HONOLULU — Sacramento State's offense was limited to just six hits in 50 at-bats (.120) as the Hornets dropped their season-opening games on the first day of the Paradise Softball Classic at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. The Hornets lost the first game of the day to Oregon State by a 6-3 score, before dropping the nightcap to tournament host Hawai'i, 5-0.
Making the program's first trip to Hawaii since the 1991 season, Sacramento State was playing an Oregon State team that is currently the first team receiving votes in the NFCA top 25 preseason poll, and a Hawai'i team that has traditionally played well at home. The Hornets will play four more games over the next two days, including a pair tomorrow against UAB at 2 p.m. PST and Boise State at 7 p.m. PST.
The Hornets used all four pitchers on the roster in today's doubleheader, including Celina Matthias (5.0 ip), Taylor Tessier (4.2 ip), Danielle Sperry (2.0 ip) and Savanna Corr (1.1 ip). The only Sacramento State player with more than one hit today was second baseman Zamari Hinton who combined to go 2-for-6 with a walk. Shortstop Sydney Rasmussen walked three times and center fielder Shelby Johnston finished 1-for-4 with two walks and a run scored.
VS. OREGON STATE
Sacramento State rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning but could not complete the comeback in a 6-3 loss to Oregon State (2-0).
The Beavers jumped ahead with the help of a pair of home runs. After Natalie Hampton started the fourth inning with a double down the left field line, Sammi Noland hit a two-run home run for the game's first runs. The following inning, Lovie Lopez cleared the fence in left-center to make the score, 3-0.
Those would be the only runs Matthias (0-1) would allow in her five innings of work. The junior surrendered six hits and two walks while also striking out five in five innings of work. She gave way to Sperry who allowed three runs and five hits over the final two innings.
Oregon State scored three runs in the top of the seventh to push its lead to 6-0 before the Hornets started their rally. Johnston's infield single started the inning and was the first Sacramento State hit of the game. Consecutive errors loaded the bases before Rasmussen drew a bases-loaded walk. Hinton kept the line moving with a single to left center and Mo Spieth followed with a single as both hits plated runs. The Hornets then had the bases loaded with one out, but reliever Meehra Nelson retired both Jessica Ravetti and Suzy Brookshire to end the game.
Taylor Cotton earned the win while shutting out Sacramento State in five innings. Cotton did not allow a hit but did give up six walks along with three strikeouts. Nelson yielded three hits and three unearned runs in two innings of work.
In the nightcap, Sacramento State fell to the host Rainbows, 5-0. Brittany Hitchcock went the distance and kept the Hornets off balance by allowing only three hits and no walks while striking out 11. Tessier went toe-to-toe with Hitchcock, as she did not allow a run through the first four innings.
However, Hawai'i snapped that streak with a four-run fourth inning. Heather Cameron started the inning with a walk before Danielle Garcielita singled back to the pitcher and Heather Morales drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Callee Henn then emptied the bags with a double to right center to put UH ahead, 3-0. Corr was called upon to replace Tessier but gave up a single to Angelique Ramos which drove in Henn.
The only other run of the game came in the sixth inning when Morales had a two-out single to right field.
Offensively, Hinton, Ravetti and Brookshire each collected singles for the Sacramento State.
After tomorrow's set of games, the Hornets conclude the tournament on Saturday with contests against Oregon State and Boise State.
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