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BEATS PORTLAND STATE SOFT BALL, GIVES 7th WINNER AT BIG SKY TOURNEY



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OGDEN, Utah – Sacramento State scored twice late in the eighth inning, including a walkoff sacrificial flight from freshmen Nikki Barbozato beat Portland State, 4-3, on day three of the Big Sky Conference Softball Tournament at Wildcat Field.

In a knockout, the Hornets rose to success after Portland State scored once in the seventh inning to force extra time, and then scored one more time into the top eight.

In their last three outings, Sacramento State took advantage of a Portland State error, and hit the word Lexie Webb and Alondra Mejia, set up Barboza’s sacrificial fly. With one finish in first and second place, Mejia scored a single goal in the middle of the field Lewa Day. After walking to Carley Morfey place runners in the corners, Barboza connects on a balloon to the right court deep enough to score the track athlete Rylee Gresham with the winner of the game.

The win allowed Sacramento State (30-24) to advance to Saturday’s Championship, where the Hornets will face tourney host and top seed State Weber (37-10) at 11 a.m. PT. Second-seeded Hornets and Wildcats are the only two teams alive in the six-team knockout. Two teams will play to win Big Sky’s automated parking for the NCAA Zones.

Sacramento State, which lost to Weber State yesterday, will need to beat the Wildcats twice tomorrow to win the championship and advance to the NCAA Regionals for the first time since 2018. The Wildcats, who are yet to lose in the tournament, just need to win once tomorrow. The Hornets are leading 2-1 at the four-day tourney, including Wednesday’s benevolent rule win over Montana. If Sacramento State opens tomorrow with a win, the two teams will play again about 30 minutes after the end of the first game.

Almost out of excitement as the Hornets hit 30 wins for the third time in five years. Thirty wins is usually the sign of a very good team, and Sacramento State certainly fits that category.

In today’s game, no team was trailed by more than one run all the way. Sacramento State took a quick 1-0 lead after Lewa Day opened the first half with a home run opposite. The circler was her 16th of the season, putting her in the group lead with Webb. 16 hosts is also the highest season of Day’s career.

After PSU drew everything 1-1 in the third inning, the Hornets regained the lead 2-1 in the fourth inning after Amber RodriguezDual-out clutch, RBI . dual-scoring pinch runner Kennedy Echols. That lead was maintained until the seventh inning when PSU, in the final two innings, had a solo homer hit from Ellie Babbitt to tie everything up 2-2.

The Vikings opened the eighth inning with a solo homer from Emily Johansen, but that advantage was short-lived as Sacramento State used a dramatic final round to win.

Day, Mejia and Rodriguez each had two hits, and combined for six of Sacramento State’s seven hits.

Marissa Bertuccio (21-10) went the distance in the win, allowing seven hits and three runs with five strikes in eight innings. The 21 wins for the junior right-hander are tied for the second-highest single-season finals total at Sacramento State Div. Era I (1990-pres.).



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