(Editor’s note: story by Montana Sports Information)
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Montana softball team dropped the opener of its three-game series at Sacramento State on Friday afternoon, falling 9-1 to the Hornets and pitcher Savanna Corr, who struck out 11.
The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was suspended due to darkness with the teams tied 5-5 going into the top of the 10th inning.
First pitch in the opener was delayed two hours because of rain. Game 1 also had a 38-minute weather delay that required another tarping of the field.
The delays did little to hinder Corr, who entered the game leading the Big Sky Conference in both ERA and strikeouts.
She won her 13th game of the season by allowing just two hits over six innings. She is the third starter this season to record 11 or more strikeouts against the Grizzlies.
Both of Montana’s hits came off the bat of Cami Sellers, who extended her hitting streak to eight games and recorded her fifth multiple-hit game in Montana’s last six.
After drawing a walk in the first, Sellers led off the fourth with a double, her Big Sky-leading 15th of the season. She hit her second home run of the season in the sixth for Montana’s only run.
Montana starter Colleen Driscoll kept the Hornets off the scoreboard through two, but Sacramento State scored five runs in the third on five hits and two Griz errors.
Maddy Stensby pitched the final 2 1/3 innings in a game that ended in the bottom of the sixth when a walk with the bases loaded extended Sacramento State’s lead to a game-ending eight.
Montana looked like a new team in Game 2, getting to Sacramento State starter Danielle Sperry for three runs on five hits in the top of the first.
Sellers got things rolling with a one-out double down the left-field line. Reilly Williams, Jessica McAlister, Maygen McGrath and Katie Pippel all had singles in the inning.
Pippel’s two-out, two-run single up the middle was her first hit since March 8 and her first RBI since March 2.
The lead lasted only through the bottom half of the inning, as the Hornets got to Griz starter Michaela Hood for four runs on four hits.
Sacramento State would add another in the third to make it 5-3, but Hood would look like her former self as the game progressed, setting down 13 straight batters between the fourth and ninth innings.
Montana made it 5-4 in the fifth on an infield single by McAlister that scored Lexi Knauss.
With Sacramento State holding a 5-4 lead going into the top of the seventh, the Hornets called on Corr to close it out, but she couldn’t seal it with a save.
Anne Mari Petrino led off the inning with a triple to left-center. One batter later, Knauss brought Petrino home with a sacrifice fly to center that made it 5-5.
Neither team threatened in extra innings until the bottom of the ninth, when Sacramento State loaded the bases with two outs on a Montana error, a single and a walk.
Facing last season’s Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, Hood got Suzy Brookshire to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The game was suspended following the final out of the ninth. That game will resume at 1 p.m. (MT) on Saturday, followed by the teams’ third and final game.
Sellers’ first-inning double extended her hitting streak to nine and gave her a hit in 12 of Montana’s last 13 games.
Williams, McAlister, who made her first start at third base since March 3, and Petrino all have two hits in the game for Montana, which has gone 5 for 8 (.625) with runners in scoring position.