SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Sacramento State scored seven times in the second inning, and received three hits apiece from Paige Martin and Alyssa Vanderdrink to defeat Nevada, 9-7, in the second round of the Mustang Softball Classic on Friday evening at Bob Janssen Field.
In a game that lasted two and a half hours and didn't end until well past 10 p.m., the Hornets recorded season highs in runs (9), RBIs (8) and triples (2). The team also had 12 hits (one shy of a season best), and the seven runs were the most scored in an inning this year. In fact, the seven-run second inning were more runs than the Hornets had scored in an entire game all year.
With the victory, Sacramento State remained hot, winning its fifth straight while improving to 10-5 overall. With seven new positional starters this season, the Hornets have jumped out of the gates in impressive fashion in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
The Hornets are now 2-0 at the three-day tournament, which included a 4-1 victory earlier today against Rutgers. The team will play twice more tomorrow against tournament host Cal Poly (4:30 p.m.) and Northern Illinois (7 p.m.), and one more time on Sunday against Cal Poly (1 p.m.).
In this evening's game, Sacramento State took a 7-0 lead, only to see Nevada post three runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth to tie the score at 7-7. However, the Hornets scored once in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, and Taylor Stroud (2-2) limited the Wolf Pack to one hit over the final three innings to pick up her second win of the season.
The seven-run second inning included six hits, including two from Martin. In fact, Martin led off the inning with a single, and tacked on a two-run triple later in the inning to cap the scoring in the frame. The Hornets got their other runs in the inning via RBI-singles from Vanderdrink and Yesenia Alcala, an RBI-groundout from Nicole Clark and a two-run triple from Kelli Frye. Five of the seven runs came with two outs as the Hornets strung together four straight hits.
Nevada, which entered the game with arguably the most potent offense the Hornets have faced all year, got a three-run homer from Sara Parsons in the third inning, and a two-run blast from Ashley Butera that highlighted a four-run fourth inning.
The Hornets received a Vanderdrink RBI-single in the fourth inning and took advantage of a Nevada throwing error to tack on one more run in the fifth. Sacramento State had opportunities to score even more runs as the team left the bases loaded in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Stroud worked the final 3.2 innings of relief, allowing four hits and two runs. After giving up three hits to the first four batters she faced in the fourth inning, Stroud settled in nicely, allowing just one hit the rest of the way. Freshman Jennifer Hartman started for the Hornets, but got roughed up in 3.1 innings of work.
Frye (2-for-5 with two RBIs), Martin (3-for-4 with two RBIs) and Vanderdrink (3-for-4 with two RBIs) all had multiple-hit games for the Hornets.
Nevada's Bailey Brewer (1-2) got the loss in relief, allowing eight hits and three runs (two earned) over 3.0 innings of work.
NOTES -- Martin has now reached base safely in 13 straight games, and is hitting a team-high .408 this year. She has three straight games with three hits, and over that three-game span, is 9-for-11 with five RBIs. Martin is also hitting a ridiculous .579 (11-for-19) with runners in scoring position this season…Emily McCormick improved her hitting streak to a career-high nine games, and Frye has hit safely in five straight games.