven more than any other Hornet, and are tied for the sixth best mark in the PCSC. Nakken, who has batted leadoff in all 22 games, has scored at least one run in 11 games. With the help of a team-high tying 11 walks, her on-base percentage of .395 is the top mark on the squad.
- Sophomore Kelly Shepard has started the last three games in center field, the first starts of her career at the position. She started the first 38 games of her career in either left (33 starts) or right field (five starts) prior to last week’s move to center. Shepard is hitting .314 (11-for-35) this season and six of her 11 hits have been infield singles.
- Kelly Shepard (.429), Emily McCormick (.375), Paige Martin (.318), Devin Caldwell (.308) and Marissa Navarro (.300) are all hitting at least .300 with runners in scoring position.
- The first and third innings have been unkind to the Hornets this season as the opposition has outscored the team badly in both the first (24-7) and third (17-6).
- Freshman right fielder Paige Martin has hit safely in six of her past eight games, and is batting .391 (9-for-23) over that stretch. Her overall batting average of .315 is the second best mark on the team. She has batted in five different spots in the lineup, including fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.
- The Hornets’ three primary starting pitchers all have ERA’s within five one-hundreths of a point of each other. Senior Megan Schaefer (2.73), freshman Taylor Stroud (2.77) and junior Shelby Voelz (2.78) all have comparable ERA’s as the team nears the end to the non-conference season. Voelz has missed the last two weeks with a concussion, and hasn’t pitched since earning her first career save in a win over Utah State on March 12.
- Sacramento State has committed just one error in the last four games, raising its fielding percentage to .967. Only one Sacramento State player has committed more than three errors all season. Junior Alyssa Nakken remains perfect in 163 opportunities in the field (161 putouts, two assists).
- Senior right-hander Megan Schaefer is 4-4 with a 2.73 ERA, but if you erase her lone two rough appearances (four earned runs in four innings against Fresno State; seven earned runs in three innings against Stanford) of the season, she is 4-3 with a 1.15 ERA. That includes a victory against Coastal Carolina on Sunday where she allowed just four hits and one run in seven innings.
- Sacramento State is 6-0 when leading after four innings, but 2-14 when tied or trailing after four innings.
- Offensively, the Hornets are batting .148 (4-for-27) over the last three games with runners on base.