SOFTBALL SQUANDERS OPPORTUNITIES, FALLS TO CAL POLY, 3-2
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Sacramento State stranded at least one runner in scoring position in every inning but the fifth, and the Hornets’ two runs were not enough in a 3-2 loss to Cal Poly in the first round of the Mustang Softball Classic Friday afternoon at Bob Janssen Field.
Sacramento State dropped to 0-1 at the tournament, and 4-14 overall this season. The Hornets have now lost five games by a single run. Sacramento State, which started eight underclassmen against Cal Poly, return to action for the team’s second-round game later this evening against UC Santa Barbara at 7:30 p.m.
Cal Poly, which is the tournament host, improved to 6-7 overall and 1-0 at the tourney.
Sacramento State had plenty of opportunities to score, but managed to push just two runs across. The Hornets stranded a combined seven runners in scoring position over the seven innings, and finished the game hitting .083 (1-for-12) with runners in scoring position.
Cal Poly scored all three of its runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead. The Mustangs used a pair of infield singles, three walks and a sacrifice fly to score its runs. Two of those runs came on bases-loaded walks to Kendal Hennings and Anna Cahn, and the third via sacrifice fly from Stephanie Correia.
The Hornets cut into the lead with an RBI-single from Kelli Frye which scored Jenice Bartee from third base. Bartee had doubled to begin the inning and later stole third base. A solo home run from freshman Erin Jones, her second of the season, cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth inning.
Sacramento State had runners at first and second with one out in the sixth inning, and a runner at third base with two outs in the seventh, but could not score. Helen Pena (2-2) went the first four innings to pick up the win, and Rebecca Patton picked up her first save after throwing three scoreless innings of relief.
Hornet starter Shelby Voelz (2-8) got the loss, allowing nine hits and three runs over seven innings.
Bartee, Frye and Jessica Abelia each collected two hits for the Hornets. Bartee picked up another outfield assist as she was part of a play that resulted in a Cal Poly runner being tagged out in the first inning. Bartee already has eight outfield assists this season, which is the new program single-season record. The previous mark was seven, held by three players (Amber Dragomir in 2001, Lindy Winkler in 2003 and 2005, Bartee last season). In addition, after struggling early in the season offensively, Bartee has hit safely in four of her last five games and has four hits in her last six at-bats.
After tonight’s game, Sacramento State wraps up the tournament with two games on Saturday, and one on Sunday.