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Softball

 

WINNERS OF FIVE OF THE LAST SEVEN, SOFTBALL TRAVELS TO MORAGA THIS WEEK

Winners of five of the last seven games, the Sacramento State softball squad (5-5) is back in action this weekend at the Gael Classic in Moraga. The two-day, four-game round robin tournament will feature Sacramento State, Boise State and host Saint Mary's.

The Hornets begin the tournament on Saturday when they take on Saint Mary's at noon and Boise State at 2 p.m., and will play again Sunday against Boise State at 10 a.m., and Saint Mary's at 2 p.m.

At 5-5, Sacramento State is the only team in the tournament at or above the .500 mark. Boise State is currently 6-9 and Saint Mary's is 5-10.

The Hornets are a combined 57-15 all-time against this week's opponents, including 1-1 against Boise State and 56-14 vs. Saint Mary's. Boise State is a relatively new program as the school's first year of softball was 2009.

Sacramento State is in the midst of a stretch that will see the team play each of its first 14, and 21 of its first 22 games of the season away from home. The only contest at Shea Stadium during that stretch is the home opener against UC Davis on Tuesday, March 4, at 1:30 p.m.

vs. SAINT MARY'S
Saturday, Mar. 1, at noon;  Sunday, Mar. 2 at 2 p.m.
Cottrell Field - Moraga, Calif.
Coverage: Live Stats
Series Record: Sacramento State Leads, 56-14
Last Meeting: L, 9-3, in Sacramento (3/6/13)

vs. BOISE STATE
Saturday, Mar. 1, at 2 p.m.;  Sunday, Mar. 2 at 10 a.m.
Cottrell Field - Moraga, Calif.
Coverage: Live Stats
Series Record: Series Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: W, 7-5, in Sacramento (3/30/10)

NOTABLES

- Sacramento State pitching easily leads the Big Sky Conference in ERA (2.21) and opponents batting average (.242). Junior Caitlin Brooks (0.63) and senior Taylor Stroud (2.06) rank first and third, respectively, in the league in ERA.

- Brooks earned first sixth career Big Sky Pitcher of the Week award on Tuesday after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week. She has allowed one earned run or less in all five of her starts this season, and has gone 15 straight innings (spanning three appearances) without allowing an earned run. Over her last four starts, Brooks has tallied 31 strikeouts and just two walks.

- Last weekend's five-hit shutout of Iowa State was an impressive performance by Stroud, as it came against a Cyclones squad that entered the game 10-2 with a .369 team batting average. The right-hander has won each of her last two starts and has given up just one run over her last 12 innings pitched.

- Amazingly, opponents are just 2-for-34 (.059) with runners on base against Stroud this year.

- The Hornets have gone back-to-back games without committing an error after tallying at least one miscue in each of the team's first eight contests of the year.

- Sacramento State has left 81 runners on base this season, or an average of 8.1 per game. The Hornets, however, are hitting a proficient .293 (29-for-99) with runners in scoring position and .279 (24-for-86) with two outs in an inning.

- Sacramento State has six regulars hitting better than .290, comprised of Kortney Solis (.346), Sasha Margulies (.333), Paris Prado (.318), Nicole Clark (.316), Paige Castro (.308) and Paige Martin (.292). Solis, Margulies, Castro and Martin are the only players on the squad to start all 10 games thus far.

- The Hornets have stolen at least one base in four straight games after being blanked in the stolen base department the first six games of the season. Alexa Chattleton leads the team with two stolen bags.

- After averaging better than one sacrifice per game last season, the Hornets have laid down just four sacrifices through 10 games. Clark has two of those four sacrifices.

- The Hornets have been hit by 13 pitches this season, easily the most in the Big Sky. The team also has 29 walks and its .368 on-base percentage is the second best mark in the Big Sky. Solis has already been hit by four pitches, while Chattleton and Martin have been hit three times.

- Longest hitting streaks thus far: Chattleton (7), Martin (6), Solis (4), Prado (4) and Margulies (current streak of 4).

- Sacramento State is 0-5 when scoring two runs or less, and 5-0 when scoring three runs or more. The Hornets are 5-1 when scoring first, and 0-4 when the opposition scores first. Four of the team's five victories have come by four runs or more.

- Over the last seven games, in which the Hornets are 5-2, Sacramento State is batting .306 with nine doubles, a triple, 30 RBIs and a .396 on-base percentage. Nine different Hornets are hitting at least .300 during the seven-game spurt. The pitching staff has recorded a 2.07 ERA over that span, including 32 strikeouts in 44.0 innings.

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