First place Hornets power their way to 16-2 mercy rule win

State Hornet Staff

Coming off dominant pitching performances in the previous two games, Sacramento State softball’s offense scored a season-high 16 runs as they swept their three-game series against the University of North Dakota to improve to 10-2 in Big Sky Conference play and 21-19 overall.

The final score of the series finale was 16-2 through five innings, and the game ended early due to the NCAA mercy rule.

The 16 runs were the most scored in a game since April 29, 2010, when the Hornets defeated Santa Clara University 16-0.

“We talked before the game about what the pitcher was going to throw,” said Hornets’ coach Lori Perez. “We made adjustments of what we struggled on yesterday, so the girls did a good job of just making adjustments and getting their bats in contact.”

The game featured four home runs from the Hornets, which tied a school record for the most hit in a game. Two of the four home runs came from the bat of Paige Martin, which also tied a school record for most by a player, and tied her seventh all-time in school history with 11 in her career. Sasha Margulies and Alexis Martinez also had a home run in the game today.

The Hornets’ bats wasted no time in the top of the first inning, scoring 11 runs to start the game. Each of Sac State’s first 11 batters reached base safely.

Martin hit a leadoff home run to begin the game, and Margulies added on with her home run late in the first inning. During the first inning, Shelby Johnston, Margulies, Kourtney Solis, Marissa Maligad, Zamari Hinton recorded RBIs.

Martin, Hinton, Johnston, Margulies and Alexa Chattleton had two plate appearances in the inning.

The Hornets added five runs to their lead in the second inning with a solo shot by Alexis Martinez and a three-run home run by Martin – her second of the game. Chattleton also added a RBI single in the inning.

North Dakota’s only runs of the game came off a two-run home run by designated hitter Jackie Lilek, scoring UND’s center fielder Nicole Babrowski.

Sac State’s Margulies finished the game a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a home run, double, single, four RBIs and two runs.

Currently, she is batting a team-leading .415 and has reached base safely in 10 consecutive plate appearances since the first game of the series. She also extended her hit streak to six games.

Martin finished the game going 2-for-2 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs. Also, she has reached base safely in 22 straight games. This season she is hitting .301, with a team-leading five home runs and 26 RBIs.

Chattleton also extended her hitting streak to six games and has reached base safely in 21 straight games. She also finished the game hitting 2-for-3, with an RBI and a run scored.

The senior brought up her batting average to .402 this season.

With Margulies and Chattleton hitting over .400, they could possibly become the fourth and fifth players in the program’s history in the Division I era (1990-present) to hit over the mark with 10 games left in the regular season.

The win continues the Hornets’ success in the Big Sky and tied Sac State for first with Idaho State University (10-2, 25-14 overall). The teams are a game ahead of Weber State University (9-3, 28-14 overall) in the standings.

After their nonconference road matchup against the University of the Pacific on Wednesday night, the Hornets will face off against Idaho State in a three-game series at Shea Stadium in a battle for first place.

The series will start Friday, April 17, with a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. The series finale will be on Saturday, April 18 at 12 p.m.