Big Sky Tournament Central
OGDEN, Utah -- Sacramento State's offense accounted for a school-record tying four home runs to go along with 14 hits over five innings in a mercy rule shortened 15-0 victory over Southern Utah on the second day of the Big Sky Conference Softball Championship. The game was stopped after five innings because the eight-run mercy rule went into effect.
The Hornets, who began the double elimination postseason tournament with a loss to Idaho State yesterday, will play later today at 4 p.m. PDT against Idaho State yet again. The loser of that game is eliminated from the tournament while the winner advances to play tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. PDT. To win the Big Sky Tournament and gain the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals, the Hornets still need to win four more games (this afternoon and three games tomorrow).
Sacramento State's four homers not only tied a program single-game record, but also tied a Big Sky Tournament single-game mark. In the process, the Hornets (21-27-1) eliminated Southern Utah (15-31) from tournament contention. Six teams qualified for the three-day event, and Southern Utah and North Dakota have both been eliminated. Idaho State defeated North Dakota by a 4-1 score this afternoon.
The Hornets have now mercy ruled Southern Utah in the Big Sky Tournament three consecutive years, outscoring the Thunderbirds over that span by a massive 40-0 margin. That includes an 8-0 win in 2015 and 17-0 victory last season. Each of the three games lasted just five innings.
For complete tournament coverage, including results, brackets and much more, please click here to view the tournament home page.
In today's victory, Sacramento State received home runs from Jessica Ravetti (2), Mo Spieth and Traci Shaw. Ravetti finished the game 4-for-4 with a double, two homers, three runs scored and three RBIs. She fell just a triple shy of the first cycle in school history, and became the fourth Hornet to homer twice in the same game this season. Spieth, Suzy Brookshire and Sydney Rasmussen also homered twice in the same game during the year.
In addition, Sacramento State now has three players with double figures in home runs, comprised of Brookshire (14), Ravetti (11) and Spieth (10). The Hornets had never had more than one player connect for 10+ home runs in the same season. Also, Sacramento State's 44 home runs have shattered the previous school record of 34, set in both 2008 and 2009.
The Hornets scored four times in the first inning, five times in both the third and fourth, and one more in the fifth for their 15 runs. Sacramento State got contributions from up and down the lineup as five different players had multiple-hit games. Rasmussen went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, stolen base and two RBIs, Spieth was 2-for-2 with a run, walk, double, homer and three RBIs, Ravetti was 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs, three runs scored and three RBIs, Shaw went 2-for-3 with two runs, a homer and an RBI, and Nikki Gialketsis went 2-for-3 with a double, run and an RBI. Marissa Maligad had two runs and an RBI, and Zamari Hinton finished with a team-high tying three RBIs.
The big blows in the game for the Hornets were a three-run homer from Spieth in the first inning, a three-run double by Hinton in the third, a two-run homer from Ravetti, Shaw homer and two-run double from Rasmussen in the fourth, and Ravetti's solo blast in the fifth. Sacramento State had five two-out RBIs, batted 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and 8-for-15 with runners on base.
Overshadowed by the offensive display was the brilliance of right-hander Taylor Tessier (8-12) in the circle. The senior allowed just one hit with six strikeouts in five innings. She needed only 83 pitches to make quick work of Southern Utah, and retired seven straight batters at one point during the contest.
Southern Utah used four pitchers, and none of them were effective. Hanna Wynn (4-9) got the loss, allowing six hits and six runs over two innings.
NOTES -- This marks the fourth straight year Sacramento State began the Big Sky Tournament with a loss, but bounced back with a victory in the second round…the Hornets have defeated Southern Utah in the second round three straight years…Spieth now has a personal-best eight-game hitting streak…in addition, Spieth has 47 RBIs, the second best single-season mark in the 50-year history of the program…the school record is 53 RBIs, set by Izmena Cabrera in 2008.
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