ISU Women's Softball
Game Recap: Softball | 4/30/2023 4:13:00 PM | Jonathan Match, ISU Media Relations
POCATELLO, Idaho – When the Idaho State Bengals came into Shea Field in Sacramento, Calif., the Sacramento State Hornets needed to win just one of three games to clinch the 2023 Big Sky Regular Season Championship.
The Bengals instead swept the Hornets, winning the third game of the series Saturday afternoon 6-1.
Now, the Bengals have a chance to grab a share or clinch the title next week at Weber State.
Coach Rich's Thoughts
"What a great weekend all around for our group. Couldn't ask for more from them, especially given the circumstances and knowing that we had to sweep to stay in contention. Our team played fantastic in all phases of the game and I couldn't be prouder of them.
Jordan threw fantastic again today. She had to find her rhythm a little bit after that first inning but she gave us a big lift only giving up the 1 in the first and then was lights out the rest of the way. She's experienced and she wants the ball in these situations and she was awesome all weekend.
Kennedy had a huge day for us. To get down 0-2 against a pitcher of that caliber and be ready to do damage on a mistake still is great. She got a couple of good pitches to hit with runners on base and that carried us today.
Throwing that rubber out at 2nd kept all the momentum on our side. We had just gone ahead and if they get a double to start up their inning then we let some of that momentum skip. Kaylee made a great throw and Skyler made a great tag and that just helped us keep things rolling our way."
How it Happened
The final game of the series looked to pit two of the top Big Sky pitchers in Jordan Schuring and Marissa Bertuccio in the circle.
The Bengals, staring down the reigning Pitcher of the Year in Bertuccio, instead went off offensively scoring five runs and seven hits off her before the Hornets pulled her in the fourth.
If there was ever a case made for a Player of the Week nod, it goes to the performance Jordan Schuring had all weekend capped by the win today.
Saturday afternoon against the Hornets Schuring went to work. Over seven innings Schuring only allowed one run and didn't allow a single walk from Sac State while striking out two Hornets to win the game and pick up her ninth win of the year.
Over the weekend the only word to describe Schuring is Dominant. The Bengal pitched 15.2 innings with a staggeringly low 0.57 ERA only walking three Hornets total in three games played and throwing seven strikeouts.
The Bengal's defense was humming against the Hornets Saturday afternoon.
Kaylee Butterworth had the throw of the season Saturday afternoon. After the Hornets slammed a line drive over her head in left field, Butterworth didn't give up, instead recovering the ball and launching it to Skyler Sethman at second who was waiting to get the tag in on the sliding Hornet. The amazing throw stopped the Hornets from getting a runner in scoring position and let the Bengals hold onto their 3-1 lead.
A little-known fact is Idaho State this season has five true-freshman on the roster. Regardless of their year, all five have made an amazing impact on the Bengals' squad this season.
Saturday afternoon, one of those freshmen, Kennedy Dudley had a stand-out game when it truly mattered. Dudley scored five RBIS for the Bengals not backing down from the Big Sky pitcher of the Year. Instead, Dudley knocked in a three-run home run and a two run-double to put the game out of reach.
In the series with the Hornets, four Bengals hit over .300. Ava Brown led the team with an impressive .788 batting average with seven hits and a .889 SLG percentage. Olivia Robison followed hitting .455 and Angelica Cano and Kennedy Dudley both hit .300 on the series.
Brown now leads the team on the year with a .349 batting average.
Three Bengals now have six home runs on the year after Angelica Cano rocked her sixth over the left field wall Saturday afternoon against the Hornets.
The Bengals' destiny is now in their own hands as they head to Ogden, Utah Wednesday and Thursday to take on the Weber State Wildcats in a make-up series from earlier in the season.
After the sweep, the Bengals now have a chance to grab a share or outright clinch the 2023 Big Sky Regular Season title. If the Bengals win two of three against Weber, they share the title with Sacramento State and if they sweep the Wildcats, the Bengals win the title outright.
First, they play a single game against the University of Nevada Monday afternoon, then head to Ogden for the pivotal Big Sky Series.
Follow along with Idaho State Athletics' social media for updates and news on the program as it comes in.