May 12, 2002
MORAGA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team won the Western Independent Softball League Championship this afternoon at Cottrell Field with a 12-5 victory over Loyola Marymount. The Broncos defeated host Saint Mary's 7-1 earlier in the day to advance to the Championship.
Junior outfielder Coresta Salas went 4-4 with two runs and four RBIs to lead the Broncos to victory over the top-seeded Lions. SCU notched 15 hits-- the second most allowed all season by LMU--as junior short stop Tracie Hall went 3-4 and freshman first baseman Lacey Smale went 2-4 with three runs and three RBIs. Senior pitcher Deanna Rodriguez and Smale were named to the All-Tournament Team.
In the championship game, the Lions' run of dominating pitching finally came to an end. Jennifer Heliotes tried to make her fourth start in three days but was able to go only two innings. She allowed just one hit but walked three that led to four runs. In fact, Santa Clara had a 6-2 lead after two innings and expanded the lead with two more runs in the third. The Broncos outscored LMU 4-3 in the sixth inning for the final runs.
Trisha Gomes led LMU, going 2-4 with one double. Bronco hurler Rodriguez earned the victory and improved her record to 14-14 as the Broncos closed out the season with a 25-38 record. The 25 wins marked the second most in school history for one season, falling just one victory short of the 1986 Bronco squad's 26-12 mark.
SCU topped second-seeded Saint Mary's in the elimination round of the tournament by a score of 7-1. Sophomore Rachel Sherman led the Broncos at the plate as she went 2-3 with one double and three RBIs. The Broncos took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning as Sherman singled to give the Broncos their first hit of the day. In the third inning, the Broncos improved their lead as Sherman hit a sacrifice fly to center field that plated senior Kristi Harrington from third. In the sixth inning the Broncos combined for four more runs on four hits, taking advantage of two Gael errors.
The Gaels' only run came in the third inning when Lauren Capoccia scored from second off of a Kami Gray single. The Gaels combined for only three hits against Rodriguez. Sara Wiedlin suffered the loss for the Gaels as she pitched three innings, allowing two hits, two walks, and three earned runs. The Gaels finish the year with a 17-37 mark.