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WINNING STREAK NOW AT SIX AS SOFTBALL SWEEPS DOUBLEHEADER FROM PACIFIC
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Junior Jamie Schloredt combined for four hits and two walks, and sophomore Brittani Clifford picked up a win and a save to lead Sacramento State to a doubleheader sweep of Pacific in a non-conference softball doubleheader Friday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Hornets won the first game, 3-2, before taking the second game, 7-4.
The Hornets have now won six straight and eight of the last nine games. The team’s only blemish during that nine-game streak was a 2-0 loss to 11th-ranked Oklahoma. Sacramento State is 18-11 overall, the team’s best mark after 29 games since the 1997 squad was 19-9-1.
Pacific dropped to 18-18 with the losses.
Sacramento State’s victories snapped a five-game losing streak against Pacific that dated back to 2004. The Hornets, who improved to 30-47-1 all-time against Pacific, had not swept a doubleheader from the Tigers since early in the 1995 season.
“The team is staying loose and having fun, and we play very well when we are in that element,” Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan said. “It was a total team effort today as we received plenty of offense and our pitching did a nice job. Everyone is contributing, and we are on a very nice run right now.”
Schloredt, who was retired once during the entire doubleheader, went 4-for-5 with a double, two walks and an RBI. She led a Hornet offense that combined for 10 runs and batted .353 during the doubleheader. Meanwhile, the pitching was impressive as pitchers Kayla Meeks, Megan Schaefer and Clifford combined to allow just four earned runs over 14.0 innings (2.00 ERA) while striking out 11.
In addition, senior Hilary Johnson improved her hitting streak to a career-high nine games, and the center fielder is batting .556 (15-for-27) over that nine-game stretch.
In the first game, no team led by more than two runs the entire way as Sacramento State put up two runs in the first and one more in the fifth. Hornet pitchers Meeks (6.0 innings, 6 hits, 2 runs – 1 earned) and Clifford (1.0 inning, 0 hits, 0 runs) combined to limit the Tigers to just six hits over seven innings.
Pacific got on the board with a run in the top of the first on an RBI-single from Alyce Jorgensen. The Hornets, however, bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the first after Miles’ double drove home both Schloredt and Whitney Loomis. The Hornets tacked on another run in the fifth after Schloredt’s third hit of the game drove home Amy Tompkins.
The Tigers used a couple Hornet errors to close within one run (3-2) in the sixth inning. Clifford was then inserted into the game to start the seventh and retired the side in order for her fifth save of the season. The five saves are already more than any pitcher in Sacramento State history. In addition, the five saves are more than the team tallied as a whole during any season except for 2000 (5).
Schloredt finished the game 3-for-3 with a run, double and an RBI. She joined Pacific’s Casey Goldsand as the only two players with multiple-hit games. Meeks (8-4) has now won six of her last seven decisions and her eight victories are a team high. Pacific’s Chelsea Engle dropped to 12-7 with the loss, as she allowed three runs (two earned) and seven hits over 6.0 innings.
In the second game, Sacramento State erased a 2-0 deficit with three first-inning runs, and later erased a 4-3 deficit with three more runs in the bottom of the second. After the teams combined for 10 runs over the first two innings (Hornets led 6-4 after two), only one more run was scored over the final five innings.
Clifford played a large role in the victory as she was inserted into the game with no outs and a runner at first base in the second, and proceeded to go the next 6.0 innings while allowing just five hits and two runs. The right-hander picked up her sixth victory of the season while improving to 6-4.
After Pacific jumped on top, 2-0, in the top of the first, Sacramento State responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-single from Miles and a two-run single from Schaefer. The Tigers reclaimed the lead at 4-3 after scoring twice in the top of the second. However, Sacramento State scored three more times in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by an RBI-single from Loomis and a sacrifice fly from Izmena Cabrera.
The Hornets tacked on an insurance run in the sixth after Cabrera singled home Johnson. Alyce Jorgensen (3-6) allowed six hits and six runs in 1.0 inning of work and took the loss.
Eight Hornet starters had at least one hit in the game, including two hits each from Tompkins, Loomis and Johnson.
Sacramento State returns to action next week with a doubleheader on the road at San Jose State on Tuesday, March 25, at 2 p.m. The Hornets do not return home until April 2 when they host a single game against Stanford at 2 p.m.
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