SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State pitchers Savanna Corr and Celina Matthias combined to allow one run, and Suzy Brookshire's solo homer in the fourth inning proved to be the game winner in a 2-1 victory over Southern Utah.
With the win, Sacramento State (25-15 overall) swept the three-game series from Southern Utah, and improved to 10-5 in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets opened the series yesterday with a pair of 3-2 victories over the Thunderbirds. Both of those wins came via walkoff hits in the seventh inning of Game 1, and the eighth inning of Game 2.
Today's win also allowed the Hornets to keep pace with Weber State (11-4), who remains atop the Big Sky standings after completing a three-game sweep of Idaho State today. Sacramento State sits in second place, just one game back of Weber State, with six conference games remaining in the regular season. The winner of this year's regular season title will host next year's Big Sky Tournament. This year's postseason event will take place in Ogden, Utah, on May 10-12, after Weber State won last year's regular season title.
Southern Utah dropped to 6-33 overall and 3-12 with the loss.
The Hornets are now 13-6 at home this year, and 13-1 vs. Southern Utah at Shea Stadium. Sacramento State has three games remaining on its season-long eight-game homestand and those will come next Friday and Saturday when the Hornets host North Dakota for a three-game set. They will be the final contests at Shea Stadium this season.
Today, Corr (5-8) worked the first five innings, getting the win after allowing four hits and one run while walking none and striking out three. She needed just 61 pitches to go five innings, and has allowed two runs or less in each of her last three starts. Matthias worked the final two innings for her fourth save of the season, giving up a hit and a walk with four strikeouts. She was able to escape a first and first and second with one out situation in the sixth.
Southern Utah opened the scoring in the third inning after Sarah Murphy's sacrifice fly scored Makenzie Ball, who led off the frame with a double.
The Hornets immediately answered in the bottom half of the inning when Nene Alas' two-out, RBI-single scored Celina Matthias, who doubled to open the frame. Sacramento State took the lead for good in the fourth when Brookshire unleashed on the first pitch of the inning, and sent her 12th homer of the season over the right-center field wall.
Corr and Matthias made the lead hold, and Sacramento State pulled off the three-game sweep. It marked the second sweep at home of a conference opponent, and Sacramento State is now 6-0 at Shea Stadium against league foes.
Sacramento State will not play again until hosting next week's three-game series vs. North Dakota. The Hornets and Fighting Hawks will play a doubleheader on Friday at noon, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon.
NOTES -- Today was Kids Day as free posters were handed out, and Hornet players signed autographs after the game…in addition, the 1988 and 2008 Hornet squads were honored after the game…the 1988 team finished fifth in the nation with a 57-12 record, and the 2008 team was the last Hornet softball squad to qualify for NCAA Regionals.