SOFTBALL SWEEPS SANTA CLARA, CONCLUDES SEASON 28-23 AND 14-6 IN THE PCSC
SARATOGA, Calif. -- Sacramento State combined for 17 runs and 17 hits as the Hornets closed their season with a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader sweep of Santa Clara Sunday afternoon at the West Valley College softball field. The Hornets won the first game on a walkoff RBI-single from freshman Desiree Beltran before winning the second game, 11-0, in five innings.
Six different Hornets had RBIs today, including Izmena Cabrera (3), Jenice Bartee (3), Rachel Miles (2), Beltran (1), Jamie Schloredt (1) and Whitney Loomis (1). The Hornets batted .340 in the doubleheader and were led by Cabrera’s four hits.
With the victories, Sacramento State concludes its season with a 28-23 overall record and a 14-6 mark in the PCSC. The Hornets finished strong, winning each of their final eight games of the season. The team’s final record marks the first time all year they have been five games above the .500 mark. In fact, on March 21, the Hornets were 10-17, but finished the year by winning 18 of their final 24 games.
Many times, a 14-6 conference record is enough to win a conference championship, but not this season. Portland State finished the year at 15-5, and will receive the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals. Sacramento State, which won the PCSC title last season, is now 65-33 in conference play dating back to 2005. In addition, the Hornets have now won at least 28 games overall six times in the last seven years.
Beltran, who is the team’s freshman shortstop, finished the season with a team-best .413 batting average. That average is not only the best ever for a Sacramento State freshman, its also the second best mark by a Hornet since the program joined the Div. I ranks in 1990. Schloredt (.381), Cabrera (.366) and Miles (.321) all finished the season hitting better than .320, and sophomore right-hander Megan Schaefer had a 15-7 record and a 2.20 ERA. In addition, Schloredt hit better than .500 against conference competition for the second straight season. This year, she hit .510 against the PCSC after batting .509 against the conference last year.
In the first game, Sacramento State erased a one-run deficit in the seventh inning as the team got two runs in the bottom half of the inning, including a walkoff RBI-single from Beltran which scored Bartee from third base. Per conference rules, the Hornets were the designated home team in today’s doubleheader despite the games being played on Santa Clara’s home field. The victory marked the seventh time the Hornets have won via walkoff hit this season, and Bartee has scored the winning run on four of those occasions.
Alicia Noriega began the seventh inning with an infield single and was sacrificed to second base by Miles. Bartee then followed with an RBI-double, advanced to third base on a throwing error, and eventually scored on Beltran’s single.
A two-run homer by Miles in the second inning gave Sacramento State a 4-2 lead, but the Broncos (6-49, 1-19) scored twice in the fifth and once more in the sixth off Schaefer to take a 5-4 lead. The Hornets finished the game with seven hits, and two of those came from Beltran, who finished 2-for-3 with a run, walk and an RBI. Freshman Shelby Voelz (8-8) got the win in relief, allowing no runs and one hit in 1.2 innings.
In the nightcap, Sacramento State scored nine times in the first inning on the way to an 11-0 rout that was called after five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule. A pair of Santa Clara pitchers appeared in the game, but neither fared well, as Jenna Fong (4-19) allowed eight runs (three earned) and four hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Cabrera finished the game 3-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, Bartee connected for a two-run homer, Schloredt went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Loomis finished 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Six different Sacramento State starters had at least one hit, including Bartee who finished the season with an eight-game hitting streak.
Pitching for just the second time since April 5, junior right-hander Brittani Clifford (5-6) was dominant. She allowed Santa Clara just one hit while walking one and striking out one over five innings. She faced just two batters over the minimum and retired the final 11 batters she faced.
Today marked the final games in the collegiate careers of Sacramento State seniors Schloredt, Cabrera, Loomis, Miles and Sherry Clark. Schloredt and Cabrera will play professionally this summer when they both compete for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch League.