CERVANTES STRIKES OUT 14 IN ONE-HIT SHUTOUT OF SETON HALL
HENDERSON, Nev. -- Sacramento State sophomore Cassie Cervantes threw a one-hit shutout while striking out 14 batters to lead the Hornets to a 3-0 victory over Seton Hall in the first round of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Friday evening.
Cervantes, who finished third in the nation last year with an average of 13.4 strikeouts per seven innings, improved to 1-1 on the young season. The right-hander struck out 14 of the 21 batters she retired for outs, and she struck out at least two batters in every inning but the third.
With the victory, Sacramento State improved to 3-3, as the Hornets return to action later tonight to face sixth-ranked Northwestern in the second round. Seton Hall dropped to 0-1.
Sophomore Jamie Schloredt (3-for-3, two runs, triple and one RBI) and senior Amy Jo McKenzie (2-for-3, double and two RBIs) combined to do all the damage offensively for the Hornets. Sacramento State opened the scoring in the first inning after Schloredt tripled home Keri Elias for the first run, and McKenzie later singled home Schloredt.
The Hornets tacked on another run in the third after McKenzie doubled home Schloredt, who had just singled. Sacramento State finished with eight hits, five of which came off the bat of Schloredt and McKenzie.
Cervantes’ one-hitter wasn’t without drama as the flame thrower walked 10 batters, and stranded 12 Seton Hall runners on base. The Pirates left at least one runner on base in every inning, and drew at least one walk in every inning but the fourth. Seton Hall’s biggest rally came in the sixth when it loaded the bases with one out. However, Cervantes was able to strike out both Laura Baranek and Leah Menichetti looking to end the inning.
The Pirates’ only hit came on a double from Allison Gengler with one out in the sixth. Amazingly, the 14 strikeouts for Cervantes were five shy of her career high (19, set last season against Syracuse). Opponents are now batting .026 off Cervantes this season, and she has struck out 27 batters in 12.1 innings.
The Hornets will play five games over three days at the tournament, including a matchup with first-ranked Tennessee tomorrow at 3 p.m.