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SOFTBALL LETS SCORING OPPORTUNITIES SLIP AWAY IN 8-4 LOSS AT CAL
BERKELEY -- Shannon Houston’s two-out, grand slam in the to top the fifth inning proved to be the game-wining hit as she led Cal to an 8-4 victory over Sacramento State in a non-conference softball game Tuesday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field.
The Hornets squandered numerous opportunities to score more than their four-run output would suggest. After scoring a run in the third inning, Sacramento State had the bases loaded with one out, but could not score again. The Hornets again had the bases loaded with one out in the fourth, but failed to produce a run. In the fifth inning, the team had runners at first and second with no outs, but failed to score.
The Hornets then began the seventh inning with four consecutive singles and a walk to score two runs and load the bases with no outs. The team could muster just one more run in the inning as Cal was aided by a double play and went on for the 8-4 victory. In all, Sacramento State left nine runners on base during the contest.
With the win, Cal, which is receiving votes in the top 25 poll, improved to 20-9 overall and has won 10 of its last 12 games. Sacramento State dropped its fourth straight game (each of those losses coming to a ranked opponent or a team receiving votes) while falling to 10-10.
Cal jumped on Sacramento State starter Brittani Clifford for three quick runs in the first inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Gina Leomiti. Clifford did not record an out in the inning before giving way to freshman Megan Schaefer who wound up pitching the next 3.2 inning, allowing just one run over that span.
The Hornets got one run back in the third after Whitney Loomis singled home Amanda Meyer. The Hornets squandered an opportunity to score more when Izmena Cabrera lined into a double play with the bases loaded and one out.
Cal tacked on one more in the fourth (Valerie Arioto home run) and four in the fifth on Houston’s grand slam. Sacramento State began the seventh inning with consecutive singles from Amy Tompkins, Loomis, Jamie Schloredt and Cabrera. After a walk to Rachel Miles pushed home the Hornets’ second run of the inning, Cal starter Brittany LaRosa was able to work out of the jam. Kayla Meeks grounded into a double play as Miles was tagged out trying to go to second by Houston, who then threw out the other base runner, Cabrera who was going to third in the process.
LaRosa (5-3) pitched the first three innings, and after Arioto worked a shaky fourth, LaRosa was re-inserted to pitch the final three innings. She got the win, allowing four runs (three earned) and six hits over 6.0 innings.
, allowing four runs (three earned) and nine hits over 7.0 innings. Clifford (3-4) took the loss for the Hornets while Schaefer (3.2 ip) and Meeks (2.1 ip) both saw action in relief.
Loomis led the Hornets with a pair of hits, a walk and an RBI, while Schloredt finished 2-for-3 with a walk.
Sacramento State returns to action when the team hosts the 16th-annual Capital Classic Softball Tournament this Friday-Sunday, March 14-16, at the Sacramento Softball Complex. The team will play both Princeton (12:30 p.m.) and Ohio State (3 p.m.) on Friday.
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