SACRAMENTO — With the score tied at 1-1 in the sixth inning, junior Nene Alas connected on a two-out, two-run single to help Sacramento State to a 3-1 victory over Santa Clara on Wednesday afternoon at Shea Stadium.
The win was the fifth in a row for Sacramento State, which improved to 21-11 this season. In addition, the Hornets won their eighth straight home game and have not lost at Shea Stadium since a 5-2 loss to Stanford on Feb. 22.
The Hornets will now jump back into Big Sky Conference play later this week when they play a three-game series at Idaho State on Friday and Saturday. Sacramento State is 6-3 in league play with 12 conference games remaining on the schedule.
In today's game, both teams combined for just 11 hits, but Sacramento State strung together two of its six hits in the pivotal sixth inning. With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Sydnee Strong connected on a one-out double. One out later, after Strong had advanced to third on a wild pitch, Marissa Maligad drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. That set the stage for Alas, who went the opposite way on a 1-0 pitch for a single to left field that scored both runs. Santa Clara left fielder Ellie Fisher dove for the sinking line drive, but could not come up with the ball while both Maligad and Strong scored.
Santa Clara got the potential tying runners on first and second with two outs in the seventh inning, but reliever Celina Matthias got Hannah Russell to strike out swinging to end the game.
Danielle Sperry worked the first 5.1 innings for the Hornets, allowing just four hits and one run. She was replaced in the sixth inning by Matthias, who would eventually allow a sacrifice fly to Jordan Dawkins that tied the score at 1-1. Prior to the sixth inning, the game's lone run was scored on a Santa Clara error that allowed Mo Spieth to score from third base in the second.
Bronco starter Aubree Kim (2-12) took the loss, but was impressive throughout the game. She allowed just six hits and three runs (two earned) over six innings. Sperry got a no-decision after pitching 5.1 innings, and Matthias (13-4) got the win in relief after allowing a hit in 1.2 innings.
Alas finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBIs while Strong was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Alas and Strong combined for four of the Hornets' six hits. After going hitless in her first two at-bats, senior Zamari Hinton led off the fifth inning with a single. That single allowed the fourth-year senior to improve her hitting streak to 20 games, the second longest streak in school history. Izmena Cabrera owns the school-record hitting streak of 21 games, which she set in 2009.
Sydney Rasmussen got the Hornets' other hit as she finished 1-for-3 with a bunt single in the second inning.
NOTES -- Sacramento State players wore teal ribbons in support of sexual assault awareness at today's game.