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OGDEN, Utah — Right fielder Carley Morfey had one of the most prolific days in program history, and the Hornets overcame a pair of two-run deficits, to defeat Montana, 12-4, in their first game of the Big Sky Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
Sacramento State, which received a first round bye after earning the No. 2 seed, will advance to play top seed and tournament host Weber State tomorrow at 4 p.m. PDT. The winner of tomorrow’s game will advance to Saturday’s championship game at 11 a.m. PT. The tournament is a double elimination format, and the Hornets and Wildcats are the only squads remaining among the six-team field without a loss.
Morfey was incredible, finishing the game 3-for-3 with two runs, two homers and seven RBIs. She hit a pair of three-run jacks, and the seven RBIs not only tied a Sacramento State program record, they are also the most in Big Sky Tournament single-game history. Morfey’s first homer erased a 3-1 deficit to give the Hornets a 4-3 lead in the third, and the second 3-run blast broke a 4-4 tie to give Sacramento State a 7-4 advantage in the fifth. She would add an RBI-single in the sixth for her seventh RBI.
Sacramento State (29-23) scored five times in the sixth inning to end the game in mercy rule fashion. A sacrifice fly from Amber Rodriguez gave the Hornets an eight-run lead and ended the game at slightly over two hours.
The Hornets have now defeated Montana (20-26) all four times the teams have played this season. That includes a three-game sweep of the Grizzlies at home three weeks ago.
Both teams had 10 hits, but Sacramento State pounded three homers, all of which scored multiple runs. Lewa Day’s two-run blast, her 15th of the season, was part of that five-run sixth inning. Of the Hornets’ 12 runs, eight came via the long ball. Sacramento State found itself down, 2-0, after the first inning, and 3-1 heading to the bottom of the third, but those Montana leads were neutralized by three big swings by two of the Hornets’ most lethal power bats.
Marissa Bertuccio (20-9) went the distance in the win, scattering 10 hits while allowing three earned runs with one walk and three strikeouts. She stranded seven Montana runners on base, all in the first three innings of the game. In fact, Bertuccio allowed just one hit the final three innings of the contest. In the process, the freshly annointed Big Sky Pitcher of the Year became just the sixth pitcher in Sacramento State’s Div. I era (1990-pres.) to win 20 games in a season.
Seven different Hornets had hits in the game, including Alondra Mejia who was 2-for-2 with three runs scored, two walks and an RBI. Nikki Barboza and Rodriguez had a hit and an RBI, Samantha Parish scored a pair of runs, and Gwen Ludwig had a hit and RBI. Lexie Webb drew two of the Hornets’ six walks.
Three more games are on the Big Sky Tournament schedule tomorrow, including Portland State vs. Idaho State at 11 a.m. PT, Northern Colorado vs. Montana at 1:30 p.m. PT, and Hornets vs. Weber State at 4 p.m. PT. The loser of tomorrow’s SAC-WSU game will play on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. PT.