Hornets earn No. 2 seed, sweep Portland State Vikings

Jeremiah Martinez

In their final game of the regular season, Sacramento State softball swept the Portland State University Vikings in the series finale 3-2.

With the win, the Hornets improved to a 26-24 overall record and 15-6 mark in Big Sky Conference play.

The victory came after a day when the Hornets clinched the second seed in next weekend’s Big Sky tournament, which will be hosted by the Idaho State University Bengals in Pocatello, Idaho starting Thursday, May 7-9.

Today, Sac State got on the board first with a Sasha Margulies bases loaded walk that scored Paige Martin. Margulies went hitless during her three at-bats in the game, which ended her hitting-streak at 15 games. She tied for longest in the program’s Division I era (1990-present).

This season, Margulies hit .406 and became the fourth player in the Division I era of Sac State’s program to hit over the mark.

The Hornets had a 1-0 lead until the bottom of the fifth inning when Vikings’ shortstop Ashley Smith hit a two-run RBI triple with two outs against senior pitcher Caitlin Brooks.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Hornets reclaimed the lead with a Shelby Johnston RBI double after Nicole Clark hit a leadoff triple.

Brooks pitched two scoreless innings to pitch her 15th complete game of the season. She threw eight strikeouts in the game, but allowed three hits and four walks. The right hander ended the regular season with a 13-5 record with 159 strikeouts.

Notable performers in today’s game included Zamari Hinton (2-for-4), Alexa Chattleton (2-for-3) and Nicole Clark (2-for-4), who all had multiple-hit games.

Also, the Hornets were successful in the circle (1.91 ERA) and had timely hitting (.306 with runners in scoring position, six-out RBIs) during the three-game series this weekend.

The Hornets will begin the Big Sky tournament against fourth seeded Weber State University on Thursday at 3 p.m. The tournament is double-elimination, which means the Hornets will play on Friday May 8 regardless if they lose or win on Thursday.

First-seeded Idaho State will play fourth seed Southern Utah University at 1 p.m. on Thursday before the Hornets play.