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Game 1 Box (PDF)
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STROUD DOMINANT IN HORNET DEBUT, BUT SOFTBALL DROPS A PAIR TO FRESNO STATE
FRESNO, Calif. -- Sacramento State freshman Taylor Stroud threw 6.2 innings of dominant relief, and freshman Devin Caldwell combined for four hits, but it was not enough as the Hornets dropped both games to Fresno State in a non-conference softball doubleheader at Bulldog Diamond. Fresno State won the first game in 11 innings by a 5-4 score before talking the nightcap, 7-4.
The doubleheader marked the season opener for both teams. Fresno State is currently receiving votes in the NFCA top 25, and today began a stretch that will see Sacramento State play 10 of its 33 non-conference games against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the top 25.
The Hornets started five underclassmen in both games today, and Stroud and Caldwell immediately impressed in their Hornet debuts. Stroud allowed just four hits and one unearned run in 6.2 innings of relief in game one, and Caldwell was the only Sacramento State player with multiple hits in both games.
In the opener, Sacramento State erased a 4-1 deficit by scoring once in the fifth inning (RBI-double from Caldwell) and twice more in the sixth (two-run homer from junior catcher Marissa Navarro) to tie the score at 4-4. The score would remain that way until the 11th when Haley Gilleland scored all the way from second base with two outs after Navarro threw wildly to second trying to pick her off the base.
The loss overshadowed a brilliant performance from Stroud. The right-hander allowed just four hits while walking one and striking out four. Stroud came on in relief of starter Megan Schaefer with no outs and a runner at second base in the fifth inning. She worked her way out of jams in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings. In the seventh inning, Fresno State had runners at second and third with no outs, but couldn’t score, and then didn’t score again with a runner at third base and one out in the ninth.
Fresno State’s Michelle Moses went 4-for-5 during the game, and hit for the cycle. Her two-run homer to center field highlighted the Bulldogs’ three-run third inning and gave the team a 3-1 lead. Moses was one of just three players in the contest with multiple-hit games, including Caldwell (2-for-4 with an RBI) and Gilleland (3-for-5 with two runs). Gilleland and Moses combined for seven of Fresno State’s 12 hits. Sacramento State junior Alyssa Nakken reached base safely three times, going 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.
Stroud (0-1) picked up the loss while Mackenzie Oakes got the win in relief for Fresno State, allowing just two hits while striking out seven in 5.2 innings.
In the nightcap, Fresno State scored seven times in the first three innings off Hornet starter Jacquelyn Serrano. The Bulldogs’ scoring was highlighted by a two-run homer from Moses as she had an incredible day, combining to go 6-for-8 with three runs, a double, a triple, two home runs and four RBIs against Hornet pitching.
Sacramento State made things interesting with a three-run seventh inning that included an RBI-double from Nakken, an RBI-groundout from junior Jessica Abelia and an RBI-single from Caldwell. However, Oakes (2-0) picked up her second win of the day after retiring the final Hornet batter with the potential tying run in the on-deck circle.
Serrano (0-1) took the loss for the Hornets, as she lasted just 2.2 innings. Junior Shelby Voelz, who is still working her way back from shoulder and elbow problems she experienced in the fall, looked good in relief. The right-hander held Fresno State without a run while allowing just two hits and striking out three over the final 3.1 innings.
Nakken (2-for-3 with a run, two doubles and an RBI) and Caldwell (2-for-4 with a run and an RBI) were the only Hornets with multiple-hit games. Navarro went 0-for-2 in the nightcap, snapping her 13-game hitting streak which dated back to last season. The 13-game streak is tied for the fourth longest in Hornet Div. I history (1990-pres.).
Fifteen of the the Hornets’ 18 players on the roster made an appearance in the second game.
Sacramento State returns to action next week when the team competes at the three-day, five-game San Diego Classic from Feb. 17-19. Of the Hornets’ five opponents at the tournament, four are either ranked or receiving votes in the NFCA top 25. Sacramento State opens the tournament on Thursday against San Diego State, plays UC Santa Barbara and 10th-ranked Washington on Friday, and Northwestern and seventh-ranked Missouri on Saturday. Both San Diego State and Northwestern are receiving votes, but not ranked in the top 25.
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