Hornet softball beats Davis 5-2 at home


Connor Ashford

The Sacramento State softball team got the win in the season’s home opener Wednesday, securing a 5-2 win over the UC Davis Aggies.

Before the home opening game even started, however, the two squads had to complete a previously halted game between the two from Feb. 12. Tied at 0, Davis was able to knock in a run and win in extra innings, but the ending of that game couldn’t get the Hornets down. Senior Sasha Margulies offered some insight into the team’s mindset and approach toward the home opener.

“We knew with losing to Davis in that first weird halted game, we knew it was very easy to just get down on ourselves just because we felt we should have won,” Margulies said. “But we just told ourselves to stay up, remember our simple mechanics that we kept from last weekend, and we did.”

But Sac State bounced back. The Hornets scored three runs in the bottom of the first off the power of four hits. With as much solid contact as there was early on, Davis decided to pull their starter after getting just two outs.

While the box score shows a close game on paper, the Hornets were in control for most of the game. Coach Lori Perez acknowledged that the team wasn’t its sharpest, but also saw the team stick together when things weren’t going its way.

“The best thing I saw was our resiliency,” Perez said. “We put ourselves in some poor situations, we made some mistakes, but we bounced back and we were able to score runs. We had some people step up and really keep the momentum in our dugout.”

The Hornets were on fire with the bats against Davis, racking up 13 hits in just 6 innings while holding the Aggies to six over seven innings. Sac State collected a hit in every inning, a testament to the depth of the Hornet lineup.

The Hornet defense made several exciting plays as well, with the first out of the game coming in the form of a terrific diving catch made by left fielder Kayla Papez.

Quite possibly the biggest story, however, was sophomore Celina Matthias. Matthias threw an absolute gem, shutting down the Aggies for seven innings while yielding just two runs. Matthias explained her approach to both the game itself and the Aggie offense, explaining that her backdoor curve was particularly effective.

“My game plan is always the same for everything: think of nothing. Because if I think of something, then I think of everything,” Matthias said. “I really liked that pitch. That was really effective today. I think it had a lot of movement, I think a lot of girls got fooled on it, I think the umpire got fooled on it a couple times, too.”

Wednesday’s win against Davis was a result of great pitching, team defense and an offensive unit that worked together. Every starter contributed in some way on the field, and the entire team seems to be gelling at the perfect time.

“Celina did a great job on the mound,” Perez said. “We had some defensive plays that really kept us going, and then offensively just took care of business.”

The Hornets continue their five game home stand on Saturday and will look to keep the momentum going with a pair of games against Nevada and Loyola Marymount, with the first beginning at 11:45 a.m.