SACRAMENTO — Sacramento State pitchers Celina Matthias and Savanna Corr combined to allow just three runs over 14 innings, and Suzy Brookshire had a homer and three RBIs to lead the Hornets to a doubleheader sweep of Portland State on Saturday afternoon. After winning the first game, 4-1, Sacramento State took the nightcap by a 4-2 score.
Coupled with Thursday's 1-0 win against Portland State, Sacramento State swept the three-game series over the Vikings while improving to 20-11 overall and 6-3 in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets have won four straight, and 15 of their last 19 games. In addition, the team now sits in second place in the Big Sky standings, just a game behind first-place North Dakota (7-2). Northern Colorado and Weber State are tied for third with 5-4 league records.
Originally, the Hornets and Vikings were supposed to play a doubleheader on Friday and single game on Saturday, but heavy rainfall on Friday forced a single game on Thursday and doubleheader today. With the losses, Portland State dropped to 10-27 overall and 3-6 in league. Sacramento State improved to 51-21 all-time against Portland State, and has now won 11 straight home games against the Vikings dating back to 2008.
During the three-game series, Sacramento State pitching went 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA. Matthias and Corr combined to allow just 15 hits and three runs with 23 strikeouts over 22.0 innings. In addition, PSU was limited to a .195 batting average, and drew just two walks during the entire series. Matthias factored into all three wins, going 2-0 with a save and a 0.44 ERA, striking out 19 batters while allowing six hits and a run over 16.0 innings. PSU batters hit just .115 against the right-hander. In the process, Matthias improved to 12-4 with a 2.10 ERA this year, and earned her 50th career victory. She becomes just the third Hornet during the program's Div. I era (1990-pres.) to win 50 career games.
Sacramento State didn't hit particularly well during the series (.229) but came up with timely hits. The Hornet defense, led by at least five sparkling plays from shortstop Sydney Rasmussen, did not commit an error the entire series.
Second baseman Zamari Hinton was the lone Hornet to hit safely in all three games, and she improved her career-high hitting streak to 19 games. That is the second longest hitting streak during Sacramento State's Div. I era, trailing only a 21-gamer, set by Izmena Cabrera in 2009.
After Portland State scored a run in the top of the first, the Hornets scored four unanswered runs, including one in both the first and third innings, and two more in the fourth. Sacramento State finished with four runs on eight hits while PSU connected on just one run and three hits. Matthias picked up her 13th complete game victory of the season, and did not allow a hit after the third inning. In fact, after the Vikings had two hits in the first inning, PSU was limited to just one hit the rest of the way. At one point, Matthias retired nine batters in a row between the third and sixth innings.
After the Vikings scored a run in the top of the first, Nene Alas led off the bottom half of the inning with a single to center and stole second base. One batter later, she scored on Hinton's RBI-single. Sacramento State took the lead for good in the third inning when Mo Spieth's two-out, RBI-double plated Hinton and gave the Hornets a 2-1 lead.
Sacramento State scored two more in the fourth when Marissa Maligad doubled home both Sydnee Strong and pinch runner Charizma Guzman. Portland State put up little threat during the later stages of the game, failing to advance a runner past first base the final four innings.
Matthias got the win, allowing just three hits and one run with eight strikeouts over seven innings. She faced just four batters over the minimum and needed only 88 pitches to earn the complete-game victory. PSU starter Emma Detamore (3-9) got the loss, allowing six hits and four runs over three innings.
Three Hornets had multiple-hit games, including Hinton, who was 2-for-3 with a run, walk, RBI and two stolen bases. Alas went 2-for-3 with a run and a stolen base, and Alexxiss Diaz was 2-for-2. Maligad had two of the Hornets' four RBIs, and Rasmussen also swiped a bag as the Hornets were 4-for-4 in stolen base opportunities.
Once again, Portland State scored a run in the top of the first inning only to see Sacramento State bounce back to score in the bottom half of the frame. The Hornets would score twice in the first and third innings to take a 4-1 lead, and the Vikings scored once in the fifth to provide what would eventually by a 4-2 Sacramento State win.
Savanna Corr (4-6) started the game and picked up the win, going six-plus innings, allowing nine hits and two runs with four strikeouts. Portland State outhit Sacramento State, 10-4, but stranded eight runners on base. The Vikings had runners at second and third with one out in the seventh, but Matthias, who was brought into the game to nail down the final three outs, struck out No. 3 hitter Kaela Morrow and got cleanup hitter Rachel Menlove to ground out.
Trailing, 1-0, Sacramento State scored twice in the first on a Brookshire RBI-double and Spieth RBI-single. Brookshire had another big hit in the third, a two-run homer to left field that scored Hinton and gave Sacramento State a 4-1 lead. The home run for Brookshire was her 11th of the season, and she now has 40 RBIs in 31 games. The 40 RBIs are already tied for the fifth best single-season mark in school history, and she improved her batting average to .402.
Portland State, which sliced the deficit in half with a fifth-inning run, left at least one runner on base in every inning except the fourth. That included stranding a pair of runners on base in the first and seventh innings.
Matthias was inserted into the game in the seventh after Marissa Bruno led off the inning with a double. The save for Matthias was her third of the season as she allowed one hit with two strikeouts during the final inning.
Alyssa Burk (6-11) got the loss for Portland State, allowing four hits and four runs with six strikeouts over six innings.
Only three Hornets had hits in the game, led by Brookshire who was 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, homer and three RBIs. Hinton was 1-for-2 with a run scored, and Spieth was 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Hinton raised her batting average to a team-high .411.
Sacramento State will play four times next week, including a home game against Santa Clara on Wednesday at 4 p.m., followed by a three-game road series at Idaho State on Friday and Saturday.