SOFTBALL SPLITS WITH UC SANTA BARBARA, WINNING STREAK ENDS
Freshman Caitlin Brooks threw seven strong innings to lead the Hornets to a 2-1 win in the second game
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Freshman right-hander Caitlin Brook allowed just five hits and one unearned run over seven innings to lead Sacramento State to a 2-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the second game of a non-conference softball doubleheader Monday afternoon at Shea Stadium. In the opener, Shelby Wisdom threw a four-hit shutout to lead the Gauchos to a 4-0 victory.
With the first-game loss, Sacramento State (17-9) saw its nine-game winning streak snapped. The winning streak matched the second longest in the program’s Div. I era (1990-pres.) as the Hornets lost for the first time since March 3. UC Santa Barbara moved its record to 13-21 with the split.
Brooks’ performance was impressive as the true freshman retired nine of the final 10 batters she faced, and the one runner that did get on base during that span reached via Hornet error. The Escalon, Calif., native walked a pair of runners and struck out two while throwing 118 pitches. The only run she allowed came in the third inning when the Gauchos took advantage of a Sacramento State fielding error.
It was a good thing Brooks was effective because UC Santa Barbara’s Andriana Collins was equally impressive. In fact, Collins allowed just three hits and two unearned runs. Both Sacramento State runs were scored in the second and third innings on throwing errors by Gaucho third baseman DeJanee Moore. Pinch runner Shannon Kaufman scored in the second inning to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead, and pinch runner Jessica Abelia scored in the third to put the Hornets on top, 2-1. That run proved to be the last of the game, as Brooks worked her way out of jams in both the third and fourth innings.
Despite the two errors, Sacramento State did turn in some big defensive plays, including right fielder Kelly Shepard throwing a strike to home plate to gun down Jessica Soria trying to score from second base in the third inning. In addition, Hornet catcher Marissa Navarro threw out Gaucho speedster McKenzie Kane trying to steal second base in the sixth inning.
Brooks improved to 4-4 with the win while Collins dropped to 5-12. Kelli Frye, Emily McCormick and Kaitlyn Taylor provided the Hornets’ lone hits. Taylor had an opposite-field double to open the second inning.
In the opener, Wisdom dominated in the circle, allowing the Hornets just four hits while walking one and striking out 10. She retired 11 of the final 12 batters she faced, including striking out the side in the fifth inning. The Hornets’ only real threat came in the second inning as the team put runners at second and third base with one out, but could not score.
UC Santa Barbara’s Allison Taylor and Keilani Jennings both homered to highlight the Gauchos’ four runs. Wisdom improved to 8-9 with the victory while Sacramento State starter Taylor Stroud (9-4) picked up just her fourth loss of the season. The right-hander gave up 12 hits and four runs in seven innings of work. Stroud walked none, and has not yielded a free pass in each of her last five appearances (spanning 21.2 innings).
Navarro went hitless in both games and saw her seven-game hitting streak come to an end. Frye had hits in both games, including a double in the opener, and now has a career-high six-game hitting streak.
Sacramento State returns to action when the team faces top-ranked Cal for a single game on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Berkeley.