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THREE WEEKS LEFT IN THE REGULAR SEASON; SOFTBALL HOSTS MONTANA FRIDAY-SATURDAY

THREE WEEKS LEFT IN THE REGULAR SEASON; SOFTBALL HOSTS MONTANA FRIDAY-SATURDAY

Full set of game notes (pdf)

SERIES PREVIEW
• Sacramento State (22-20, 6-3) welcomes Montana (18-20, 5-6) to Shea Stadium for a three-game Big Sky Conference series on Friday and Saturday. The teams will play a doubleheader on Friday at noon, followed by a single game on Saturday at noon. Saturday is also Alumni Day.
• All three games will be streamed on ESPN+ with play-by-play man Will Schilling on the call.
• The Hornets are 18-6 all-time vs. Montana. That included nine straight Hornet wins until falling to the Griz in last year's Big Sky Tournament in Ogden. Sacramento State has won eight of the last 10 at home vs. Montana, including a three-game sweep in 2019.
• On Tuesday, the Hornets played their final non-conference games of the season vs. Stanford. All nine of Sacramento State's remaining regular season games will come against Big Sky opposition.
• The Hornets (6-3) are at the midway point of the conference season, and currently sit in a tie for second place with Portland State (8-4). Both teams trail Weber State (8-0)
• Sacramento State has won all three of its conference series thus far. That includes 2-1 series wins over Idaho State, Portland State and Northern Colorado.
• Of the Hornets' final nine league games, six will come at home. That includes this week's series, a three-game set on the road at Weber State, and a three-game home series vs. Southern Utah.
• The top six teams in the seven-member Big Sky qualify for the league's postseason tournament, which will take place May 11-14 in Ogden, Utah. The top two seeds at the Big Sky Tournament receive a first round bye.
• The winner of this year's regular season title will host next year's Big Sky Tournament.
• Sacramento State already has seven more wins than last season's total, and one more conference victory. Last season's team finished 15-27 overall and 8-10 in the Big Sky.
• The Hornets are closing in on the school record for most home runs in a season. This year's team already has 44 round trippers, one shy of the school record of 45, set in 2017. Amazingly, Sacramento State has not gone more than two straight games without a homer at any point this year. The Hornets did not homer in their most recent game vs. Stanford on Tuesday.
Lexie Webb continues to lead the Big Sky with 15 home runs, a mark which ranks 15th in the nation. She is averaging one homer every 9.0 at-bats, and leads all Hornet regulars with a .363 batting average. Webb has 13 multiple-hit games, and has hit safely in 35 of 42 games.
• Despite seeing her eight-game hitting streak come to a close on Tuesday, freshman shortstop Nikki Barboza has been on a tear. Over her last nine games, Barboza is hitting .560 (14-for-25) with a .593 on-base percentage, a homer and five RBIs. She has five multiple-hit games during that span while starting all nine of those games at shortstop.
• The Hornets have been very successful in pinch hitting opportunities this year. Leading the way has been Caroline Evans (.400, 4-for-10, 1 HR, 7 RBI) and Milan Machado-Buckley (.389, 7-for-18, 6 RBI) who have combined for 11 pinch hits and 13 RBIs.
• Right-hander Marissa Bertuccio continues to impress, which includes allowing four hits and zero earned runs vs. Stanford. The staff ace is 15-7 with a 2.10 ERA, 16 complete games, six shutouts and 123 strikeouts in 147 innings. Her 15 wins lead the Big Sky, and ERA ranks third. She needs just two wins to become the eighth pitcher in the Hornets' Div. I era to win 17 games in a season.
Lewa Day's 31 career home runs are the third best mark in school history. She needs four home runs to move into the second spot. Day had 14 homers a year ago, and six in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Carley Morfey's 11 doubles are the second most in the Big Sky.
Alondra Mejia continues to be lethal in clutch at-bats as she is batting a team-high .436 (17-for-39) with runners in scoring position.
• True freshman Gwen Ludwig has locked down the starting second base job. In four games as the starer at second base, she is 7-for-14 with three runs scored and three multiple-hit games.