7TH INNING RALLY FALLS SHORT, SOFTBALL’S SEASON ENDS WITH 9-7 LOSS TO IDAHO STATE

7TH INNING RALLY FALLS SHORT, SOFTBALL’S SEASON ENDS WITH 9-7 LOSS TO IDAHO STATE

Big Sky Tournament Central

OGDEN, Utah -- Trailing, 9-3, heading to the seventh inning, Sacramento State scored four times and had the potential tying runs on second and third before eventually falling to Idaho State, 9-7, on the second day of the Big Sky Conference Softball Championship on Friday afternoon.

With the loss, Sacramento State's season comes to an end with a 21-28-1 overall record. The Hornets went 1-2 at the double elimination Big Sky Tournament, including a 15-0 victory over Southern Utah earlier today. Both of Sacramento State's losses during the tournament came against Idaho State, including a 10-4 loss on Thursday in the opener for both teams. It was Idaho State that also dealt Sacramento State a pair of losses in last year's Big Sky Tournament.

While Sacramento State is eliminated, Idaho State moves on to play Weber State tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. PDT. Idaho State, Weber State and Montana are still alive in the tournament while the Hornets, North Dakota and Southern Utah have been eliminated. The Hornets' win earlier today ended Southern Utah's season.

The Hornets, who won at least 20 games for the 15th consecutive season, advanced to the Big Sky Tournament for the fifth straight season. Of those five appearances, the Hornets have been eliminated by Idaho State on three occasions, including the 2014, 2016 and 2017 seasons. The Hornets are 1-6 all-time in Big Sky Tournament play against Idaho State, and a combined 5-4 against every other team.

In today's game, the Hornets outhit the Bengals, 13-12, but Idaho State put up a crooked number of runs in the third (2), fourth (3) and sixth (4) innings. Sacramento State scored single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, and had the four-run rally in the seventh, but the Hornets fell just short.

In that seventh inning, Sacramento State refused to go away easily despite the six-run deficit as the team had four runs and five hits in the frame. After Hinton singled to open the inning, Suzy Brookshire hit into a fielders choice forcing out Hinton at second base. Sacramento State then saw five consecutive batters reach base via hit or walk. That included four straight singles from Mo Spieth, Jessica Ravetti, Shelby Johnston and Traci Shaw. Nikki Gialketsis then followed with a bases loaded walk and suddenly the Hornets trailed just 9-6 with the bases loaded and still only one out.

Marissa Maligad followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Johnston to make the score 9-7. On the play, Gialketsis and pinch runner Celina Matthias moved to second and third. That set up Sydney Rasmussen, who hit an Ashlyn Ames offering hard up the middle, but Ames made a nice play stabbing at a ball that appeared to be ticketed for center field and a tie game. After Ames fielded the ball, she threw to first base for the final out.

Sacramento State led briefly, 1-0, after a two-out, RBI-single from Spieth scored Rasmussen in the third inning. However, Idaho State responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning and never trailed the rest of the way. The Bengals had leads of 5-1 after four innings, 5-2 after the fifth and 9-3 after the sixth.

Sacramento State scored a run in the fifth via Brookshire's program record 15th homer of the season. The Hornets pushed another run across in the sixth when Shaw, Gialketsis and Maligad had three straight two-out singles, the latter of which scored pinch runner Rylee Sager after Maligad's single to right field.

Idaho State's Nos. 1-3 hitters Sarah Hayes, Kacie Burnett and Ashlyn Ames combined to go 9-for-11 with five runs and six RBIs. They each singled and had a huge impact on Idaho State's four-run sixth inning. In addition, Burnett had a two-run single during the Bengals' three-run fourth inning and Ames had a two-run double in the third.

Sacramento State had four players finish with multiple hits, including Hinton (2-for-3), Spieth (3-for-4 with an RBI), Johnston (2-for-4 with a run and an RBI) and Shaw (2-for-3). Spieth, who finished the season on a nine-game hitting streak, had a monster tournament. In three postseason games, the true freshman went 6-for-10 with two doubles, a homer, six RBIs and a 1.100 slugging percentage.

Sacramento State used pitchers Taylor Tessier (2.0 ip), Danielle Sperry (3.0 ip) and Celina Matthias (1.0 ip) in the game, and Tessier took the loss. Tessier started both games today, which included throwing a one-hit shutout in the Hornets' five-run mercy rule shortened win over Southern Utah. For Idaho State, Ames (10-14) got her second win of the tournament against Sacramento State, allowing seven runs and 13 hits over seven innings.

NOTABLES: Despite the loss, the Hornets finished the season by winning seven of their final 10 games of the season…all nine Hornet starters had at least three hits during the tournament…Spieth finished the year on a nine-game hitting streak, batting .448 (13-for-29) with three homers, 10 RBIs and an .828 slugging percentage over that span…five Hornets finished the year hitting above .290, comprised of Brookshire (.358), Hinton (.331), Shaw (.327), Spieth (.303) and Ravetti (.294)…of those five players, three are true freshmen (Brookshire, Shaw and Spieth)…the Hornets' 45 home runs are not only a program record, but 11 more than any other Hornet squad hit during the 50-year history of the program…Rasmussen had an on-base percentage better than .400 for the second straight year, and she is now fifth in school history with .419 on-base percentage…Brookshire (15), Ravetti (11) and Spieth (10) recorded the 1st, 3rd and 4th best home run totals in Sacramento State single-season history…the pitching staff of Tessier (2.83 ERA), Sperry (3.30), Matthias (3.43) & Savanna Corr (4.48) combined to post a solid 3.23 ERA this year…Tessier had 141 strikeouts in 131 innings pitched, and the senior led the team in wins (8), ERA (2.83), strikeouts, and opponents batting average (.221)…Brookshire in Hornet single-season history: 1st in home runs (15), 2nd in runs (43) and slugging percentage (.722), 3rd in total bases (109), T-7th in RBIs (37)…Spieth's 48 RBIs in 46 games rank as the second best mark in Hornet single-season history. She hit .426 with runners in scoring position…Ravetti had no hits during her first two years in the program, but finished a very nice career batting .298 with 20 doubles, 12 homers and 64 RBIs…over her final two seasons, Johnston, a senior, started 100 consecutive games. All of those starts came in center field…Hinton struck out just three times in 157 at-bats, good for a remarkable ratio of one strikeout every 52.3 at-bats.