SOFTBALL DEFEATS BYU, LOSES TO #9 UCLA IN FIRST DAY OF THE LONG BEACH INVITATIONAL
Freshman Shannon Kaufman extended her hitting streak to five games with three more hits today
LAKEWOOD, Calif. -- Sacramento State’s Kelli Frye, Emily McCormick, Megan Schaefer and Shannon Kaufman each combined for three hits as the Hornets split a pair of games in the opening day of the Long Beach Softball Invitational Friday afternoon at Mayfair Park.
The Hornets began the day by knocking off BYU by a 5-3 score. Sacramento State then hung with ninth-ranked UCLA later in the day before falling, 5-3.
Today marked the first two games the Hornets will play during the three-day tournament. Sacramento State (4-9 overall) takes on Utah State (11:15 a.m.) and Long Beach State (1:30 p.m.) tomorrow, and concludes tourney play Sunday with a 9 a.m. game against Utah State.
In the Hornets’ opener, Sacramento State tallied a season-high 10 hits while scoring three times in the second inning and two more in the sixth. Freshman right-hander Taylor Stroud (3-2) picked up the victory, allowing three runs and seven hits while throwing 101 pitches.
With runners at second and third base and two outs in the Sacramento State second inning, the Hornets received consecutive singles from Nakken, Kaufman and McCormick to score three times. Nakken’s single scored both Marissa Navarro and Megan Schaefer.
BYU (8-13) scored a pair of runs in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3. The Cougars could have scored more in the inning, but Stroud got out of a bases loaded, one-out situation. In fact, Stroud allowed all seven BYU hits through the first 3.1 innings, but held the Cougars hitless the final 3.2 innings.
The Hornets took advantage of a pair of BYU errors to score two runs in the sixth inning. The second error came on a Nakken ground ball that scored both Schaefer and pinch runner Lauren Blair. Stroud retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth inning, and allowed a harmless walk in the seventh to preserve the victory.
All but two Sacramento State starters had at least one hit in the game, including Kaufman and freshman Devin Caldwell who both went 2-for-4. All 10 of the Hornets’ hits went for singles.
BYU’s Paige Affleck (5-9) took the loss, allowing eight hits and five runs (three earned) over 5.1 innings.
Against UCLA, the Hornets were facing a team that was ranked ninth in the nation in the NFCA poll, had won five of its last six games, and had mercy ruled five different opponents this season. Sacramento State more than held its own, pounding out eight hits against a pitcher in starter Jessica Hall who had won four straight decisions and already had double figures in wins.
The Hornets used a three-run top of the fifth inning to tie things up at 3-3 before the Bruins responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. UCLA (17-4) took advantage of a Hornet error to score two unearned runs in the top of the first inning, and tacked on one more in the second on an RBI-single from GiOnna DiSalvatore.
After being one-hit by Hall through three innings, Sacramento State began to break through in the fourth. The Hornets put runners at second and third base with one out, but could not score. With one out in the fifth inning, Sacramento State received consecutive singles from Frye, Nakken, Kaufman and McCormick to tie the score at 3-3. Kaufman’s single drove home Frye, and McCormick’s single scored both Kaufman and Nakken. The Hornets threatened for more runs after loading the bases with two outs, but Hall struck out Molly Smith to end the inning.
UCLA immediately responded with two runs (RBI-singles from Jessica Hall and B.B. Bates) and three hits off Hornet starter Shelby Voelz in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 5-3 lead. The Hornets did not threaten in either the sixth or seventh inning.
Voelz (0-2) took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) and seven hits over five innings. Schaefer worked a scoreless sixth inning in relief. Hall (11-3) won her 11th game, allowing eight hits and three runs. Both teams combined to strand 20 runners on base, including eight by the Hornets.
McCormick finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Hornets while Schaefer also went 2-for-3. McCormick now has a team-high 10 RBIs this season, five more than other Sacramento State player. Kaufman is riding a five-game hitting streak and is batting .471 (8-for-17) over that span.