Sac State softball brings heat at Capital Classic

Hornets win four of five in weekend clash


Alyssa Branum

Junior pitcher Savannah Wahl throws a pitch on the mound at Shea Stadium on Friday, March 3, 2023.. Wahl transferred from Butte community college in Oroville, California to Sacramento State this year.

Arely Duran

Sacramento State softball started off the weekend hot, winning four-of-five in the Silicon Valley Classic in the Hornets’ return to Shea Stadium.

The tournament featured UC Davis, Siena College, Southern Utah, Alabama State and Saint Mary’s along with Sac State. 

The Hornets extended their winning streak to five over the series before dropping the last match up with UC Davis, bringing their overall record to 11-8. 

Hornets unstoppable at the bat in 11-4 win over Saints.  

The Hornets jumped out early, scoring three runs in the first inning of the game against Siena College. Senior catcher Amber Rodriguez hit a three-run double and junior outfielder Alexis Parish, senior right fielder Carley Morfey and senior third baseman Lewa Day all scored on the play. 

Siena College struck back scoring two in the top of the second due to an infield error by the Hornets. Freshman infielder Emma Petersen hit an RBI triple to get the Saints on the board. 

Although the Saints only trailed the Hornets by one, Sac State attacked with bases loaded; sophomore Gwen Ludwig hit a double that brought in three runs at in the bottom of the second. 

“I was just glad that I was able to hit my teammates in, get them over and get them in,” Ludwig said. 

The Saints were able to earn two more runs scored in an error by the Hornets outfield in the top of the third. 

Sac State wasn’t able to convert hits into runs until the bottom of the fifth.  Day hit her third home run of the season, propelling Sac State to a win. .

“I was going to let myself swing at the first one and see what happens and then go back,” Day said. “It was nice that I connected on it. It was a good feeling. 

Thunderbirds mercy ruled by the Hornets in five innings, 12-0 

The Hornets got their bats to work as they were able to get through their entire lineup, scoring five. With multiple walks and mistakes made by the Thunderbirds, the Hornets led five to nothing in only the first inning. 

In an attempt to stop the Hornets, Southern Utah made three pitching changes. The farthest they got on bases was onto second base. 

The Hornets returned to scoring, getting three runs in at the bottom of the second. Day scored as sophomore pitcher Caroline Evans got walked to first base while bases were loaded. Sophomore Nikki Barboza connected with an RBI double.  

“I think we really had a breakthrough moment as a team, especially with trying to either get hits all together,” Barboza said. “I think we did a really good job at executing and checking off everything we’re supposed to be doing.” 

The Hornets’ scoring wouldn’t stop; they added four more on the board in the bottom of the inning. 

Story continues below gallery.

The Hornets need extra innings to take the victory over the Gaels 5-4

Last weekend, the Hornets competed against the Gaels in the Silicon Valley Classic. In the same manner, the Hornets took their second victory against the Gaels by one run.

Both teams started off slow, unable to get past first base. The Gaels responded with a run scored due to errors made by the Hornet infield in the third inning.

The Hornets took another inning to bounce back and score, getting on the board in the bottom of the fourth. A double by Morfey and a single RBI gave Day a chance to find the equalizer heading into the top of the fifth.

The Gaels went cold in the top of the fifth. Meanwhile the Hornets scored on a two run RBI single by Day and a single by Morfey. 

Saint Mary’s didn’t take that lightly and scored three runs to tie the game once again in the top of the sixth. Sophomore infielder Claudia Kirchner and freshman Hannah Ferguson hit RBIs that tied the game at four runs apiece.

The Gaels and the Hornets couldn’t break the tie in the seventh and led them going into extra innings. The Gaels were up first and, per an extra inning rule, senior outfielder Bry Waters was placed at second base. She advanced to third in scoring position, but she couldn’t get into home plate.    

Then came time for the Hornets to try and break the tie. Freshman first baseman Imani Black was placed at second. Freshman catcher Katie Marsh bunted to advance Black to third. In scoring position, Walker popped out to infield and Black ran home on a sacrifice hit RBI, scoring the game winning run. 

The Hornets squeeze by Alabama State 2-1

The Hornets were three innings in when the weather had other plans for them. The game was set to play at 11 a.m., but a delay pushed the game back to 2:30 p.m. resulting in a three-hour delay. The delay didn’t stop the Hornets from taking their fourth straight victory in the Capital Classic, beating Alabama State. 

In a close game, Sac State was able to pull away and clinch the win over Alabama State. 

In a low scoring affair, the Hornets got to work, driving first. Marsh doubled to left-center field and scored on the play. 

Both teams were scoreless until the sixth inning where both teams scored. Alabama State senior catcher Alex Preston hit a double to center field and sophomore Alexia Denby scored on the hit. 

In the bottom of the sixth, the Hornets took the lead when junior outfielder Kennedy Echols scored on a sacrifice hit by Barboza. Two runs was all Sac State needed, extending their winning streak to five over Alabama State.

The Hornets drop final game of the Capital Classic to the Aggies 7-4 

The UC Davis Aggies wasted no time getting runs in, scoring two in the first inning. Junior Bella Pahulu and senior Sommer Kisling both hit RBIs for the Aggies. 

The Hornets responded to the runs scored and tied the game up in the top of the second inning. Evans hit a two-run double to center field.. 

Davis continued to pull away from the Hornets, scoring four in the bottom of the second inning. Junior catcher Anna Dethlefso, Polson and Kisling hit RBIs to extend the Aggies lead.

Heading into the third inning, Sac State managed to score one in the top of the third. Morfey singled, advancing on an error made by infield and Luwdig scored on the play. 

UC Davis’ junior first baseman Sarah Starks scored on a sacrifice RBI hit by Dethlefson, bringing the Aggies’ lead to four. 

The final run of the game came from the Hornets in the sixth inning, which wasn’t enough to put them on top of the Aggies. Senior Rylee Gresham knocked in a run on a base hit, but the Hornets were unable to overcome the Aggies in the final game of the Capital Classic, ending their winning streak.  

Sac State will head down south to the Long Beach area to play in the Southern California Tournament next weekend.