Jan. 31, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team lost both of its games to open the 2003 season, dropping a narrow 4-3 decision to UC Santa Barbara earlier today, and then falling 4-0 to Long Beach State, as part of the Early Bird Tournament hosted by the Gauchos at Campus Diamond.
Long Beach took the lead in the first, scoring two unearned runs off of one hit. The 49ers increased that lead with one run each in the third and fourth frames. Lindsey Knoff tossed a five-hit shutout, while striking out five, and Lauren Johnson hit a solo home run for the 49ers.
Against the Gauchos, Santa Clara finished with six hits, including a home run by freshman Jessica Clee, as part of a two-run fifth inning. The Broncos opened a 2-0 lead in the third inning, as sophomore Kelley Johnson stole home for the Broncos' first score, but UC Santa Barbara evened the score during the next half inning, in part to two Bronco errors.
The Gauchos grabbed the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh, as right fielder Leslie Simien reached base on balls and then stole second. A single up the middle by second baseman E.J. Lauchland brought Simien home.
The Broncos remain at the tournament and will play twice on Saturday. Santa Clara will face Illinois-Chicago and the Gauchos before concluding the tournament on Sunday with another game against Long Beach State.