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Game 1 Box Score/Play-By-Play
Game 2 Box Score/Play-By-Play
CLIFFORDâ€™S ONE-HIT SHUTOUT SPARKS SOFTBALL TO DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF UC DAVIS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Junior right-hander Brittani Clifford threw a one-hit shutout in the first game, and senior Rachel Miles’ three-run triple in the second game sparked Sacramento State to a doubleheader sweep of Causeway rival UC Davis in non-conference softball action Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Hornets won the first game, 1-0, before taking the nightcap by the score of 5-4.
After playing its 17 games off the season away from home, today finally marked the home opener for Sacramento State. The Hornets improved their record this season to 7-12, increased their winning streak to three games, and improved to 57-26-1 all-time against UC Davis. In addition, the Hornets were able to pick up 3.3 points towards the Causeway Cup standings, the annual all-sports challenge between Sacramento State and UC Davis. The Aggies now hold a slight 37.5-36.7 lead in this year’s standings with 11 more spring competitions remaining between the two schools. Click here for the standings.
With the losses, UC Davis dropped to 10-11.
The first game was not only highlighted by Clifford’s performance, but Jamie Schloredt also connected for an RBI-walkoff single in the seventh inning which plated Whitney Loomis. In the second game, the Hornets erased a 4-1 deficit by scoring four times in the bottom of the third (all coming with two outs), highlighted by Miles’ three-run triple.
“Its nice to finally be home, and the outcomes of today’s games certainly back that up,” Sacramento State head coach Kathy Strahan said. “Our word of the day was ‘consistency’ and it was very fitting, because this was the most consistent we have played all season. Hopefully, we are able to take the momentum into this weekend’s tournament and really turn the corner.”
In the opener, Clifford allowed just one hit while striking out four and walking none to record one of the best pitching performances of her career. In fact, the right-hander retired all but one batter she faced as the only blemish was a harmless one-out single from Julie Stauder in the fourth inning. Besides the Stauder single, Clifford retired the side in order in the first, second, third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Clifford was locked in a pitchers duel with UC Davis starter Jessica Hancock. While Clifford was posting zeros every inning, Hancock was doing the same until the Hornets broke through in the seventh. In fact, Hancock had allowed just one hit (an Izmena Cabrera double in the fifth) through the first six innings.
Loomis led off the seventh for the Hornets with a walk before being sacrificed to second by Desiree Beltran. Cabrera then singled Loomis to third, and Schloredt pounded a 1-1 pitch sharply through the left side of the infield to plate Loomis with the game-winning run.
Clifford improved her record to 2-4, needing just 77 pitches to pick up the complete-game victory. Hancock (6-5) got the loss despite allowing just three hits and one run over 6.1 innings. Only three players in the game recorded hits, including Cabrera who went 2-for-3 with a double.
In the second game, timely Hornet hitting, Miles’ big hit, and four scoreless innings of relief by freshman Shelby Voelz highlighted a team effort. Sacramento State got on the board first in the bottom of the second when Miles’ RBI-single scored Cabrera from third base. However, UC Davis scored four runs on three hits and a Hornet error off starter Megan Schaefer in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third, UC Davis starter Alex Holmes got the first two outs of the inning, before the Hornets started mounting their comeback. Loomis got things going with a triple and Beltran followed with a walk to put runners at the corners. Cabrera then followed with a double to score Loomis and move Beltran to third. The Aggies opted to intentionally walk Schloredt and load the bases for Miles. The fourth-year senior came through, lining a 3-2 pitch over right fielder Sarah Axelson’s head to score all three runs and put the Hornets on top, 5-4.
Voelz (1-3) was then inserted into the game in the top of the fourth, and proceeded to work four scoreless inning to pick up the first intercollegiate win of her career. The Hornets turned in an impressive defensive inning in the fifth, as senior right fielder Jenice Bartee got things started by fielding a sharp ground ball that went through the right side and threw out UC Davis’ Jessica Gonzalez at first base for the uncommon 9-3 putout. The next batter (Erin Emde) then lined a ball that looked like it would sail over Bartee’s head, but she was able to make a leaping catch that saved extra bases.
Holmes (4-6) got the loss for UC Davis, as she gave up five runs and five hits over 2.2 innings. Hancock pitched the final 3.1 innings in relief and did not allow a hit. Miles finished the game 2-for-3 with four RBIs, one shy of her career high of five, set against UC Davis in 2006. Cabrera went 2-for-3, and finished the doubleheader with four hits.
Sacramento State returns to action later this week where the team will participate in the three-day, five-game National Invitational Softball Tournament, hosted by San Jose State (March 13-15). The Hornets open tournament play on Friday, March 13, against UC Davis (1:15 p.m.) and UNLV (3:15 p.m.). The team will also take on both Colorado State and Long Beach State on Saturday, and Vermont on Sunday.
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