STRAHAN EARNS 800TH CAREER WIN, SOFTBALL FINISHES SEASON WITH A 27-19 RECORD AFTER SWEEPING SAN DIEGO
SAN DIEGO -- Sacramento State softball head coach Kathy Strahan recorded her 800th and 801st career wins on the final day of the regular season as the Hornets swept a Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) doubleheader against San Diego on Sunday afternoon at the USD Softball Complex. The Hornets won the first game by a 4-2 score before coming back to take the nightcap, 7-1.
Strahan secured her 800th win in today’s opener, achieving the milestone on the same exact field where she earned her 700th win on May 3, 2008. In her 29th season as a collegiate head coach (and 20th at Sacramento State), Strahan becomes the 52nd softball head coach in NCAA history (for all divisions) to achieve the 800-win milestone. She currently has a 801-758-3 record, having coached two years at Cal State Dominguez Hills (1984-85) and seven years at San Jose State (1986-1992) before beginning her Sacramento State tenure in 1993.
Strahan is the longest tenured softball coach in school history, and will lead the team into its fourth conference under her watch when the squad begins play in the Big Sky Conference in 2013. During Strahan’s tenure, the Hornets have played in the Western Athletic Conference (1993-96), the Big West Conference (1997-02) and the PCSC (2003-12).
With the victories, Sacramento State wraps up its season with a 27-19 overall record and a 10-9 mark in the PCSC. On the final day of the conference’s regular season, the Hornets eliminated San Diego (26-19, 13-7) from Coastal Division title contention. The two losses by the Toreros allowed Saint Mary’s (15-4) to win the division crown. The Gaels will take on Mountain Division winner Portland State in a three-game series on May 11-13 in Moraga for the conference crown and automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.
Saint Mary’s and Sacramento State were supposed to play a makeup game on Tuesday (for a rained-out contest earlier this season), but that game is no longer necessary and won’t be played. The Coastal Division’s final standings look like this -- Saint Mary’s (15-4), San Diego (13-7), Sacramento State (10-9), Loyola Marymount (10-10), CSU Bakersfield (6-14) and Santa Clara (5-15).
Sacramento State received a three-run homer from Alyssa Nakken in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie, and eventually give the Hornets the victory. The three-run homer was more than enough run support for Hornet right-hander Shelby Voelz (7-5), who allowed eight hits and two runs over seven innings.
San Diego scored first in the third inning on a solo homer from Taylor Hensley. However, the Hornets quickly tied the score an inning later when a throwing error allowed pinch runner Alexa Chattleton to score from third base. In the sixth inning, with Kelli Frye at second base and Shannon Kaufman on first, Nakken crushed an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall to give the Hornets a 4-1 lead. The Toreros got a two-out solo home run from Jessica Tieszen to close the game’s scoring.
Both Voelz and San Diego starter Jenny Lahitte constantly worked out of jams as the two teams combined to strand 19 runners on base. In fact, Sacramento State stranded at least one runner in scoring position in every inning but the sixth. Lahitte (12-10) got the loss, allowing nine hits and four runs (three earned) over six innings.
For Sacramento State, Nakken (2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs) and Emily McCormick (2-for-4) both had multi-hit games.
The Hornets used big innings in both the second and fourth frames to coast to a 7-1 win. A sacrifice fly from Nakken got the scoring started in the first inning before the Hornets scored three times in the second on a two-run double from Frye and an RBI-ground ball from Kaufman to take a 4-0 lead. Sacramento State put the game away in the fourth inning after Marissa Navarro banged a two-out, three-run double scoring McCormick, Nakken and Kaufman.
Hornet right-hander Taylor Stroud (14-9) threw well while earning her team-high 14th win of the season. The sophomore went the distance, allowing just six hits (five singles) and one unearned run. Stroud’s 14 wins are a career high and she finishes the season 14-9 with a 2.55 ERA
San Diego starter Cassidy Coleman (12-6) didn’t make it out of the fourth inning, allowing eight hits and seven runs in 3.2 innings.
Frye reached base safely in all four plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two walks, a run, a stolen base and two RBIs. The stolen base was the junior’s team-high 10th of the season and she finishes the year 10-for-10 in stolen base attempts. Navarro went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and her team-best eighth home run of the year. The eight bombs are tied for the third most in the program’s Div. I single-season era (1990-pres.). Devin Caldwell added a pair of hits to round out the Sacramento State players with multi-hit games. McCormick went 0-for-1, but walked three times.
- Sacramento State finishes the season with the best fielding percentage in school history, surpassing the previous mark of .971, set two different times. The Hornets entered the week with the fourth highest fielding percentage in the nation, and finish the year at .979.
- The team’s .587 overall winning percentage is the fifth best mark since Sacramento State joined the Div. I ranks in 1990.
- The team’s nine-game winning streak (March 4-18) matched the program’s second longest streak since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990.
- Sacramento State’s 10-9 conference record means the team never finished with a league mark below .500 during the program’s 10-year run in the PCSC.
- Senior catcher Marissa Navarro finished the season with 42 RBIs, tied for the second best mark in the program’s single-season history.
- The Hornets finish the season with five players hitting better than. 320, comprised of Marissa Navarro (.349), Kelli Frye (.348), Emily McCormick (.340), Alyssa Nakken (.336) and Devin Caldwell (.322). That matches the most Hornets hitting better .320 during a season in school history (the 2006 and 2008 squads also had five players accomplish the feat).
- First baseman Alyssa Nakken finishes her career with 1,265 putouts, the most in school history. Nakken, who started 164 straight games dating back to her freshman season, is all over the Hornet Div. I-era career record book. She finishes her four-year tenure ranked second in home runs (19), third in runs (115), fifth in doubles (34) and RBIs (83), tied for sixth in walks (53), ninth in stolen bases (18), and 10th in both batting average (.304) and hits (171).
- Navarro finishes her career ranked fourth in home runs (15), eighth in RBIs (80) and 10th in putouts (629) in the Hornets’ Div. I-era career record book.
- Pitcher Shelby Voelz finishes her career ranked sixth in strikeouts (262), seventh in wins (31), tied for seventh in complete games (38), eighth in innings pitched (407.1) and tied for 10th in starts (53) in the Hornets’ Div. I-era career record book.
- Both Nakken and Kelli Frye finish the season on eight-game hitting streaks. Frye also had a 10-gamer earlier this year. The hitting streak for Nakken is a career best.