SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento State right-hander Marissa Bertuccio tossed her first career no-hitter to highlight the Hornets' doubleheader sweep of Southern Utah on Friday afternoon at Shea Stadium. After Bertuccio's no-no gave the Hornets a 4-0 win in the opener, Sacramento State followed with a mercy rule shortened 13-3 victory in the nightcap.
Bertuccio, a junior right-hander, struck out a career-high 13 batters while allowing just two balls out of the infield. Her only blemishes were a pair of walks as she threw Sacramento State's first no-hitter in three years, and the program's 35th at the Div. I level (1990-pres.). Bertuccio, who improved to 18-9 with a 2.14 ERA, threw 100 pitches (66 strikes) while tossing her eighth shutout of the season. The 13 strikeouts eclipsed her previous career high of 12, set during her freshman season (2020) against Utah State.
The Hornets (27-23, 11-6) will play their final regular season finale tomorrow at noon when they conclude the three-game series against the Thunderbirds. With the Big Sky Tournament beginning next week in Ogden, Utah, the top two seeds receive a first round bye. Weber State has already locked up the No. 1 seed, and the Hornets find themselves locked in a tussle for the important 2 seed with Portland State (10-5).
Portland State is hosting Weber State for a three-game series, but their doubleheader was canceled today because of rain. That means the two teams will attempt to play a doubleheader tomorrow, but there is a 60 percent chance of rain in the forecast in Portland. If the games take place, and Portland State wins both tomorrow, they would be the 2 seed regardless of Sacramento State's outcome. If the Hornets beat Southern Utah, and PSU loses at least one game of the doubleheader, Sacramento State would get the 2 seed. If rain washes the entire Portland State-Weber State series away, and Sacramento State wins tomorrow, the Hornets would get the 2 seed.
Bertuccio was brilliant in the opener, but Sacramento State's offense was nearly as effective, batting .458 (22-for-48) over both games with five doubles, three homers, 13 RBIs and a .509 on-base percentage. In fact, the nightcap saw the Hornets score three times in the first, nine times in the second and another run in the fourth as they completed a five-inning 13-3 victory.
The big blows in the game came on a Lewa Day homer to lead off the first inning (her 13th of the season), a grand slam from Carley Morfey and a three-run pinch hit homer from Milan Machado-Buckley. Both the Morfey and Machado-Buckley homers came in the nine-run second inning. Ten different Hornets had hits in the game, and five had RBIs. Kelsey Alcantara (2-1) picked up the win in relief, allowing just one hit and a run in 2.2 innings. Alyssa Nunez worked the first 2.1 innings.
Eight different Sacramento State players combined for multiple hits in the doubleheader, comprised of Gwen Ludwig (3), Lexie Webb (3), Morfey (3), Nikki Barboza (2), Rylee Gresham (2), Alondra Mejia (2), Alexis Parish (2) and Day (2). Ludwig finished 3-for-3 with a double, walk and a sacrifice. Barboza went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a hit-by-pitch. She was held out of the second game after the hit-by-pitch got her near the hand area in the opener.
The Hornets and Southern Utah will play the finale of the three-game series tomorrow at noon. Prior to the game, seniors Mejia and Nunez will be honored for their contributions to the program. The Senior Day ceremony will begin about 11:50 a.m.
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