Softball splits first two games of Big Sky play with Northern Colorado

Clifton Jones

Sacramento State softball ends its first day of Big Sky Conference competition by splitting a pair of games against Northern Colorado today.

The Hornets lost in the first game 6-3 after an unforgiving fifth inning that plated the Bears’ six runs.

Sophomore pitcher Caitlin Brooks was unhittable through four full innings of play and had a perfect game heading into the fifth inning, but the game got away from her. 

“I broke down in the fifth inning mechanically and spiraled out of control,” Brooks said.  “I really didn’t recover after I hit the first batter in the inning.”

A three-run triple in the fifth inning by Bears’ senior right fielder Lindsay Smith flew over the head of Paige Martin in right field and broke the game wide open. 

“Northern Colorado did a great job adjusting the second time through the lineup,” said softball head coach Kathy Strahan.

The Hornets answered back in the bottom half of the fifth inning when they scored their only three runs in the game with freshman catcher Kortney Solis scoring two runs on an error by Bears sophomore first baseman Mikayla Duffy.

“It was great to see my team almost make that comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning,” Brooks said.

In the second game, Sac State beat Northern Colorado 2-1 as freshman pitcher Jennifer Hartman pitched well with one run allowed on three hits, to go with five walks and six strikeouts.

Hartman was able to keep her team in the game even after the fourth inning, when the Bears scored the first run of the game.

“Jennifer was great battling through in the game especially in the fifth and sixth innings,” Strahan said.

Hartman was able to get out of two bases-loaded jams in the fifth and sixth innings. This was due in large part to the two timely strikeouts in the fifth and sixth innings that stymied the Bears threat.

“It was definitely tiring in the fifth and sixth innings,” Hartman said. “However, I usually get an adrenaline rush when I am in tight situations.”

The Hornets were finally able to break through in the sixth inning thanks to senior first baseman Molly Smith’s pinch-hit double. 

Soon after, senior third baseman Emily McCormick was able to score pinch runner Alexa Chattleton with a single.

Later in the inning, Martin scored senior center fielder Kelli Frye from second base with a single.

“Molly’s hit was key because it helped both Emily and I score the two runs in the sixth inning,” Martin said.

Martin led the Hornets in both games as she went .833 and two RBIs for the day.

Sac State takes on Northern Colorado at home tomorrow at 12 p.m. to close out the three game series.



Clifton can be reached on Twitter at @jonesSHsports