SOFTBALL DROPS SERIES FINALE TO SOUTHERN UTAH, 4-2

SOFTBALL DROPS SERIES FINALE TO SOUTHERN UTAH, 4-2

SACRAMENTO -- Southern Utah took advantage of two costly Sacramento State errors, scoring four unearned runs early in the contest, and hung on for a 4-2 win over the Hornets on Saturday afternoon at Shea Stadium.

Sacramento State, which swept a doubleheader over the Thunderbirds yesterday, still took two of three games in the series. The three-game set marked the Big Sky Conference opening games for both teams.

The game marked the finale of a season-long 10-game homestand for Sacramento State, and the Hornets fell to 17-14 overall and 2-1 in the Big Sky. The Hornets are attempting to defend their Big Sky regular season and tournament titles from a year ago. Sacramento State is now 12-6 at home this season, and had its nine-game home winning streak against the Thunderbirds snapped.

Today was Pink Day at Shea Stadium as the Hornets recognized all forms of cancer. Prior to the game, Southern Utah senior pitcher Hanna Wynn threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Wynn was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and took last season off to battle the disease. She is now cancer free, and, after throwing out the first pitch, proceeded to throw extremely well against the Hornets.

The left-hander went the distance, scattering nine hits and two runs while striking out three. Sacramento State had at least one hit in every inning of the game, but Wynn was up to the challenge in earning the victory.

Southern Utah (3-18, 1-2) got the early jump, using a Hornet error to score an unearned run in the second inning, and then took advantage of another error in the third to score three unearned runs. Each of those four runs were charged to Jensen Main who continues to get little defensive help when she's in the circle. Main's record fell to 0-6, but her ERA is a very respectable 2.62. She has allowed 32 runs this year, and exactly half of those runs are unearned.

Sacramento State had big opportunities to score in the first inning, getting a runner to third with one out, but could not put a run across. Even more frustrating was the second inning when the Hornets had runners at the corners and no outs, but could not score.

Sacramento State, which hit 3-for-15 with runners on base and 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, picked up its first run in the fourth inning. A one-out single from Sydnee Strong was followed by a Katie Vretzos single putting runners at the corners. Brianna Bowers then followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Strong.

The Hornets tacked on another in the fifth after Nene Alas' one-out single was followed by a Sydney Rasmussen double putting runners at second and third. Suzy Brookshire then hit a deep fly ball to right field that scored Alas easily from third. Sacramento State got a runner to first base in both the sixth and seventh innings, but could advance them no further. With one out in the seventh, and Alas on first base, Rasmussen crushed a line drive that Southern Utah first baseman Emilee Reeder caught on the fly and doubled off Alas to end the game.

Main threw the first three innings, allowing three hits and four unearned runs while striking out a batter. Savanna Corr was dominant in relief, allowing just one hit and no runs with four strikeouts over four innings. She faced just 14 batters to record 12 outs.

Alas finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored while Vretzos was 2-for-3. Rasmussen, Strong, Bowers and Shea Graves also had hits.

Sacramento State plays on the road next week at Weber State as the two teams will play a three-game series beginning on Friday. Ten of the next 13 Hornet games will be on the road.