BATS COME ALIVE, BUT SOFTBALL FALLS TO CHARLOTTE AND SAN JOSE STATE
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento State batted .345 as a team over two games today, but still lost to both Charlotte (4-3) and San Jose State (10-4) in the second day of the Hornet Softball Round Robin Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
With the losses, Sacramento State (3-11) has now dropped six straight games. In addition, the team has lost each of its first four games at home for the first time in the program’s Div. I era (1990-pres.). Three of those losses have come to Charlotte, which swept a doubleheader from Sacramento State in yesterday’s doubleheader.
Sacramento State is now 0-4 at the Hornet Round Robin while Charlotte is 3-1 and San Jose State 2-0. Two games remain in the round robin event, including San Jose State (14-5) taking on Sacramento State at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, and Charlotte (14-2) and San Jose State playing at noon.
One positive the rebuilding Hornets can take from the day is the team was able to combine for 20 hits over both games. Sacramento State had entered the day with a .221 team batting average, but boosted that number today. In fact, Sacramento State now has at least nine hits in each of the last three games (including 11 vs. Charlotte today) after reaching the nine-hit plateau just once in its first 11 games of the season. Desiree Beltran (4-for-7), Nicole Frayn (3-for-6), Kelli Frye (2-for-4), Erin Jones (3-for-8) and Alyssa Nakken (3-for-8) all had at least three hits today.
While the offense produced, the pitching struggled. Sacramento State’s pitching staff allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in 14.0 innings today. Charlotte and San Jose State combined to bat .381 in today’s games. Defensively, right fielder Jenice Bartee had three assists, throwing out three different batters at first base after fielding sharply hit balls through the right side of the infield.
In the Hornets’ first contest of the day, Charlotte’s Tenaya Tucker hit a one-out, two-run homer in the top of the seventh to give the 49ers a 4-3 lead. The home run for Tucker capped a day in which she finished 3-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. Sacramento State had entered the seventh inning with a 3-2 lead, but Kendra McCall began the inning with a double that glanced off first baseman Alyssa Nakken’s glove and squirted down the right field line.
After Serena Smith was retired on a fly ball, Hornet starter Shelby Voelz left a 2-1 pitch over the plate and Tucker drilled it over the left field wall. Sacramento State got a two-out single from Desiree Beltran in the bottom of the seventh, but could not score.
The Hornets held a 3-1 lead through four innings, including an RBI-single from Frye in the second and an RBI-single from Frayn in the fourth. However, Charlotte scored an unearned run in the fifth and got the two-run homer from Tucker in the seventh.
Both teams had 11 hits in the game and four Hornets had multiple hits, comprised of Frayn (2-for-2 with an RBI), Erin Jones (2-for-4), Beltran (3-for-3) and Frye (2-for-3 with an RBI). For Charlotte, Kendra McCall had three hits and two runs scored.
Katy Hackett (5-1) picked up her second win in as many days against the Hornets, this time in relief. She allowed five hits and one run over 4.0 innings. Making her first appearance of the season, Gina Allen went three innings for the 49ers, allowing six hits and two runs (one earned). Voelz (2-5) took the loss, allowing 11 hits and four runs (three earned) while walking none and striking out four over 7.0 innings.
In the team’s second game, San Jose State pounded out 10 runs and 13 hits off Hornet starter Megan Schaefer (5.0 innings) and reliever Jacquelyn Serrano (2.0 innings). The Spartans scored once in the second inning, three times in the third, four in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth. The big blow came on a three-run homer from Brittany McConnell in the third inning that gave the Spartans a 4-0 lead.
Sacramento State would cut the deficit in half with two runs in the bottom of the third (RBI-double from Jones and an RBI-single from Nakken), but would get no closer the rest of the way. Seven of Sacramento State’s nine starters had at least one hit, including Nakken who finished 3-for-4.
For San Jose State, McConnell had four RBIs and Kelli Fangonilo went 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs. The Spartans’ Amanda Pridmore (6-0) got the win, allowing nine hits and four runs (three earned) over seven innings. Schaefer took the loss for Sacramento State, as she saw her record fall to 1-2.