SOFTBALL GIVES TOP RANKED TENNESSEE EARLY SCARE, BUT CANâ€™T HANG ON
HENDERSON, Nev. -- Sacramento State held a 2-0 lead through four innings against the nation’s top ranked team (Tennessee) before the Volunteer bats began clicking in the final three innings as the Hornets fell, 9-2, in the third round of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Hornets dropped to 3-5 overall and 1-2 at the tournament. However, Sacramento State has played a brutal schedule thus far that has included losses to four teams ranked in the top 12 in the country (Stanford, Washington, Northwestern and Tennessee). Among those was last night’s narrow 3-2 loss to Northwestern.
Sacramento State picked up a run in the first inning on a home run from sophomore Jamie Schloredt, and added one more in the second after Rachel Miles scored on a passed ball.
Hornet starting pitcher Cassie Cervantes retired the first seven batters in succession, and faced the minimum through three innings. After escaping a jam in the fourth inning, Cervantes and the Hornets were nine outs away from pulling off the upset.
After Tennessee tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth, the Volunteers went to their bullpen, bringing in three-time All American pitcher Monica Abbott in an attempt to contain anymore Sacramento State scoring. Abbott did her job, improving to 5-0 on the young season after allowing just one hit while striking out eight over the final three innings.
Meanwhile, Tennessee’s offense came alive with the two runs in the fifth, four more in the sixth, and three in the seventh. The Volunteers chased Cervantes after opening the sixth with a solo home run from Tiffany Huff and consecutive walks. Sacramento State reliever Michele Bochenski couldn’t contain the Volunteers, as a two-out, two-run single from Kenora Posey highlighted the Volunteers’ four-run sixth inning. Tennessee added three runs of insurance in the seventh.
Cervantes (1-2) picked up the loss, allowing five runs and five hits with six strikeouts in five innings. Schloredt, who was intentionally walked in the third inning, continued a torrid pace that has seen the catcher hit .478 (11-for-23) this season with three home runs, seven RBIs and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Kayla Meeks, Melissa Cross and Hilary Johnson also had hits for the Hornets. Johnson made a running catch at the wall in the second inning to preserve the Hornet lead.
The Hornets return to action later this evening to face Southern Utah in the fourth round of the tournament. The team concludes tourney play tomorrow morning against Cal State Fullerton.