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LOOMISâ€™ TWO HOME RUNS AND SEVEN RBIs LEAD SOFTBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF SANTA CLARA
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Sophomore Whitney Loomis combined for four hits, including the first two home runs of her career, and seven RBIs to lead Sacramento State to a sweep of Santa Clara in a Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Marsalli Park. The Hornets won the first game, 12-3, before overcoming a four-run deficit in the second game to win, 8-5.
Loomis, who prepped locally at Mira Loma High School, finished the doubleheader 4-for-7 (.667 batting average) with one walk, one double, two home runs, three runs scored, seven RBIs and two sacrifices. She was a large part of a Sacramento State offense that combined to hit .343 with 20 runs and 23 hits (including five doubles and four home runs) over the two games.
With the victories, Sacramento State improved to 13-30 overall and 4-5 in the PCSC. The back-to-back victories for the Hornets marked the team’s first winning streak since the Hornets began the year (Feb. 9) with a pair of wins over Santa Clara at the Cal Poly Invitational. Including a 4-0 record against the Broncos this season, the Hornets have now defeated Santa Clara on five straight occasions dating back to last season.
With the loss, Santa Clara dropped to 10-39 overall and 3-7 in the conference. The Hornets and Broncos will wrap up the four-game series tomorrow with another doubleheader at noon.
In the first game, the Hornets exploded for season highs in both runs (12) and hits (15). All but one Sacramento State starter had at least one hit and five different Hornets had at least one RBI, including four from Loomis, three from Jamie Schloredt and two from Amy Jo McKenzie.
Sacramento State scored twice in the third, three times in the fourth, four in the fifth, and three more in the seventh. After Hornet starter Kayla Meeks gave up two runs to Santa Clara in the first inning, Sacramento State tied things in the third with RBI-singles from both Schloredt and McKenzie.
The Hornets took the lead for good with three runs in the fourth via bases-loaded walk to Loomis and a two-run single from Schloredt. All three runs in the inning were scored after two outs had been recorded. Sacramento State then blew open the game in the fifth with four runs on an error scoring McKenzie, an RBI-single from Rachel Miles and a two-run single from Loomis.
The team tacked on three more in the seventh on an RBI-double from Loomis, a sacrifice fly from Meeks and an RBI-double from McKenzie. Schloredt (3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs), Loomis (2-for-3 with four RBIs), McKenzie (3-for-5 with two RBIs), Sherry Clark (2-for-5) and Hilary Johnson (2-for-4 with two runs) each had multiple-hit games for the Hornets. The four RBIs for Loomis were a career high, and shortstop Amy Tompkins’ four runs scored in the game were also a career high.
Meeks (8-12) picked up the victory, allowing three runs and 10 hits over seven innings. Santa Clara’s Jackie Morales (5-11) grabbed the loss, allowing eight hits and eight runs (seven earned) over 4.1 innings.
In the second game, Santa Clara jumped out to a 4-0 lead after Nori Kamada hit a second-inning grand slam off Hornet starter Jennifer Fryou. However, Sacramento State immediately responded with five runs in an explosive third inning that included a two-run double from Tompkins, a two-run homer from Loomis and a solo homer from Meeks.
The Broncos tied things at 5-5 with a run in the fourth inning, but the Hornets took the lead back for good in the sixth inning after Clark pounded a two-run homer, her second of the season. Clark improved her hitting streak to six games with the home run, and she is now batting .421 (8-for-19) with five doubles, a home run and five RBIs during the streak. Sacramento State tacked on an insurance run after Loomis clubbed her second home run of the game, a solo shot that led off the seventh inning.
Sacramento State freshman pitcher Brittani Clifford was impressive in relief, throwing the final 5.2 innings to pick up her second victory of the season. She allowed just four hits and one run while striking out three to allow the Hornet offense to get back in the game after the Broncos jumped out to the 4-0 lead.
Loomis finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs while McKenzie also had a multiple-hit game, finishing 2-for-4. Tompkins’ two-run double in the third inning extended her hitting streak to a career-high eight games.
After tomorrow’s doubleheader with Santa Clara, Sacramento State has just eight games remaining on the schedule, including a pair of four-game home conference series against San Diego (April 28-29) and Saint Mary’s (May 5-6).
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