SOFTBALL WRAPS UP MUSTANG CLASSIC WITH 4-3 LOSS TO IOWA STATE
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Sacramento State let a three-run lead slip away and Courtney Wray’s walk-off bunt single delivered Iowa State a 4-3 victory over the Hornets in the fifth and final round of the Mustang Softball Classic Sunday morning at Bob Janssen Field.
A one-out triple from Iowa State’s Bianca Lopez in the bottom of the seventh set up Wray’s at-bat. Wray then calmly laid down a first-pitch bunt that allowed Lopez to score the game-winning run. The victory capped off an Iowa State comeback that saw the Cyclones erase an early 3-0 deficit and later a 3-1 deficit in the fifth inning.
With the loss, Sacramento State (6-16) concluded the tournament with a 2-3 record. The Hornets beat UC Santa Barbara (Friday) and Iowa State (Saturday) during tournament play, and lost to host Cal Poly twice. Two of the team’s three losses during the tournament came by one run and Sacramento State is now 2-6 in one-run games this season. Iowa State (14-12) wrapped up the tournament with a 4-1 record.
Iowa State picked up momentum heading into the seventh after Cyclone starter Rachel Zabriskie got out of a big jam in the top half of the inning. In fact, the Hornets had runners at first and third with no outs in the top of the seventh, but failed to score.
Sacramento State combined to leave 33 runners on base during the tournament, and gathering hits in the clutch continues to be a problem for the team. This season, the Hornets are now batting .223 with runners in scoring position, .233 with runners on base and .234 with two outs. And the Hornets’ biggest clutch player (Desiree Beltran, .625 average with runners in scoring position) has missed nine games with injury.
The Hornets scored all three of their runs in a third inning which saw Erin Jones lead off the frame with her team-high third home run of the season. Sacramento State then caught a break when Iowa State committed two errors on the same play allowing both Emily McCormick and Jenice Bartee to score.
The Cyclones got a run back in the bottom of the second and scored two more in the fifth inning on an RBI-double from Lopez and a two-out, two-strike RBI-single from Alex Johnson.
Sacramento State starter Megan Schaefer pitched the first five innings before sophomore Shelby Voelz tossed the final 1.1 innings in relief. Voelz (3-9) took the loss. Either Voelz or Schaefer has now picked up the decision in each of the Hornets’ last 13 games.
Zabriskie (13-6) got the win, allowing six hits and three runs (one earned) in seven innings of work.
Six of the Hornets’ first seven batters in the lineup recorded hits, including McCormick who stretched her hitting streak to four games. During that four-game stretch, she is 5-for-9 with three runs, two doubles, two walks and an RBI. This comes after McCormick began the season by collecting just two hits in her first 25 at-bats. Jones’ home run in the second inning extended her hitting streak to five games.
Sacramento State returns to action for a busy week of home softball next week. After welcoming Colorado State for a single game on Thursday at 2 p.m., the Hornets will host the 18th-annual Capital Classic (March 19-21) with all 10 games during the tournament taking place at Shea Stadium on campus.
The Hornets will play four times during the tournament, including twice on Friday against Utah State (1 p.m.) and Colorado State (3 p.m.). Sacramento State also plays twice on Saturday against Iona (1 p.m.) and Utah State (3 p.m.).