May 11, 2002
MORAGA, Calif. - Senior Deanna Rodriguez turned-in a shutout performance for the second-straight day to lead the Santa Clara University softball team to a 5-0 victory over San Diego Saturday in the annual Western Intercollegiate Softball League Tournament hosted by Saint Mary's College.
The Broncos improved to 23-38 on the season with the win, while San Diego fell to 14-39. Santa Clara clinched the third-seed in the tournament and will play second-seeded Saint Mary's College at 9 a.m. Sunday for the right to advance to the 1 p.m. championship game against the winner of the 11 a.m. Loyola Marymount vs. San Diego contest.
"We are pleased to be in the two-three game on Sunday and avoid playing LMU in the first game of the day," said head coach Marcy Crouch, who has led Santa Clara to its second-most victories for a single season in the program's 24-year history. "I was encouraged with our run production this afternoon against San Diego and Deanna continues to really pitch well.
"It will be a challenge to face the host team in the first game of the morning on Sunday when we play against Saint Mary's. But, I think we are in a great frame of mind and our confidence level is at a place where we believe we can win two games and bring home the title. It will take two great efforts, though."
In the afternoon session's first contest on Saturday, Santa Clara dropped a 3-1 decision to top-seeded Loyola Marymount (37-33) despite jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the opening inning. Freshman Kelley Johnson came on in relief of starter Jennifer Ponzo in the top of the third inning and limited the Lions to just two hits but the Broncos were unable to score enough runs to backup the effort.
Against San Diego, shortstop Tracie Hall went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Broncos' offensive effort. Lacey Smale also recorded a 2-for-4 effort with two RBI. Rodriguez went the entire seven innings and allowed just three hits to earn her 12th win of the season.
Santa Clara jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead when Smale singled to score Rachel Sherman then advanced to third on back-to-back throwing errors. She scored on the next play when Hall singled. In the sixth inning Sydney Wiginton scored on a throwing error as Sherman stole second-base and the errant throw to home plate allowed the run. Smale then doubled to right field, scoring Sherman to give the Broncos the final 5-0 margin of victory.