Hornets go double dutch with Nevada

Connor Ashford

The Sacramento State softball team split a doubleheader with Nevada on Wednesday afternoon, losing the first game 4-3 before bouncing back to win 4-2 in the second game in Nevada.

Nevada (15-4) struck first on the day, swatting a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. Sac State starting pitcher Celina Matthias yielded four runs in the game off of 10 hits and a walk, but did a good job at limiting the damage and keeping the Hornets in the game.

Sac State’s offense didn’t get going until the third inning, where the Hornets strung together two walks and a single to load the bases. Sac State brought in two runs after the Hornets capitalized on an error and a fielder’s choice by Nevada, knotting the score at 2-2 in the third inning.

Sac State scored its third and final run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. After two quick outs, second baseman Zamari Hinton, who went 3-for-3, doubled before scoring on an RBI single by Sasha Margulies.

In the bottom half of the inning, Nevada struck back with two runs, with a lead-off single followed by back-to-back doubles to put the Wolf Pack ahead by a score of 4-3. Matthias was able to limit them to the two runs, and the Hornets were still within striking distance.

The Hornets didn’t give up at any point in the game. In the top of the seventh, Sac State fell down to their final out before a small rally loaded the bases. With two outs and the tying run at third base, the Hornets couldn’t capitalize and bring the run in, ending the game in favor of Nevada.

In the second game of the day, junior starting pitcher Taylor Tessier, with just a little under 11 innings pitched on the season, got the ball to kick off the game. Tessier pitched into the seventh inning, navigating her way through five walks and five hits to hold the Wolf Pack down to give the Hornets a noteworthy and much-needed boost.

On the other side of the ball, the Hornet offense was silent for most of the game. First baseman Jessica Ravetti’s single in the first inning would be the first and only hit for the Hornets until a fifth-inning single by center fielder Shelby Johnston.

Sac State went down in order in the second, third and fourth innings. In the sixth, however, the bats began showing signs of life, with the Hornets collecting back-to-back hits for the first time all game. Although they were unable to score, the momentum began to swing in favor of Sac State.

The final frame gave the Hornets a chance to display their resiliency in the face of defeat. Down by a score of 1-0 going into the seventh, and with the bottom of the batting order due up, the Hornets got the first two batters of the inning on the base paths before a huge three-run home run by left fielder and captain Kayla Papez put the Hornets ahead 3-1. It was the first home run of the season for Sac State, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Sac State added an insurance run from a two-out bunt single by Hinton followed by an RBI double off the bat of Margulies to score the fourth run of the inning. Four of the Hornets’ eight hits came in the final frame.

Tessier served up a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning before the first game’s starter, Matthias, came in to lock down the save and the win. Nevada got two runners on against Matthias before she induced a lineout to first base to end the game and cap an epic and exciting comeback.

Wednesday’s games mirrored the previous matchup between these two teams just two weeks prior. In a doubleheader at Shea Stadium at Sac State, Nevada won a close first game before the Hornets stunned them in the second game and broke the Wolf Pack’s 12-game win streak.

The Hornets (9-12) return home next week for a Wednesday afternoon game against Iona College to wrap up the nonconference part of their schedule.