BROOKS TOSSES A ONE-HIT SHUTOUT OF WEBER STATE, SECOND GAME MARATHON STOPPED BECAUSE OF DARKNESS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sophomore Caitlin Brooks tossed a one-hit shutout to lead Sacramento State to a 3-0 win over Weber State in the first game of a Big Sky Conference softball doubleheader Friday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The second game, which turned out to be a marathon, was stopped in the middle of the 15th inning because of darkness and will be resumed tomorrow at noon.
Weber State scored three times in the top of the 15th inning of the nightcap to take a 6-3 lead, and the game will be resumed in the bottom of the 15th for Sacramento State with no outs and no one on base. The game was halted after four and a half hours of play at 7:45 p.m. after the field was deemed unplayable because of looming darkness. Lauren Blair will lead off the bottom of the 15th inning when play resumes tomorrow at noon.
The 15-inning game is the longest in Sacramento State's Div. I history (1990-pres.), surpassing the previous mark of 13 innings, set on March 20, 1993, in a 2-1 home victory over Utah.
After the game concludes tomorrow, the two teams will then play a single game to wrap up the three-game conference series.
With the win in the opener, Sacramento State improved to 19-15 overall and 4-3 in the Big Sky. Weber State dropped to 7-31 and 2-8 in the conference, but will take a three-run lead into the bottom of the 15th inning of the second game tomorrow.
In the opener, Brooks threw her fifth shutout of the season, a one-hitter that saw her throw 102 pitches and face just three batters over the minimum. She allowed just one runner past second base, and that came in the second inning because of a Sacramento State error. In fact, that miscue set up Weber State with runners at second and third base, and one out, but Brooks struck out the next two batters to the end the inning. It also marked the ninth time this season that Brooks has allowed three hits or less in one of her starts. The right-hander improved to 11-5 and lowered her ERA to 1.31 with the win.
Sacramento State scored all three of its runs in the third inning on an RBI-singe from Paige Martin followed by a two-run single from Kortney Solis scoring both Emily McCormick and Kelli Frye.
That was more than enough run support for Brooks, who completed a game that lasted just an hour and 46 minutes. Weber State's Morgan Allaband (3-18) got the loss, allowing five hits and three runs over six innings.
McCormick was the only player from either side with a multiple-hit game as she finished 2-for-3 with a run scored. Weber State's lone hit came from Stephanie Mathias in the fourth inning, a clean single through the left side of the infield with two outs.
In what turned out to be a record-setting game that has yet to be completed, Weber State got three runs in the top of the 15th inning after both teams were held scoreless for nine consecutive innings. The Wildcats took advantage of a Hornet throwing error in the 15th inning to score three unearned runs. The inning was started by a line drive single from Brooke Silva that a diving Hornet left fielder Alexa Chattleton had bounce off her glove. Chattleton, who was injured on the play, scrambled and tried to use her glove to throw the ball back towards the infield. Instead, the ball sailed awry, allowing Silva to take second base. Chattleton remained on the ground with an injured hand, but eventually stayed in the game after getting the hand taped.
That set off a whole series of events that would not have happened had Silva stopped at first base with the single. That included Silva eventually scoring from third on a squibbed ground ball that second baseman Kayla Papez threw home too late to get the out. An RBI-double from Janel Cunningham and an RBI-single from London Clarke later in the inning added two more runs and a commanding 6-3 lead.
Both teams had numerous chances to score throughout the contest as Sacramento State stranded 15 runners on base, and Weber State left 13 runners on base. The Hornets had a runner at first and third base with no outs in the fifth inning, runners at first and second with two outs in the ninth inning, a runner at third base and two outs in the 10th inning, and a runner at third base and one out in the 13th inning, but could not score on any of those occasions.
Sacramento state took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, and later a 3-1 lead in the fourth, but Weber State scored a pair of runs to tie the score at 3-3 in the top of the fifth. Neither team would score again until the Wildcats posted their three runs in the top of the 15th inning.
A total of 419 pitches have been thrown thus far in the game with the pitcher of record for Weber State being Allaband, who has thrown three innings of shutout relief thus far. Kylee Colvin worked the first 11.0 innings for the Wildcats, throwing 165 pitches in the process. Jennifer Hartman worked the first 4.2 innings for the Hornets, before Taylor Stroud replaced Hartman in the fifth inning and proceeded to work nine scoreless innings before allowing three unearned runs in the 15th. Kaitlyn Yerby got the final out of the 15th inning.
Frye, Martin and Alyssa Vanderdrink each have three hits for the Hornets thus far. Vanderdrink hit her team-high fourth home run in the second inning while Riley Price connected on a solo shot in the fourth inning.