Hornet softball edges out Kansas in extra innings

Clifton Jones

Sacramento State softball won their second straight game as another freshman stepped up in dramatic fashion. 

Second baseman Kayla Papez hit her first career walk-off single when she scored senior third baseman Emily McCormick to beat the Kansas Jayhawks Sunday, 1-0 in extra innings. 

Papez’s eighth-inning hit was not the first time she was put in this situation this season. 

“I kept telling myself to get a hit,” Papez said. “I was finally able to connect on a pitch.”

After regulation play, the teams were allowed to place a runner on second base.

Sac State was able to keep the Jayhawks from scoring in the top of the eighth with the help of an illegal hit by the Kansas batter that hit the catcher’s mitt while she was swinging.

In the bottom half of the inning, McCormick hit a double in order to set up the game-winning run. She said it gave the team confidence that they needed. 

“Coach said that there is always a 50 percent chance that the runners on second will score,” McCormick said. “This time we were on the good end of that 50 percent.” 

Sac State freshman pitcher Jennifer Hartman pitched all eight innings, allowing zero runs on seven hits and eight strikeouts.

“I had to keep my nerves down in order to give my team a chance to win in the eighth inning,” Hartman said. 

Hornets head coach Kathy Strahan said that this win gives them confidence going into conference play next week. 

“I had questions going into conference next weekend, but I think I got them figured out now,” Strahan said. “The team learned a lot from themselves this weekend.”

The Hornets take the field again Friday at 1 p.m. as they open conference play against Northern Colorado. 


Clifton can be reached on Twitter at @jonesSHsports