SCHAEFERâ€™S TWO-HIT SHUTOUT SPARKS SOFTBALL TO SPLIT WITH LOYOLA MARYMOUNT
In her final home game, senior Megan Schaefer tossed a two-hit shuout in the first game of today's doubleheader
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Playing in the final home game of her intercollegiate career, Sacramento State senior Megan Schaefer tossed a two-hit, nine-inning shutout to lead the Hornets to a split with Loyola Marymount in a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. Schaefer’s gem gave the Hornets a 1-0 victory in the opener before LMU took advantage of Hornet miscues to win the nightcap, 5-4.
With the split, Sacramento State, which swept a doubleheader from the Lions yesterday, took three of four games in the series. The Hornets, who were playing their final home games of the season, improved to 14-22 overall and 6-6 in the conference with the split. Sacramento State is now in a two-way tie for third place with Saint Mary’s in the league standings, trailing first-place San Diego (11-1) and second-place Loyola Marymount (24-24, 8-4).
Eight games remain in the conference season, and all eight of the Hornets’ games will take place on the road against the teams taking up the bottom two spots in the standings. Sacramento State will play four games at Santa Clara (April 30-May 1) and four games at Cal State Bakersfield (May 7-8).
Schaefer (6-6) was dominant against the league’s top offensive team, limiting the Lions to just two singles while walking three and striking out two over nine innings. The right-hander needed just 109 pitches and didn’t allow an LMU runner past second base the entire game. Including her nine-inning performance yesterday (where she got a no-decision), Schaefer finished the weekend 1-0 with a 0.39 ERA, allowing just 11 singles and striking out eight over 18.0 innings.
Loyola Marymount starter Molly Medeiros was nearly as impressive, allowing the Hornets just five singles through the first eight innings. However, Sacramento State broke through in the top of the eighth when Devin Caldwell’s one-out single up the middle allowed Emily McCormick to score from second base. McCormick had led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Per conference rules, Sacramento State was the designated visiting team in both games today.
Seven of the Hornets’ nine starters had hits in the game, but no one from either team finished with a multiple-hit game. Medeiros’ record fell to 11-7 after allowing seven hits and one run while walking none and striking out five over nine innings.
The second game was not played nearly as crisp, as both teams combined for nine runs, 19 hits, six errors and 22 runners left on base. Both teams left at least one runner on base in every inning until the Hornets were retired in order in the top of the seventh.
Sacramento State looked to be in control after taking a 3-1 lead with a two-run third inning that featured a throwing error allowing Jessica Abelia to score and an RBI-double from Caldwell. However, LMU answered with four runs in the bottom of the third. After LMU’s Sam Fischer led off the inning with a solo home run, the Lions’ final three runs of the inning were unearned. A dropped routine fly ball, and a throwing error directly led to three unearned runs and Loyola Marymount found themselves up, 5-3, after three innings.
The Hornets loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning but could not score, before getting an RBI-ground ball from Kelli Frye in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-4. Sacramento State got a one-out double from McCormick in the sixth, but could not push the tying run across.
Loyola Marymount’s Dana Waldusky (7-7) got the win, allowing 10 hits and four runs (three earned) over 5.1 innings. Medeiros picked up her third save of the season, working a perfect 1.2 innings in relief. Sacramento State freshman Taylor Stroud started the game but did not factor in the decision after lasting just two-plus innings. Junior Shelby Voelz (1-4) was the hard-luck losing pitcher despite allowing two runs (none earned) and four hits over the final four innings.
The Hornets’ Molly Smith finished 3-for-4, while Caldwell and McCormick both had a pair of hits for the Hornets. McCormick increased her hitting streak to five games. For LMU, Fischer’s home run in the third inning was the Lions’ only extra base hit of the entire four-game series.
Prior to the game, Hornet seniors Ashlee Adkins, Jillian Canete, Jacquelyn Serrano and Schaefer were honored for their contributions to the program.
Sacramento State returns to action next weekend when the team travels to Santa Clara for a four-game series.