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SOFTBALL FALLS TO WEBER STATE IN BIG SKY TOURNEY, WILL PLAY AGAIN FRIDAY AFTERNOON

SOFTBALL FALLS TO WEBER STATE IN BIG SKY TOURNEY, WILL PLAY AGAIN FRIDAY AFTERNOON

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SACRAMENTO -- Eight different Weber State players had hits, and Mariah Ramirez tossed a two-hit shutout as the Wildcats defeated Sacramento State, 9-0, in Big Sky Conference Tournament winners bracket action. The game was stopped after five innings because of the mercy rule.

The six-team tournament began yesterday, and No. 1 seed Weber State and No. 2 Sacramento State were the lone unbeaten teams still remaining in the double elimination event. That quickly changed as the tournament host Wildcats scored twice in the second inning, and seven in the third. Meanwhile, Ramirez, who gave up hits to the first two batters of the game, held Sacramento State hitless the rest of the way.

The victory allows Weber State (37-10) to advance to Saturday's championship game at 11 a.m. PT. Sacramento State (29-24), which defeated No. 6 seed Montana yesterday, will play again tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. PT against the winner of the early game between No. 3 Portland State and No. 4 Northern Colorado. To win the Big Sky Tournament, the Hornets would need to win tomorrow, and defeat Weber State twice on Saturday. The tournament champion receives an automatic berth to NCAA Regionals.

Weber State has posed trouble to the Hornets all year, as the Wildcats were the only Big Sky team to take a series against the Hornets. Weber State swept Sacramento State in Ogden in late April, and is 4-0 against the Hornets this season.

Ramirez needed just 59 pitches to get the five-inning shutout which included no walks and nine strikeouts. Sacramento State had runners at the corners and no outs in the first, but Ramirez struck out three straight batters to escape the jam. Lewa Day led off the game with a double, and Samantha Parish singled her to third base. Unfortunately for the Hornets, the rally stopped there.

All but one Weber State starter had a hit, including leadoff hitter Faith Hoe who had a two-run homer as part of the seven-run outburst in the third inning.

Sacramento State used three pitchers, including Marissa Bertuccio (2.0 IP), Kelsey Alcantara (1.0 IP) and Alyssa Nunez (1.0 IP). Bertuccio (20-10) picked up the loss.

The Hornets took two of three games during the regular season from both Portland State and Northern Colorado.