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SOFTBALL BEATS UTAH STATE, LOSES HEARTBREAKER AGAINST LONG BEACH STATE
Junior Marissa Navarro went 2-for-3 while blasting her second home run of the season against Utah State
LAKEWOOD, Calif. -- Junior Marissa Navarro went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs to lead Sacramento State to a 4-1 victory over Utah State in the opener of the second day at the Long Beach Invitational Saturday afternoon at Mayfair Park. Later in the day, Sacramento State went nine innings with tournament host Long Beach State before falling, 2-1.
With the split, Sacramento State is now 2-2 at the three-day tournament and 5-10 overall this season. The Hornets, who defeated BYU and lost to ninth-ranked UCLA yesterday, conclude tourney play tomorrow morning against Utah State at 9 a.m.
In the Hornets’ victory over Utah State (5-17), Sacramento State starter Megan Schaefer and reliever Shelby Voelz combined to limit the Aggies to just one run and two hits over seven innings. Schaefer (2-3) worked the first five innings to pick up her second victory of the season while Voelz tossed two hitless innings to notch her first career save. Utah State’s only run came on a solo homer in the fourth inning by Kassandra Uchida. Schaefer allowed just two batters to get on base during her five innings while Voelz allowed just one base runner.
Sacramento State pounded out nine hits against a pair of Aggie pitchers. That included Navarro’s two-run homer (her second of the season) in the fourth inning, a monster blast which cleared a 30-foot wall in left field. That home run snapped a 1-1 tie and gave the Hornets the lead for good.
Navarro finished the game with a double, a home run, a walk and three RBIs, as her second-inning double drove home Devin Caldwell with the Hornets’ first run. Sacramento State added an insurance run in the fifth inning after a bases-loaded walk to Yesenia Alcala plated Schaefer. The Hornets had plenty more opportunities to score, but stranded 12 runners on base, including the bases loaded in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Utah State’s Dani Chaplin (0-3) got the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) and eight hits over 4.1 innings.
Later in the day against Long Beach State, Hornet freshman Taylor Stroud was impressive again, limiting the 49ers to just six hits and two runs (one earned) over nine innings. Long Beach State (14-8) is a team currently receiving votes in the NFCA top 25 poll, and took advantage of the international tiebreaker rule to beat the Hornets. The game was tied 1-1 after seven innings, and, as is the case in many tournaments, each half inning thereafter begins with a runner being placed on second base to speed up the game. Unfortunately for the Hornets, that runner in the ninth inning (Caitrin DeBaun) scored from third base on a two-out single by Liz Javier to end the game.
Both Stroud and Long Beach State starter Brooke Turner were impressive the entire way as the pair combined to allow just 10 hits over nine innings. The Hornets were being no-hit until an Alcala single got Caldwell to second base in the fifth inning with two outs. Caldwell would score the game’s first run on the next play after Kelli Frye’s ground ball was booted by 49ers shortstop Alisha Rosen.
However, Long Beach State immediately responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth after a solo homer to left field by Christina Schallig. The Hornets loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning, and got runners to first and second with two outs in the seventh, but could not score either time. In extras, Sacramento State advanced a runner to third base with one out in both the eighth and ninth innings, but could not push a run across.
The Hornets finished the game 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and stranded 12 runners on base. Of Sacramento State’s four hits, all were singles, including Alyssa Nakken who went 1-for-4 and has now reached base safely via hit and/or walk in all but two games this year.
Turner (4-1) got the win for Long Beach State, allowing four hits and one unearned run while walking four and striking out nine over nine innings. Stroud, who lowered her ERA to 1.11, dropped to 3-3 despite facing just six batters over the minimum in 8.2 innings of work.
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