Softball’s season comes to an end after losing to Southern Utah

Clifton Jones

Sacramento State softball saw its season come to an end Friday as the Hornets lost to Southern Utah University, 5-4 in Pocatello, Idaho. 

The Hornets late rally came up short when they failed to produce a hit in the top of the seventh inning. 

Sophomore pitcher Caitlin Brooks started for the Hornets, but pitched only 3.1 innings giving up five runs on three hits. She also walked and struck out four batters. 

Brooks started out the game strong in the first two innings but couldn’t control her pitches after the first two innings. 

The Thunderbirds got off to a 3-0 start against Brooks in the first four innings of the game. 

Junior pitcher Taylor Stroud was brought in from the bullpen in the fourth inning and she shut down the Thunderbirds, surrendering only one unearned run in the inning. 

Sac State head coach Kathy Strahan said she made the pitching change when the Thunderbirds scored three runs on Sac State in the game, but ultimately the pitching change didn’t really help the team. 

Stroud surrendered her only earned run in the fifth inning when Hornets shortstop Alyssa Vanderdrink didn’t field a pop fly which scored Thunderbirds’ Katie Olinger.

The Hornets did answer the next inning when they scored four runs in the sixth inning. Senior center fielder Kelli Frye scored sophomore left fielder Alexa Chattleton on an error.  Frye later scored on freshman Alyssa Vanderdrink’s infield single to cut the deficit by three runs.

The Hornets scored a total of four runs in the inning with the help of freshmen catcher Kortney Solis and shortstop Alyssa Vanderdrink singles. 

“Our offense was able give us a chance last night and it did well for us again today,” Strahan said. “I have said that pitching was our strong point but our pitching let us down this weekend.” 

Strahan said it remains to be seen how hungry the team will be next season after a failure, like Sac State had today. 

“Hopefully after this weekend those who come back next season will come back hungry and on a mission,” Strahan said. 

The Hornets finished the season 22-22 and 7-8 in the Big Sky Conference. 

Clifton can be reached on Twitter at @jonesSHsports