Sac State softball team finishes NorCal Kickoff tournament with 4-1 record

Hornets drop one game to Santa Clara


Luis Platero

Sac State freshman outfielder Haley Hanson runs to first base against UC Santa Barbara at Shea Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 9. The Hornets defeated UC Santa Barbara 5-1.

Paola Yepez

Finishing with the most victories in the NorCal Kickoff tournament, the Sacramento State softball team lost one game against Santa Clara University on Sunday at Shea Stadium. 

The Hornets continued the opening-season tournament by facing Boise State University (4-1) on Saturday. Both teams went into the match with undefeated records.

After the first inning, Sac State took the lead 3-0. Boise State Ashlyn Adams scored a two-run homer to right field in the top of the fourth to bring the game within one and Freshman Autumn Bennett scored to tie the game 3-3 in the top of the seventh. The Hornets failed to score in the bottom of the seventh.

After shutting down the Broncos in the top of the eighth, junior middle infielder Katie Vretzos was placed on second to start the inning per the tie-breaker rule. A fielding error allowed Vretzos to score to give the Hornets the 4-3 win and save their undefeated tournament record. 

Freshman pitcher Marissa Bertuccio pitched all eight innings against the Broncos, allowing only three runs and one walk in her first collegiate start. 

“Overall, we learned what we can do as a team,” said freshman outfielder Haley Hanson. “If we come out, play hard, play good defense and get on base and get that situation of hitting down then we are going to be unstoppable.” 

The Hornets took on their next rivals, the University of California, Santa Barbara (1-4) on Sunday.

Sac State dominated the first inning with an early 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, the Hornets scored twice. Freshman outfielder Aliyah Robles led off with a double. A single from freshman outfielder Haley Hanson scored Robles. Hanson was later driven home by a single from junior infielder Mo Spieth. 

Santa Barbara finally got one run across in the top of the fifth, but would get no more as Sac State turned a double play to end the inning. The Hornets beat the Gauchos 5-1, improving Sac State’s record to 4-0.

In their second game of the day, Sac State faced Santa Clara University (2-3). The Hornets scored first in the bottom of the first.

However three runs from Broncos players Sammy Needham, Hannah Russel and Emma Bickford pushed the score to 3-2. The Hornets quickly made a comeback in the bottom of the third to bring the score to 3-3. 

“We really want to win and we are going for a ring,” freshman third baseman Lewa Day said. “I want a ring and I know they want a ring. That is all on the to-do list. We don’t give up. We fight. Every chance we get, we try to get loud and we want to have our batters feel our energy.”  

Santa Clara scored twice in the fourth, leading to a 5-3 for the Broncos. Two more unearned runs for Santa Clara gave the Broncos a 7-3 lead.

Sac State managed to get one more run across in the bottom of the fifth, but the Hornets dropped their first game of the tournament 7-4 against Santa Clara.

“We are obviously disappointed with the last game,” coach Lori Perez said. “We made some mistakes, obviously starting from the circle down. We were disappointed by not playing to the level we had been sustaining. But, sometimes that happens and it’s always good to leave the field with a sense of feeling good about it, but there is still work to be done.” 

The Hornets play next Valentine’s Day in the Golden State Classic. The first pitch against Loyola Marymount is set for 11:30 a.m.