Hornet softball splits doubleheader

Connor Ashford

The Sacramento State softball team played a pair of games on Friday, splitting a doubleheader against the University of Nevada and stopping the Wolf Pack’s winning streak at 12 games.

Sac State lost the first game of the day by a final score of 3-1. In what turned out to be the deciding inning, Nevada scored all three runs in the top of the third. Sac State head coach Lori Perez acknowledged that, while Nevada capitalized on its chances, the Hornets didn’t on theirs.

“Nevada’s a good team, and they can hit the ball. If you give them an opportunity to score, they’re going to take it,” Perez said. “That was a situation where they executed offensively and were able to square up some balls and get their runs in and take advantage of those opportunities.”

While the Hornets put the leadoff runner on base in the first 4 innings, they were only able to manage one run in the bottom of the fourth from an RBI double off the bat of first baseman Jessica Ravetti. That hit got the crowd, consisting of over a hundred kids visiting the campus, riled up in a way that motivated the Hornets. Shortstop Sydney Rasmussen had nothing but praise for their young fans.

“Actually, I think it pumped us up a lot more towards the end. I loved it,” Rasmussen said. “I love playing in front of a big crowd, so that helped us out a lot.”

That energy from the crowd may have woken up the competitive nature in the team. Second baseman Zamari Hinton even noticed the lack of energy within her teammates early on.

“The first game, our energy was just flat,” Hinton said. “Our offense was flat. And after, the coach talked to us. She said that we really needed to pump it up.”

Sac State bounced back in a big way in the second game of the day, however. Perez decided to shuffle the lineup, and the results were immediate. After scoring a run in the first inning, the Hornets cranked out four runs in a big second inning on the power of four hits and smart baserunning.

“I felt like we needed to change up a few things. I inserted Sydnee Strong into our lineup, and she’s not prototypically a number two hitter for us in the lineup,” Perez said. “I also wanted to take advantage of Zamari’s ability to drag bunt and get safe, so I moved her out of the leadoff spot and moved her into more of a role for that.”

The game was temporarily paused due to a rain delay during the third inning. The hour-long delay could have negatively affected the team, but the Hornets knew how to stay ready during a delay or break like that.

“Some people took some swings, some people took a mental break,” Hinton said. “I think that mental break helped a lot of us for the second game, because we were just more relaxed at the plate and just let things happen.”

The small ball approach worked beautifully in the second game, with the Hornets eventually imposing the mercy rule on Nevada State with a final score of 8-0 after five innings.

“It’s actually a really great feeling. I came out and I just wanted to pound out after that rain delay and it was great to mercy them,” Rasmussen said.