LOOMIS HITS TWO MORE HOME RUNS, LEADS SOFTBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SPLIT WITH SANTA CLARA
SAN MATEO, Calif. -- One day after clubbing a pair of home runs, sophomore Whitney Loomis hit two more, including a three-run homer in the seventh inning to lead Sacramento State to a 5-4, nine-inning victory over Santa Clara in the second game of a Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) doubleheader Sunday afternoon at the College of San Mateo. Santa Clara overcame a two-run deficit in the seventh inning of the first game to win, 9-6, in extra innings.
All four games were played at the College of San Mateo because of poor field conditions at Marsalli Park (Santa Clara’s home facility) and the threat of more rain in the forecast for today. San Mateo’s facility has field turf instead of grass making it more user friendly on a rainy day. Per PCSC rules, Sacramento State was the designated home team and batted second in both games today.
Loomis, who prepped locally at Mira Loma High School, had four RBIs in the second game, including a three-run homer in the seventh inning when the Hornets trailed, 4-1. She also had a solo home run in the third to get the Hornets on the board. The Sacramento native completed an incredible four-game series in which she combined to hit .583 (7-for-12) with one double, three walks, four home runs, 11 RBIs, a 1.667 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base percentage. She hit safely in all four games and scored a team-high tying six runs as well.
With the split, Sacramento State, which began the series yesterday by sweeping a pair of games from Santa Clara, moved its record to 14-31 overall and 5-6 in the PCSC. Santa Clara is now 11-40 overall and 4-8 in the conference. With just eight games remaining this season, Sacramento State has a lot of work to do if its wants to catch current conference leader Loyola Marymount. The Lions lead the PCSC standings with a 10-2 conference record after completing a four-game sweep of Portland State today. The winner of the PCSC receives an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.
In the night cap, Loomis stole the show, tallying all four of Sacramento State’s RBIs in the game. Santa Clara jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third on a three-run homer from Meghan Chavez. The Hornets quickly closed the deficit to two runs (3-1) after Loomis clubbed a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning. The Broncos picked up another run in the top of the seventh inning to take what looked like an insurmountable three-run lead (4-1) heading into the last half of the seventh.
However, after one out had been recorded, Hilary Johnson and Amy Tompkins both singled to put runners at first and second. That set the stage for Loomis, who sent a Jerrica Castagno fast ball over the left field wall. Sacramento State starter Jennnifer Fryou kept the game tied by striking out the Santa Clara side in the eighth and retiring the Broncos in order in the top of the ninth.
Two more singles by Johnson and Tompkins to lead off the bottom of the ninth put runners at first and third with no outs. Loomis was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Catcher Jamie Schloredt then followed with a ground ball to Santa Clara second baseman Breann Netto who threw wildly home trying to force Johnson at the plate.
Fryou (1-4) was impressive in picking up her first victory of the season. The senior threw all nine innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and 10 hits while striking out six. One day after scoring a career-high four runs, Tompkins tallied another career high with four hits in five at-bats. The shortstop has hit safely in eight of her last nine games, batting .410 (16-for-39) over that span.
In the first game, Sacramento State relief pitcher Brittani Clifford squandered a 6-4 Hornet lead in the seventh after allowing three walks and a two-run single from Ashley Blier which tied the game. Clifford had two outs and runners at first and second, but issued her third walk of the inning and Blier came through with the game-tying hit. The eighth inning did not get much better, as Clifford retired the first two batters she faced before giving up a walk, single and three-run homer to Angela Kabanuck which proved to be the game-winning blow.
Sacramento State had erased an early three-run deficit with a six-run third which included a grand slam from junior Melissa Cross. The Hornets had the bases loaded with two outs and Schloredt batting. Schloredt hit a grounder that Santa Clara shortstop Chavez played for a two-run error. After a walk to Kayla Meeks reloaded the bases, Cross parked a 2-2 pitch from Jackie Morales over the left field fence for her second home run (and first grand slam) of the season.
The Broncos, who hit three home runs in the game, inched to within 6-4 on a solo homer from Ashley Grove in the fourth inning. Hornet starter Meeks went the first five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) and eight hits. Clifford was inserted into the game to begin the sixth inning looking to notch the team’s first save of the season, but Blier’s two-run single in the seventh and Kabanuck’s three-run homer in the eighth ruined that effort.
Clifford (2-5) got the loss, allowing five hits, five runs, four walks and four strikeouts over 3.0 innings. Jackie Morales, who pitched the first five innings, was replaced by Kaitlyn Rauschnot in the sixth, and then reinserted back into the game at pitcher in the seventh, picked up the win. She improved to 6-11, allowing six hits and six unearned runs with nine strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
Sacramento State’s Johnson went 3-for-3 in the game and finished the doubleheader a combined 5-for-7. She now has a career-high tying six-game hitting streak. During that six-game span, she is batting .500 (10-for-20) with seven runs scored.
The Hornets have just eight games remaining on the 2007 schedule (all at home), including four-game series against San Diego (April 28-29) and Saint Mary’s (May 5-6). Sacramento State is trying to avoid its first sub-.500 record in PCSC play since the league’s inception in 2003.