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OGDEN, Utah -- Montana right-hander Tristin Achenbach tossed a five-hit shutout as the Grizzlies defeated Sacramento State, 5-0, on the second day of the Big Sky Conference Softball Tournament. The loss ended the Hornets' season while Montana advances to championship Saturday at the three-day postseason event.
Sacramento State, the No. 3 seed, concludes the tournament with a 1-2 record which included a dramatic 4-3 victory earlier today over No. 1 seed and host Weber State. Both Hornet losses came to No. 6 seed Montana, including a 6-3 defeat to the Grizzlies yesterday. It was Sacramento State that swept a three-game series against Montana earlier this season in Missoula.
However, the Hornets (15-27) could not figure out Achenbach, who has pitched every inning of all four Montana games at the tournament thus far. She has now racked up 27 innings at the tournament, and Montana will likely continue to ride her right arm tomorrow. Only three teams remain at the tournament, and Montana (19-29) will play No. 2 seed Southern Utah tomorrow morning for the right to face No. 5 seed Portland State in the championship game.
All five Hornet hits during today's game were singles, and Sacramento State's best threats came in the fourth (runners at first and second with no outs), and sixth (runners at the corners with one out) innings, but the Hornets could not push across a run. Sacramento State finished with five hits, including two from Haley Hanson. Charizma Guzman, Lewa Day and Samantha Parish had the Hornets' other hits. Guzman finished the season on a six-game hitting streak.
Montana scored once in the first inning, three times in the third, and once in the fourth. Sacramento State used three pitchers, including Alyssa Nunez (3.0 ip), Marissa Bertuccio (2.0 ip) and Kelsey Alcantara (1.0 ip). Achenbach (15-15) walked none and struck out eight over seven innings.
Day, who hit a two-run homer in the seventh to beat Weber State earlier today, finished the season batting .315 with 14 home runs and 32 RBIs. She also had a .739 slugging percentage, .441 on-base percentage and averaged one home run every 7.9 at-bats. The 14 homers are the third most in Sacramento State single-season history. Alondra Mejia finished the year hitting .301 with seven homers and 16 RBIs.
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