Confidence is key: Sacramento State softball goes 2-3 against Idaho State


Spencer Fielding

Marissa Bertuccio and Lewa Day celebrate a good inning against Dixie State at Shea Stadium on March 5, 2022. Bertuccio went 1-1 and struck out ten batters this weekend while Day went two for 11 and was able to hit her 11th home run of the season.

Spencer Fielding

Sacramento State softball won two out of three games against Idaho State at Miller Ranch Stadium this weekend in their first conference play series of the season. 

Even though they took the series, the Hornets and Bengals both scored 14 runs each for the weekend. 

Four home runs help sting the Bengals

The Hornets smacked four home runs this past weekend, with the biggest being a grand slam by senior first baseman Alondra Mejia. It was her second grand slam of her entire career. 

“It was really good, really rewarding,” Mejia said. “It was a super close game, going back and forth, we wanted separation. Personally, I love clutch situations, so as soon as they intentionally walked Lexie Webb, I knew I had to get the job done.”

Nikki Barboza celebrates the first out of an inning against Dixie State at Shea Stadium on March 5, 2022. Barboza had a key double to put the Hornets in the lead and was able to draw three walks this past weekend. (Spencer Fielding)

Small ball leads the way

Even though the Hornets are a team known for the long ball, they also got the job done by playing small ball. They drew 17 walks as a team over the past four games.

“Coach Rios and coach Kaminaka have done a really great job in preparing them with some of the drills that we do in terms of balls and strikes, and understanding pitches that we want to attack,” head coach Lori Perez said. “I think it’s something we take a lot of pride in, and we work on it every day.”

Top Performers

Junior pitcher Marissa Bertuccio (12-4) had a nice weekend going 1-1 with a complete-game shutout, pitching 12 innings, 10 strikeouts, and allowing five earned runs. 

Freshman shortstop Nikki Barboza came up clutch in the first game against the Bengals as she smacked a double to put the Hornets up 2-0. She also drew three walks.

“The atmosphere and the energy really drive me,” Barboza said. “Especially when my teammates make really good plays, or when we hit home runs it really fires me up and it gives me confidence, like yeah, it’s my turn to hit.”

Sophomore pitcher and designated hitter Lexie Webb (4-6) was very productive at the plate. She connected on four hits in nine plate appearances and smacked her 13th home run of the season. On top of that, she also improved to 4-6 as a pitcher this season.

Kennedy Echols celebrates the first out of an inning against Dixie State at Shea Stadium on March 5, 2022. Echols recorded a walk and a run this past weekend. (Spencer Fielding)

The Hornets strung together back-to-back strong weekends, as they are now 7-2 over their past nine games.

“Our confidence is definitely there, we know that we’re a very good ball club,” Mejia said. “We have this tight bond, this sisterhood, that we want nothing but the best for each other and we all have one goal, to win a ring.” 

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The Hornets are back at Shea Stadium on April 1 at 12 p.m. where they will take on Portland State in a three-game series.