SOFTBALL SWEEPS HOME DOUBLEHEADER OVER LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

SOFTBALL SWEEPS HOME DOUBLEHEADER OVER LOYOLA MARYMOUNT

SACRAMENTO — Sacramento State received complete game efforts in the circle from Savanna Corr and Danielle Sperry, and home runs from Mo Spieth, Sydnee Strong and Krystal Aubert on the way to a doubleheader sweep of Loyola Marymount on Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Hornets won the first game, 4-1, before coming back to take the nightcap, 4-2.

Sacramento State is now 5-2 at home this season, and 20-9 at Shea Stadium dating back to last year. Making the sweep even more impressive is Loyola Marymount entered today with a 6-2 record and is currently receiving votes in the NFCA top 25 coaches poll. The two teams will conclude their three-game series tomorrow for a single game at 11 a.m.

The victories allowed Sacramento State to improve to 5-6 overall this season while the Lions dropped to 6-4.

The combination of Corr and Sperry allowed just one earned run over 14.0 innings today, good for a 0.50 ERA with three walks and seven strikeouts over 14.0 innings. Spieth, Strong, Shea Graves and Nene Alas each combined for three hits, and the Hornets improved their home run season total to 12. Aubert now has four round trippers, Spieth three, and the Strong blast was her first of the year.

GAME 1

Sacramento State never trailed, scoring twice in the first inning, and once in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Hornets rode the right arm of Corr, who was impressive all afternoon. The fourth-year senior allowed just four hits and one unearned run while striking out three over seven innings. She needed just 109 pitches to pick up her third complete-game victory of the season. LMU did not record a hit until the fourth inning, and only one of the Lions' four hits went for extra bases.

The Hornets opened the scoring in the first inning when Spieth unloaded on a home run to right-center that scored Sydney Rasmussen. Sacramento State threatened to score more as the team had seven hits but just two runs through the first two innings. LMU used a Hornet error to score an unearned run in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 2-1.

However, Sacramento State bounced right back in the bottom of the fourth when Suzy Brookshire scored on a wild pitch. The Hornets took a 4-1 lead, and scored what proved to be the game's final run in the fifth on a two-out RBI-single from Graves that scored pinch runner Kayla Grubert. It was Grubert that stole second base earlier in the inning and the speedster is now a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base opportunities this year.

Sacramento State outhit LMU, 13-4, but stranded 12 runners on base as the Hornets had runners in scoring position in every inning of the contest. The Hornets had multiple-hit games from four players, including Spieth who was 3-for-4 with a run, homer and two RBIs. Alas was 2-for-4, Katie Vretzos 2-for-4 and Graves was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Eight of the team's nine starters had at least one hit.

While Corr (3-3) got the win, the Lions' Hannah Bandimere (4-2) picked up the loss. She lasted just one-plus inning, allowing six hits and two runs. Bandimere had entered the game with a 4-1 record and a 1.42 ERA.

GAME 2

More solid pitching was on display in the second game as Sperry was impressive. The left-hander allowed eight hits and two runs (one earned) in seven innings of work. She walked none, struck out four and needed 110 pitches to throw the fourth complete game of her career. Sperry stranded nine LMU runners on base and lowered her season ERA to 2.05. She retired the final four batters of the game in succession, ending things with a strikeout of Maddison Flores.

LMU took its only lead of the day with a run in the top of the second inning. However, despite allowing four hits in the frame, Sperry was able to limit the damage to just one run, stranding the bases loaded. The Hornets bounced right back in the bottom of the second, getting a two-out, two-run blast from Strong to left field that scored Aubert.

After the Lions tied the game at 2-2 with an unearned run in the top of the fourth, Sacramento State bounced right back in the bottom half of the inning as Aubert ambushed the first pitch she saw and served it over the right-center field fence for a 3-2 lead. The Hornets got some insurance in the fifth when, after Alas had a one-out double, she stole third and was able to score on an errant throw by the Lions catcher.

LMU outhit the Hornets, 8-5, and Sacramento State stranded just two runners on base. Four Hornets had hits, including Strong who was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Aubert who was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI. Alas (1-for-3 with a run) and Graves (1-for-2) also had hits.

Sperry improved to 2-0 on the young season while Samantha Manti (2-2) got the loss. Manti allowed just five hits through six innings, but gave up three runs (two earned) as well.