FRESNO, Calif. -- UC Riverside's Ashley Ercolano tossed a seven-hit shutout and an RBI-single from Dionne Anderson proved to be the difference in the Highlanders' 1-0 win over Sacramento State on Sunday afternoon in the fifth and final round of the Fresno State Softball Kickoff.
In a game that saw the Hornets squander numerous scoring opportunities, Sacramento State starter Caitlin Brooks was the tough-luck losing pitcher again. In three starts this year, she is now 0-3 despite a season ERA of 1.09 and allowing just 14 hits and three earned runs in 19.1 innings. Opponents are batting just .209 off the right-hander and have accumulated just three extra base hits. In fact, the Hornets have lost all three of Brooks' starts by one run, and Sacramento State's offense has combined to score two runs in her three starts.
With the loss, Sacramento State (2-4 overall) concluded the three-day tournament with a 2-3 record. The Hornets lost to UC Santa Barbara (3-2) and Fresno State (5-1) on Friday before defeating both CSU Bakersfield (11-6) and UC Riverside (9-1) yesterday.
In today's game, the Hornets had chance after chance to score, but could not come up with the clutch hit. Sacramento State stranded runners on base in every inning except the second, and left multiple runners on base in the first, third and fifth innings. That included leaving the bases loaded in the third and squandering a bases loaded, one out situation in the fifth. The Hornets were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-2 with the bases loaded.
The Highlanders got their lone run in the fifth inning after Sommer Wilson began the frame by beating out an infield hit. She was later sacrificed to second, and scored with two outs after Anderson drove a single to right field.
The win for Ercalano (1-2) was her first of the season as she allowed seven hits (six singles) without a walk over seven innings. Brooks gave up a run and five hits while walking none and striking out eight batters over six innings.
For Sacramento State, both Nicole Clark (2-for-4) and Alyssa Vanderdrink (2-for-3 with a double) had multiple-hit games. Alexa Chattleton went 1-for-4 and extended her hitting streak to five games. Paris Prado was held without a hit and saw her hitting streak end at four games.
The Hornets return to action next week when they compete in the three-day, four-game Santa Clara Marriott Bronco Classic. Sacramento State begins the tournament on Friday against host Santa Clara at 5:30 p.m.