Jan. 31, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team dropped a narrow 4-3 decision to UC Santa Barbara to open the 2003 season, as part of the Early Bird Tournament hosted by the Gauchos at Campus Diamond.
Santa Clara opened a 2-0 lead in the third inning, as sophomore Kelley Johnson stole home for the Broncos' first score. She started the offense with a single down the left field line. Junior Vanessa Werner returned after redshirting last season and advanced Johnson to second with her sacrifice hit. Freshman Jessica Clee moved Johnson to third. Gaucho pitcher Carly Harmon walked freshman Jenny Brown. As Brown stole second, Johnson arrived safely at home plate. Brown rounded the basses as senior Tracie Hall reached first on a passed ball.
UC Santa Barbara evened the score during the next half inning, in part to two Bronco errors.
Santa Clara scored again in the fifth, with a two-out home run by Clee to the right field. Santa Clara followed in the sixth with three hits, including a double by junior catcher Rachel Sherman, but could not capitalize on the scoreboard. UCSB again had the answer, tying the game in the bottom half of the frame in the same fashion, a home run by catcher Jami Trinidad.
The Gauchos grabbed the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh, as rightfielder Leslie Simien reached base on balls and then stole second. A single up the middle by second baseman E.J. Lauchland brought Simien home.
Each team finished with six hits. Bronco transfer Jaime Forman-Lau took the loss, while Harmon pitched a complete game for the Gauchos for the win.
The Broncos remain at the tournament and will take on Long Beach State at12:30 p.m. today. On Saturday, Santa Clara will face Illinois-Chicago and the Gauchos before concluding the tournament on Sunday with another game against Long Beach State.