SACRAMENTO -- Sophomore Samantha Parish hit a walkoff two-run homer in the ninth inning of Game 2 to highlight a doubleheader split with Idaho State on Friday afternoon at Shea Stadium. The Hornets lost the first game, 3-1, before Parish's heroics gave Sacramento State a 4-2 win in the nightcap.
The home run for Parish was also the first of her collegiate career. With one on and one out in the bottom of the ninth, Parish crushed the first offering over the left field wall, scoring pinch runner Camryn Thomas in front of her. The sophomore was mobbed by teammates after she crossed home plate, and ended a game that saw Sacramento State force extra innings with a two-out Katie Vretzos RBI-single in the seventh.
The win also clinched a spot in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, which begins in two weeks in Ogden, Utah. The top six teams in the conference qualify for the double elimination postseason event, and Parish's homer was the clincher.
Sacramento State moved its record to 13-22 overall and 7-7 in the Big Sky. The team is playing its final home games of the season, and the Hornets and Bengals will conclude their three-game series with a game tomorrow at noon. Prior to tomorrow's game, Hornet seniors Charizma Guzman, Kailie Hargis and Katie Vretzos will be honored for their contributions to the program.
• In the ninth inning, Lewa Day led off with a single. Alondra Mejia followed with a ground ball and Idaho State forced Day at second base. Thomas was then inserted into the game to run for Mejia, and Parish followed with a shot down the line that cleared the left field fence by about five feet. Parish finished the game 2-for-3 with a run, homer and two RBIs. She also caught all nine innings of the victory.
• Parish wasn't the only Hornet to come through with a big hit. With the Hornets trailing, 2-1, and two outs in the seventh, Vretzos singled to right field allowing pinch runner Kennedy Echols to score the game-tying run. Day had led off the frame with a double before Echols was inserted as a pinch runner.
• Sacramento State opened the scoring in the second inning when Samantha's sister, Alexis Parish, hit a sacrifice fly that scored Day from third base. Idaho State would eventually score once in the fourth and sixth innings to claim a 2-1 lead.
• Alyssa Nunez (2-3) was brilliant in relief, allowing just one hit and one walk in 3.1 innings pitched. Nunez got the well-deserved win, and entered the game with runners at second and third with two outs in the sixth inning and Idaho State already holding a 2-1 lead. Nunez did not allow any of those inherited runners to score, which would be one of the game's biggest moments.
• Guzman, the starting center fielder, made an incredible running play to catch a ball at her shoe tops and fire to first base for a double play in the seventh inning. ISU had led off the frame with walk before Guzman's play wiped out that base runner and the batter.
• Starter Kelsey Alcantara was effective in the circle, allowing seven hits and just two runs over 5.2 innings.
• Day went 3-for-4 with a run scored and a double, and both S. Parish and Haley Hanson (2-for-4) had multiple hit games. In fact, the threesome combined for seven of the Hornets' nine hits. Mejia and Vretzos had the other hits.
• In between games of today's doubleheader, the 2020 Hornet seniors - Jensen Main, Rylee Sager, Jessica Scott and Danielle Sperry - were honored. The four had their Senior Day stripped from them a year ago because of the pandemic.
• The first game saw both teams combine for just six hits and all three of Idaho State's runs came via the long ball. That included a two-run shot from Emma Bordenkecher in the second inning, and a solo blast from Frankie Tago in the sixth.
• The Hornets had trouble with Bengal starter Emma McMurray who worked all seven innings, allowing just three hits and one run with three walks and eight strikeouts. McMurray allowed one hit through the first five innings. She faced just six batters over the minimum and needed 104 pitches for the complete game effort.
• Hornet starter Marissa Bertuccio was effective, and made only two mistakes - the homers to Bordenkecher and Tago. The sophomore right-hander yielded just three hits and three runs with no walks and a pair of strikeouts over seven innings. She has issued just six walks in her last 75 innings pitched.
• Sacramento State got its run in the sixth inning when Day's two-out RBI-double scored Carley Morfey from first base. Day, S. Parish and Guzman accounted for the Hornets' three hits.
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