Big Sky Conference standings
SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State pitchers Celina Matthias and Savanna Corr combined to limit North Dakota to three runs and six hits over 14 innings as the Hornets split a doubleheader with North Dakota on Friday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Fighting Hawks won the first game, 1-0, while Sacramento State took the nightcap by a 4-2 score.
These same two teams will be back in action tomorrow in the finale of the three-game series at Shea Stadium at noon. Prior to the game, which is the last at home for Sacramento State, Hornet seniors Zamari Hinton, Marissa Maligad and Matthias will be honored for their contributions to the program.
With the split, the Hornets moved their record to 26-16 overall and 11-6 in the Big Sky Conference, and remain a game back of Weber State (12-5), who split a road doubleheader at Portland State today. Only four conference games remain in the regular season, as Sacramento State travels to Montana next week for a three-game series. North Dakota moved its record to 22-23 overall and 8-6 in conference play.
Matthias appeared in both games today, taking the loss in the first game, and earning the save in the second. In nine innings pitched, she allowed just two hits and one run while walking three and striking out 14 batters. North Dakota hit just .065 against when she was in the circle. Matthias' lone mistake of the day was a solo homer allowed in the second inning of Game 1 to Kaylin VanDomelen which proved to be North Dakota's only hit, and the game's only run. Matthias struck out three over two innings to get the save in the nightcap.
Corr worked the first five innings of Game 2, earning her sixth win of the season while allowing just four hits and two runs with a pair of strikeouts.
One of the most remarkable streaks in the nation came to a close today as Hinton struck out for the first time all season in her 141st at-bat. She had been the only player in the nation with at least 100 at-bats who hadn't struck out yet. Still, Hinton hit safely in both games, increasing her hitting streak to six games while Nene Alas improved her hitting streak to seven games.
North Dakota's only hit of the game proved to be a big one, as VanDomelen's solo home run in the second inning over the right-center field fence was the game's only run. In fact, it was VanDomelen's show in the first game as she also tossed a five-hit shutout, yielding just one walk with five strikeouts. She faced six batters over the minimum and needed only 96 pitches in the complete game effort.
Both teams stranded six runners on base, as the Hornets had runners at the corners with two outs in the third inning but failed to score. That marked the only time Sacramento State got a runner past second base the entire way. The Hornets' last real scoring threat came in the fifth inning as the team got runners to first and second with two outs but could not push across a run.
Matthias, who did not allow a hit the final five innings, was the hard-luck losing pitcher and saw her record fall to 16-7. She threw 117 pitches and allowed just the one hit with 11 strikeouts. VanDomelen improved to 10-12 this season with a 2.23 ERA.
Alas, Hinton, Maligad, Suzy Brookshire and Sydnee Strong all had one hit apiece for Sacramento State.
Sacramento State jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never trailed the entire way in a 4-2 victory. The Hornets scored twice in the first inning after Hinton laid down a bunt single, and Brookshire followed by hitting a towering fly ball over the left field fence for a 2-0 lead. The home run was the 13th of the season for Brookshire, who set the school record last season as a freshman with 15 homers.
Sacramento State tacked on another run in the second after Maligad's two-out, RBI-single scored Sydney Rasmussen, who opened the inning with a double.
After North Dakota scored twice in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Hornet lead to 3-2, Sacramento State immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning. Another two out hit, this time a double by Alas allowed pinch runner Rylee Sager to score and put the Hornets up, 4-2.
North Dakota did not threaten the final three innings, failing to advance a runner past first base. Matthias retired the final five batters of the game in succession, two of which came via strikeouts. Corr worked the first five innings and improved her record to 6-8 with the win.
Brookshire went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs while Alas was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Rasmussen, Hinton and Maligad were all 1-for-3 in the victory.
NOTES -- Hornet players wore pink items today for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.