Softball season off to a rocky start

State Hornet Staff

Last weekend, Sacramento State softball stumbled out of the Fresno State kick-off tournament as it finished 2-3. 

The first day, Sac State lost to both UC Santa Barbara, 3-2, and Fresno State, 5-1.

The Hornets took Santa Barbara into extra innings Friday afternoon, coming down to the bottom of the eighth inning when Gauchos’ Arianna Palomares hit a walk-off sacrifice fly, driving in teammate Stacy Cavazos to win the game. 

Hornets’ head coach Lori Perez said the reason for the opening two losses of the tournament was because of the defensive woes. 

“We left this weekend knowing that our defense has to be stronger,” Perez said. “This week we will see who fits better in certain positions.”

In the evening game on Friday, Sac State’s bats were silent, not keeping up with the Bulldogs. Two home runs and 3 RBIs by Fresno State’s Michelle Solomon was the difference maker in the game. 

However, in the second day of the tournament Sac State won both games. The Hornets rolled over both CSU Bakersfield and UC Riverside, outscoring both teams by combined score 20-7. 

After scoring a total of three runs in the first three games of the season, the Hornets finished with 15 hits including eight players with multi-hit games as they beat the Roadrunners 11-6, with timely hitting from senior catcher Paris Prado. 

Junior outfielder Nicole Clark went 3-5 with 2 RBIs and Prado was 2-4 scoring twice in the game. 

In the afternoon game the Hornets scored nine runs and forced the NCAA eight-run mercy rule into effect on UC Riverside. Sac State scored its first eight runs before the Highlanders scored their only run of the game in the fifth inning. 

Prado and freshman third baseman Alexis Martinez combined to go 4-6 with 4 RBIs. 

“The girls did well for us the weekend,” Perez said. “We are starting to come together offensively. We just needed to play more relaxed and not put so much pressure on ourselves when we are hitting.”

The tournament finale was a rematch from Saturday’s afternoon game against Riverside. 

Although junior pitcher Caitlin Brooks had eight strikeouts in the game, her offense failed to backup her performance in the circle, ultimately losing 1-0. 

Perez said there is so much she can say in how her pitching staff has done before. 

“The staff did well for us, they kept us in games throughout this week,” Perez said. 

Sac State will continue its season this week when it travels to Santa Clara University. They will play in the Marriott Bronco Classic against Santa Clara Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Clifton can be reached on Twitter at @jonesSHsports