May 23, 2001
The Santa Clara University softball team recently completed its season, posting a 17-40 record and placing second at the Western Independent Softball League Championship. Under second-year head coach Marcy Crouch, the Broncos posted the most wins in the last three years. A few season highlights:
Junior Deanna Rodriguez threw a complete game shutout for her third straight win as Santa Clara upset top-seeded Loyola Marymount 1-0 for a chance at the Western Independent Softball League title. The Broncos ended up falling to Saint Mary's 3-2 in extra innings to place second in the tournament, held May 11-13 in Los Angeles. For her efforts, Rodriguez, along with sophomore outfielder Coresta Salas, earned WISL All-Tournament Team honors. The Broncos scored the game-winning run in the top of the sixth when Salas scored on Rodriguez's double. In the championship contest, Saint Mary's took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, but SCU evened the game in the top of the sixth when Lauren Fissori's single scored Salas. With the game in extra innings, Santa Clara scored Tracie Hall from second on Vanessa Werner's single. But the Gael's struck right back and loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth. SMC tied the game at two, and then won the WISL title with a sacrifice fly.
The Broncos' biggest win of the season came on March 2, against ninth-ranked Arizona State on the Sun Devils' home field in Tempe. It was the first time Santa Clara had ever defeated ASU in the teams' 10-game series. ASU took the early 1-0 lead in the third inning, but the Broncos responded in the fourth and fifth innings with two unearned runs. Sophomore Tracie Hall walked to lead off the sixth and advanced to second on junior Deanna Rodriguez's single to center field. Junior Kristi Harrington then sacrificed the runners up one base each. Sophomore Coresta Salas pinch hit into a fielder's choice, but Hall beat the throw home for the third run. Salas then stole second, while Rodriguez came home to score. Arizona State added a home run in the bottom of that inning for the final tally.
The Bronco defense centered around a solid pitching core in senior left-hander Krista Barry and junior right-hander Deanna Rodriguez. The two continued their assault on the record books. Barry finished her career with 33 wins, the second-highest total in SCU history. She was also second in appearances (141), starts (122), innings pitched (770) and shutouts (11). She ranks third all-time in complete games (79) and strikeouts (213), while logging the fifth-best ERA at 3.26. With one year left to add to her totals, Rodriguez is already second in career strikeouts (296), fourth in appearances (87) and shutouts (7) and fifth in career wins (18) starts (73), complete games (44) innings pitched. Additionally, Barry's 2.13 ERA for 2001 just missed the single-season top-five list.
Sophomore outfielder Coresta Salas nailed the Broncos' only home run of the season. She did it against UC Santa Barbara in the Easton Invitational, hosted by the Gauchos. It marks the second straight season the Broncos have only posted one home run, as current short stop Tracie Hall did it as a freshman in 2000.
Junior outfielder Sydney Wiginton continues to add to the school's stolen base record she set last season. With 77 stolen bags, she has 40 more Jill Rivera's four-year total of 37 -- current Bronco Jenny's older sister. After stealing an all-time season best 42 bases as a freshman, Wiginton added 16 as a sophomore and 19 this past season. Additionally, she entered the career charts at fifth place in both runs (61) and hits (132).