Elevating wins: Sac State softball team takes 2 of 3 against Northern Colorado


Spencer Fielding

[File Photo] Marissa Bertuccio pitches against Portland State on Friday, April 1, 2022 at Shea Stadium. Bertuccio pitched in every game this past weekend and ended with a record of 1-1.

Spencer Fielding

The Sacramento State softball team (22-18, 6-3 in the Big Sky Conference) traveled to an elevation of 8,300 feet with high winds and cold temperatures to compete against the University of Northern Colorado, (17-23, 5-4 in the Big Sky Conference) where they took two of three games at Gloria Rodriguez Field. 

The Hornets have won each of their three conference series so far this season. Despite being shut out in the first game of the series, the Hornets were able to outscore the Bears 14-11. 

[File Photo] Nikki Barboza catches a line drive against Portland State on Friday, April 1, 2022, at Shea Stadium. Barboza connected on six hits in nine tries this past weekend.
(Spencer Fielding)

Freshman Takeover

The Hornets’ offense was blistering hot after being shut out in the first game of the series against the Bears. Throughout the series, the freshmen came to play.

They combined for 11 hits in 17 trips to the plate. They were also responsible for four runs batted in this weekend. 

“Super exciting, they were a part of a big recruiting class coming in,” head coach Lori Perez said. “Seeing them come together, figure out some things that they need to be doing offensively and just defensively being able to make some good, key plays. I’m really proud of them.”

Clean Fielding

One of the Hornets’ main issues this season has been fielding the ball cleanly. This was not an issue over this past weekend against the Bears, however, as they left the weekend with just one error in three games despite the difficult conditions. 

“It was huge, the girls did a phenomenal job handling the elements,” Perez said. “It was a pretty hard infield, they haven’t turned the water on at Northern Colorado, so it was a windy and dry infield, and the girls really just did a great job defensively and just dealing with the elements. The fact we were able to get through it with just one error is just really remarkable.”

[File Photo] Kennedy Echols lays down a bunt against Portland State on Friday, April 1, 2022, at Shea Stadium. Echols was able to record an RBI this past weekend.
(Spencer Fielding)

Top Performers

Junior pitcher Marissa Bertuccio (15-6) pitched in all three games this weekend. She had a record of 1-1 and also recorded a save in the second game of the series. She threw two complete games and allowed just four runs, three earned, recorded a save and struck out seven Bears this past weekend. 

Freshman utility player Gwen Ludwig had her best collegiate series this past weekend. The speedy freshman produced five hits in eight trips to the plate and recorded a run batted in and a double.

“It felt really good,” Ludwig said. “After not doing so well at the beginning of the season, being able to come out there and get a few hits this weekend, it just felt really good.”

Freshman shortstop Nikki Barboza continued to swing a hot bat as she connected on six hits in nine plate appearances She racked up three RBIs this past weekend, extending her hitting streak to seven games.

“It felt very good, I feel like we have a very special team,” Barboza said. “Everyone plays a role. It felt really good, especially coming through and I feel like I have a streak going; I’m not trying to do too much with it. I’ve never been on a four-plus game hitting streak, little by little, focusing on the little things. Little things will build up to bigger things.”

The Hornets are back at Sacramento State as they are set to compete against Stanford on April 19 at Shea Stadium.