SOFTBALL USES A SEVEN-RUN INNING TO DEFEAT PITT IN OPENING GAME OF CAMPBELL/ CARTIER
POWAY, Calif. -- The Sacramento State softball team used a seven-run sixth inning to erase a 3-2 deficit and defeat Pittsburgh, 9-4, in the opening game of the Campbell/Cartier Classic Friday afternoon at Sportsplex USA. The Hornets, who improved to 4-5, face New Mexico later today in the second round of the tournament.
Junior Jillian Bivert led the Hornets with two hits and two RBIs while junior Kirsten Wise (1-1) picked up the win in relief. Wise, who posted her first career Div. I victory, allowed one hit and one unearned run in 1.2 innings of work. Seven Sacramento State starters scored at least one run, led by Meghan Cunningham who crossed the plate twice.
The Hornets opened the scoring in the second inning as Mary Villalpando scored on an error and Lori Meixner put the team up, 2-0, after scoring from third on a wild pitch. Pittsburgh (0-1) tied the game in the top of the third on a two-out, two-run double by Kate Mitchell.
The Panthers took the lead in the top of the sixth (3-2) after Sacramento State starter Nicole Deatherage walked Tiffany White with the bases loaded. Wise then entered the game with the bases loaded and one out before retiring both Angela Blackmon and Amy Steich to get out of the jam.
The Hornets rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth as the team batted around, sending 11 players to the plate. Pinch runner Michelle Bariao scored the team's first run after scoring from third base on a throwing error. Amy Hillel followed with an RBI-single plating Cunningham. After Meixner popped out for the second out of the inning, Mary Villalpando walked to put runners at first and second. Pinch hitter Yolanda Estrada then doubled home Hillel while Villalpando advanced to third base.
Cathy Coupar followed with a ground ball to second base, but Blackmon threw the ball away, allowing Villalpando and Sunseri (who re-entered the game for Estrada) to score. Amber Dragomir then walked and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Bivert followed with a two-run single plating both Coupar and Dragomir to wrap up the Hornets' scoring. Five of the team's seven runs in the inning were unearned.
The Panthers added a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI-single by Mitchell.
Pittsburgh's Nikki Gasti (0-1) was the losing pitcher, allowing nine runs (three earned) and six hits in 5.2 innings. Deatherage picked up the no-decision, allowing three runs and six hits in 5.1 innings.
The Hornets play New Mexico later today (Friday) before taking on both Florida International and Northwestern on Saturday, and Loyola Marymount on Sunday.