RECAP: Sac State softball drop 3 of 5 games in opening tournament

Hornets host season-opening tournament dropping final two games after two straight wins


Alyssa Branum

The Sac State softball team huddles around home plate on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023 at Sac State. The Hornets opened their season with the NorCal kickoff tournament where they won 2 of 5 games.

Arely Duran

Sacramento State softball played its causeway rival, UC Davis in their season opener at the NorCal Kickoff tournament.  

Hitting home runs in their two wins over this weekend kept the Hornets drive alive, scoring seven in each game over their opponents.Falling short in the last two games, the Hornets dropped three of their five  games this weekend. 

Senior pitcher Marissa Bertuccio, senior third baseman Lewa Day and senior right fielder Carley Morfey were key players in this weekend’s tournament. 

Both Morfey and Day provided home runs and Bertuccio finished with17 strikeouts within the 14.2 innings she threw, leading the Hornets to a  run of close games throughout the  series.

Hornets fall to Aggies 2-1, drop first game

Bertuccio kept the first matchup against the Aggies scoreless in the last four innings. Despite Bertuccio’s effort, UC Davis Aggies struck first and were too much to overcome. Early on in the bottom of the second, the Hornets had an opportunity to score, but didn’t execute it effectively.

Day scored the Hornets’ only run for their game that evening. She was walked to first; senior right fielder Carley Morfey and junior outfielder Haley Hanson landed on bases to help Day get into scoring position.      

“Just that scoring made the gap a little closer, so everyone was pumped up knowing it was one away,” Day said. 

Despite the momentum from Day’s scoring, the Hornets were unable to find their bats on the balls. 

“Overall for both sides, it was a good game and a good fight,” Bertuccio said. “I felt really good about our effort and the way we played but it just didn’t go our way.”

Bouncing back from loss, Hornets hold off Utah Valley  7-6

Day gets the first home-run of her senior season in the bottom of the second on a three-run shot. Sophomore middle infielder Gwen Ludwig and sophomore shortstop Nikki Barboza scored early to bring the score to 6-1 in the bottom of the second. 

On the final run of the game for the Hornets, Barboza was walked onto first base and was able to round bases to home plate by plays made by her teammates.

The Hornets led handily on the board until the sixth inning where Utah Valley’s redshirt sophomore Megan Gibbs hit a grand slam in the top of the seventh inning. However the Wolverine’s came short of tying up the game 7-6, while the Hornets escaped with a win.

Keeping the momentum alive, the Hornets sting the Tigers 7-2 

In Saturday’s contest, University of Pacific struck first and got on the board early in the opening inning. The Tigers’ graduate student Carly Lucchetti walked with bases loaded to drive in a run, leaving the Hornets trailing 1-0 up until the fifth inning.

The Hornets kept the Tigers from scoring in five out of the seven innings of the game and were only able to sneak another by in the top of the fifth.

Right fielder Morfey had a grand slam sent to left center field, giving the Hornets a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

With the momentum of Morfey’s homerun, the Hornets kept the bottom of the inning alive by putting two more runs on the board. 

In the last inning of the game, junior pitcher Lexie Webb hit a sacrifice RBI securing the win over the Tigers. 

Hornets fall short 2-0 late in game against Rutgers 

Bertruccio’s hot hand was almost unhittable, totaling  eight strikeouts in the game against the Scarlet Knights. 

The Hornets came into the game as the underdogs, with Rutgers being 4-0 in the tournament before heading into their Sunday game.

It was a scoreless game for both the Hornets and the Scarlet Knights, but mistakes eventually caught up to the Hornets in the sixth inning.  What should’ve been a single base hit turned into a double when the ball bounced off Barboza’s glove, giving the Scarlet Knights momentum as there were no outs.  

The Scarlet Knights scored on a sacrifice fly to lead the Hornets 1-0. Sac State wasn’t able to overcome the deficit and Rutgers finished undefeated in tournament play.

Hornets lose to Seattle 7-0, after RedHawks start fast

The Seattle RedHawks quickly got on the board, scoring three runs by the end of the first inning of the game. 

The RedHawks senior Pitcher Stefanie Madrigal held the Hornets from going any farther than second base throughout the entire game. She struck out multiple players and the Hornets struggled to get the ball out of the infield. 

The Hornets gave up a score in the top of the sixth, walking a runner into home plate.  The RedHawks had multiple walks onto first base that eventually caught up with the Hornets, costing them a score.

While having hits at the plate, they couldn’t put it together and score. 

“I expect our team to come out hungry again and continue to play at a competitive level against each opponent,” Sac State head coach Lori Perez said. 

The Hornets will play in the Puerto Vallarta Challenge next weekend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They’ll be taking on North Dakota State, Tennessee, Kansas and Southern Illinois.