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Box Score/Play By Play
SOFTBALL SNAPS LONG DROUGHT AGAINST CAL WITH 8-6 VICTORY
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Senior Melissa Cross, and juniors Whitney Loomis and Izmena Cabrera each homered to lead Sacramento State to an 8-6 victory over Cal in the third round of the Mustang Softball Classic Saturday morning at Bob Janssen Field.
The victory snapped a 17-game losing streak against Cal that dated back to 2000. The Hornets are now 3-0 at the five-game, three-day tournament, including victories over both UAB and Santa Clara yesterday. Sacramento State improved its overall record this season to 4-3. Cal, which is currently receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll, dropped to 8-7 with the loss.
The Hornets will return to action later today to face host Cal Poly (4:30 p.m.), and conclude tournament play on Sunday against UAB at 9 a.m.
After both teams were held scoreless through the first four innings, Sacramento State got on the board in the top of the fifth with four runs. Cross opened the inning with a solo home run to center field, and after Jenice Bartee and Hilary Johnson both reached base, Loomis followed with a three-run homer to center. The bomb was Loomis’ team-high third home run of the season.
Sacramento State added two more in the sixth after Cross singled home Amanda Meyer, and a double play eventually scored Cross. That gave the Hornets a 6-0 lead, but Cal immediately bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth as Sacramento State used three pitchers in the inning (Jacquelyn Serrano, Kayla Meeks and Brittani Clifford).
The Hornets added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh after Cabrera’s second home run of the season cleared the left field wall, and Sherry Clark added an RBI-single scoring Rachel Miles. Those insurance runs proved to be large as Cal tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the seventh. In fact, the Golden Bears eventually got the tying run to the plate, but Clifford induced Taylor Kelly to line out and end the game.
Both Clark (2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI) and Cross (2-for-4 with two RBIs) had multiple-hit games for the Hornets as both teams finished with seven hits. Of Loomis’ nine hits this season, five have now gone for extra bases including three homers and two doubles.
Meeks started the game for the Hornets, pitching 3.0 innings of scoreless ball before being replaced by Serrano to start the fourth. Serrano then tossed 2.0-plus innings before Meeks was reinserted into the circle in the sixth inning. Eventually, Clifford took over for Meeks late in the sixth, and wound up getting the first save of her career, tossing the final 1.2 innings. Serrano (1-0), who is a true freshman, got the win in the first collegiate appearance of her career.
Meeks allowed just one hit and one run in 3.1 innings, but did not go the necessary four innings as a starter to pick up the victory. Loomis and Clark have now hit safely in all seven games this season.
Valerie Arioto (3-2) picked up the loss for Cal, allowing three hits and four runs (one earned) in 4.1 innings.
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