TEMPE, Ariz. - After being rained out on two-consecutive days forcing the cancellation of four games, the Sacramento State softball team lost to host Arizona State, 3-2, at the Kajikawa Softball Classic Sunday afternoon at Farrington Stadium.
The Hornets, who had games against Tennessee-Chattanooga, Arizona, UCLA and Arizona State cancelled, were able to play Sunday as the rain that swept through Arizona for the past two days finally subsided.
Arizona State improved to 4-0 with the victory while Sacramento State dropped to 5-3. The Hornets had won each of their last three games prior to the loss.
Sacramento State got on the board first in the third inning with two unearned runs as the team took advantage of a pair of Arizona State errors. With two outs, Lindy Winkler reached first base after on an error by Arizona State catcher Heidi Knabe. An error on the next play allowed Lesley Mayhorn to reach first while Winkler advanced to second. Senior Erin Coyne followed with a single to the left-center field gap, which scored both Winkler and Mayhorn.
The Devils, however, answered with three unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning. Sacramento State starter Brianne Ferguson retired the first batter of the inning before allowing a single to Jen McCard. Michelle Smith then reached base on a Hornet error to put runners on first and second. After Ferguson struck out Rhiannon Baca for what should have been the third out of the inning, consecutive doubles from Mindy Cowles (two-run double) and Valerie Sevilla put Arizona State on top, 3-2.
Arizona State pitchers Ashley Werschky (two unearned runs and four hits in 4.0 innings), Desiree Serrano (one hit in 2.0 innings) and Katie Burkhart (two strikeouts in 1.0 inning) made the lead hold as the Hornets could not push a runner past second base after the third inning. Werschky (2-0) got the win while Burkhart picked up her second save of the season.
Ferguson (3-1) picked up her first loss of the year despite allowing just five hits and no earned runs in five innings. Ferguson, who struck out six batters while walking only two, also led the Hornet offense with two hits. Nikki Cinque retired three-consecutive Arizona State batters in the sixth inning.
Sacramento State returns to action this Wednesday, Feb. 16, for a doubleheader at 24th-ranked Pacific (1 p.m. start).