April 23, 2002
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Despite two runs scored by sophomore designated player Rachel Sherman, the Santa Clara University softball team was unable to notch a victory in the opener against San Jose State, falling 3-2 in nine innings at SJSU Field. The second game of the doubleheader also favored the Spartans, 2-1.
Santa Clara, now 19-30 on the season, remains at on the road and will travel south to play three doubleheaders in three days. The Broncos start against UC Riverside on Friday and then Loyola Marymount on Saturday. Both games will begin at 1 p.m. at their respective venues. Santa Clara will also face San Diego on Sunday at noon to close out the weekend.
The Broncos scattered eight hits throughout the game, including a double by Sherman in the second to start SCU's offense. The visitors scored two hits--both bunts--in the following frame from juniors Kristi Harrington and Coresta Salas. San Jose State responded in the bottom of the inning, with a single up the middle from short stop Miranda Gonzales. A Bronco error put second baseman Tara Hall on base. Right fielder Becca Baldridge singled to load the bases, and was followed by infielder Dianna Lilly's sacrifice fly that brought home Gonzales. The Broncos tagged Baldridge on the same play and recorded the final out to end the inning.
With one out in the next frame, Sherman posted her third home run of the season, high above the left field fence, to even the scoring. Moving on to the fifth, Spartan pitcher Brianne Ferguson walked the first two batters. Salas' single advanced Harrington to third and the bases were loaded when Ferguson walked Smale, forcing the Spartan coach to switch hurlers and end the Bronco threat.
Santa Clara kept the momentum going in the sixth inning. Sherman singled while junior catcher Roni Rivera and freshman pitcher Jennifer Ponzo both reached on fielder's choices. Harrington's hit dropped right in front of the Spartan center fielder, allowing Sherman to score. Ponzo slid to stay safe at third, but the Broncos couldn't increase their lead any further.
Senior Deanna Rodriguez made a great throw from right field, allowing Rivera to make a great play at the plate in the bottom half of the sixth to preserve the Bronco lead. Freshman Kelley Johnson entered the circles for the Broncos in the seventh, but could not stop a late Spartan rally that saw Baldridge double to bring in a runner and sent the game into extra innings.
With no action in the eighth, Harrington earned a one-out single, but was caught stealing. Winning Spartan pitcher Carol Forbes tripled to right field and reached home on a single by Gonzales to end the opener.
In game two, Forbes pitched a complete game for her 15th victory of the season as she allowed four hits and struck out three.
The Spartans took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Veronica Ramos hit her second home run of the season to left field. Santa Clara scored one run in the top of the sixth inning as Salas started the inning with a double to left field. She advanced to third on a Sydney Wiginton sacrifice bunt. First baseman Lacey Smale then hit a double down the right field line to score Salas. Sherman walked to put two on for SCU, but Deanna Rodriguez grounded out to Forbes to end the rally.