Big Sky Conference standings
CEDAR CITY, Utah -- Sacramento State sophomore Lewa Day combined for four home runs and 10 RBIs over two games, and the Hornets split a doubleheader at Southern Utah on Friday afternoon. After the Hornets won the first game in five innings (11-1), Southern Utah scored eight unanswered runs to take the nightcap by an 11-8 score.
Day finished 6-for-6 with four runs, four homers, two intentional walks, 10 RBIs, a 3.000 slugging percentage and 18 total bases. She had two homers and five RBIs in both games of the doubleheader, and Southern Utah elected to issue her an intentional pass in each of her final two at-bats of the afternoon. Day, a sophomore, becomes the first player in Sacramento State history to club four home runs in the same day, and now has 13 round trippers this season. The 13 homers are tied for third most in Sacramento State single-season history.
Of those 13 homers, 10 have come against Big Sky Conference opposition. Day is averaging one homer every 5.4 at-bats against conference opposition and has 22 RBIs in 54 at-bats vs. the league. The school record for home runs in a season is 18, set by Suzy Brookshire in 2018.
The loss in Game 2 was painful as Sacramento State held an 8-3 lead heading to the bottom of the second. But the Thunderbirds scored eight unanswered runs against three Hornet pitchers. Despite the loss in Game 2, Sacramento State, with a win tomorrow in the regular season finale, would clinch the No. 2 seed and a first round bye at next week's Big Sky Tournament in Ogden, Utah. The Hornets, Southern Utah, Northern Colorado and Montana could all finish with 9-9 conference records, but Sacramento State would get the tiebreaker over all three teams.
Sacramento State (14-24, 8-9) and Southern Utah (17-28, 9-8) conclude their three-game series and the regular season with a game tomorrow at 11 a.m. PT.
Day wasn't the only Hornet with a big day, as Charizma Guzman was 4-for-7 with three runs, sisters Samantha and Alexis Parish were both 3-for-7 with two runs scored, and Alondra Mejia was 2-for-6 with her sixth home run of the season. That solo homer from Mejia gave the Hornets an 8-3 lead in the second inning of Game 2.
Southern Utah has been the Big Sky's most potent offense all season, entering today with a .283 team batting average and 52 home runs. That average of 1.2 homers per game is the 30th best mark in the nation. SUU added three more home runs to that tally today, and combined for 12 runs and 18 hits over 11.0 innings. Hornet right-hander Marissa Bertuccio was effective in Game 1, limiting the Thunderbirds to just five hits and one run over five innings. That included one walk with five strikeouts.
In the first game, the Hornets scored five times in the first inning, two more in the third, and four in the fifth. Meanwhile, Southern Utah's lone run in the first game was a solo homer from Kalena Shepherd. Katie Vretzos and Day did the damage as both players had five RBIs. Vretzos, a senior second baseman, had a two-out, three-run double in the first inning and added a two-run double in the third.
Day hit a two-run blast in the first inning, and put things away with a three-run shot in the fifth. Tyler Denhart (8-13) got the loss, allowing seven runs and 10 hits over three innings.
In Game 2, the two teams combined for 14 runs in the first two innings. After the dust settled, Sacramento State was on top, 8-6 after two. A two-run homer by Day in the first inning, was followed by a three-run Day blast that highlighted a six-run second inning. However, that was the last runs the Hornets would score.
Southern Utah scored three times in both the first and second innings, once more in the third and fourth, and three times in the sixth. The three runs in the sixth inning snapped an 8-8 tie and eventually gave the Thunderbirds the win.
Guzman had three hits and scored a pair of runs, Day two homers, two runs and five RBIs, and Mejia 2-for-4 with a homer. Those three players combined for seven of Sacramento State's 10 hits. After combining for eight hits the first two innings, Sacramento State registered just two hits the final five innings against Southern Utah starter Payton Goodrich. It was Goodrich (6-10) that got the win despite allowing 10 hits and eight runs (six earned) over seven frames.
Sacramento State used three pitchers - Kelsey Alcantara (1.0 ip), Alyssa Nunez (4.0 ip) and Bertuccio (1.0 ip). Bertuccio that took the loss.
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