SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan picked up her 500th career victory as the Hornets split a Big West Conference doubleheader with UC Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon at Campus Diamond. After dropping the first game to the Gauchos, 2-1, Sacramento State came back to win game two, 1-0.
Strahan, who has spent time with Cal State Dominguez Hills (1984-85), San Jose State (1986-92) and Sacramento State (1993-pres.), now has a 500-461-3 career record in 17 years as an intercollegiate head coach. During her eight seasons with the Hornets, Strahan is now 253-216-2.
With the split, Sacramento State moved to 11-21 overall and 1-4 in the Big West. UC Santa Barbara is now 13-21 and 1-4 in the conference.
In game two, sophomore Gina Steenburgen (3-5) threw a four-hit shutout while striking out four to guide the Hornets to the win. Steenburgen, who got out of a first and third, no-out jam in the first inning, has now allowed just three earned runs over her last five appearances (spanning 30.0 innings).
Sacramento State got the only run of the game in the fourth inning after junior Arlette Sunseri's squeeze bunt scored pinch runner Roni Rodrigues. Gauchos' starter Sylvia Santos (4-8) picked up the loss espite allowing just one run and three hits in seven innings. The Hornets' Lori Meixner finished with two of the team's three hits.
In the first game, the Gauchos scored two unearned runs in the first inning and held on for the victory despite a solo home run by the Hornets' Jennifer Jokinen in the sixth inning. UC Santa Barbara starter Loren Thornburg (6-8) got the win, allowing four hits and one run in six innings while Santos picked up her first save of the season, allowing one hit in one inning.
An error by Hornet shortstop Andrea Becker aided UC Santa Barbara in the first as Stacy Bolton's two-run single eventually capped off the inning. The Hornets, who left at least one runner on base in all but two innings, closed the gap to 2-1 on Jokinen's first homer of the season.
Sacramento State threatened in the seventh off Santos, putting runners at first and second with one out. Santos, however, got Meghan Cunningham to strike out and Amber Dragomir to ground out to end the contest.
Dragomir's season-high six-game hitting streak came to an end after she finished 0-for-4 in the first game.
The Hornets and Gauchos hook up again tomorrow at noon (Sunday, April 1) in the rubber game of the three-game series.