ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sacramento State's Nene Alas combined for six hits, including the game-winning RBI in the eighth inning against New Mexico, as the Hornets began the Lobo Classic with a pair of victories on Friday afternoon at Lobo Softball Field. The Hornets won their first game over Howard, 9-1, in mercy rule fashion before winning in extra innings against tournament host New Mexico, 7-5.
With the victories, Sacramento State has now won four straight, and five of its last six games. The Hornets (8-7 overall) will play five games over three days at the tournament, and return tomorrow to face Howard at 9:30 a.m. PST and Saint Mary's at 2:30 p.m. Sacramento State concludes the tourney on Sunday against New Mexico at noon.
Alas combined to go 6-for-9 in the doubleheader with three runs, a double and two stolen bases. With the score tied at 5-5 and a runner at third base with one out in the top of the eighth against New Mexico, Alas laced a 3-1 pitch for a double to left-center which proved to be the game-winning hit.
Zamari Hinton combined to go 4-for-8 with three runs, three RBIs and two stolen bases. Right-handers Celina Matthias (6-2) and Savanna Corr (2-4) both picked up victories in the circle for the Hornets.
Sacramento State saw four players finish with multiple-hit games, and got solid performances in the circle from Corr and Danielle Sperry on the way to a 9-1 victory over Howard that concluded in five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, shortstop Sydney Rasmussen's two-run double allowed the Hornets to walk off with the victory.
Sacramento State put up crooked numbers in the first (3), second (4) and fifth (2) innings, which included taking a 7-1 lead into the third. Four Hornets had multiple-hit games despite the contest lasting just five innings, including Alexxiss Diaz who went 2-for-4 with a career-high four RBIs. Diaz provided two-out, two-run singles in both the first and second innings.
Not only did the Hornets put up nine runs and 10 hits, Sacramento State also took advantage of four Bison errors as six of the team's nine runs were unearned. The Hornets stole a school-record seven bases during the game, including two apiece from Alas and Hinton, and one from Suzy Brookshire, Marissa Maligad and Rylee Sager. The previous school record had been five stolen bases, set on three separate occasions.
Hinton finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs, Alas was 2-for-4 with a run, and Sydnee Strong went 2-for-2. Brookshire went 1-for-3 with three runs scored. The Hornets' Nos. 2-4 hitters Hinton (2), Brookshire (3) and Mo Spieth (2) combined for seven of the Hornets' nine runs scored.
Corr earned the win, allowing just one hit and one unearned run with five strikeouts in four innings. Sperry threw an inning of shutout relief to help preserve the victory.
In a roller coaster game, the Hornets jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, only two see New Mexico score five unanswered to send the game into extra innings before Sacramento State finally put things away with two eighth-inning tallies.
With the tiebreaker rule in effect to start the eighth (a runner placed on second), Maligad sacrificed pinch runner Jaciana Vasquez to third. That's when Alas took a 3-1 pitch the opposite way to left field that easily scored Vasquez to put the Hornets up, 6-5. Hinton then followed with an infield single that was thrown away by Lobo second baseman Kasey Halleen, allowing Alas to score and the Hornet to take a 7-5 advantage. New Mexico had runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, before Matthias got pinch hitter Taylor Jones to ground out and end the game.
Brookshire began the scoring in the first inning when she cranked a first-pitch fast ball into the left field stands for a two-run homer scoring Alas. It was Brookshire's second home run of the season and 17th in the sophomore's career. Hinton gave the Hornets a big cushion (5-0) in the second inning after her two-out double cleared the bases and allowed Alas, Maligad and Jessica Scott to score.
New Mexico would score twice in the third inning (two-run triple from Andrea Howard), twice in the fourth (two-run homer from Cameryn O'Grady) and once in the seventh on a one-out solo homer from D'Andra DeFlora. That set up Alas' heroics in the eighth as Sacramento State won its first extra inning game of the season (1-2).
Matthias was uncharacteristically wild, allowing just six hits but walking seven batters over eight innings. Still, the fourth-year senior moved her record to 6-2 with a 1.74 ERA. She has won three straight starts. There were a combined 14 walks in the game as Sacramento State left 11 runners on base and New Mexico stranded 10 runners. Jensen Main (2-8) was solid in relief for New Mexico, but took the loss after allowing four hits and two unearned runs over 6.1 innings.
Alas went 4-for-5 with two runs, a double and an RBI. The four hits tied a school record, set on 28 occasions previously. Hinton finished 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and three RBIs. The Hornets' Nos. 1-3 hitters Alas, Hinton and Brookshire (1-for-2 with a homer, three walks and two RBIs) combined for all six of the Hornets' RBIs and six of the team's nine hits. The rest of the lineup went 2-for-20.
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