Feb. 2, 2003
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team defeated Long Beach State 6-3 this morning to close out play at the Early Bird Tournament, hosted by UC Santa Barbara over the weekend at Campus Diamond.
The Broncos, 2-3 on the season, was led by strong offense. Junior catcher Rachel Sherman went 3-4 at the plate, with two doubles and one RBI. Junior Vanessa Werner and freshmen Jenny Brown each went 2-4 with two runs score. Defensively, junior Jaime Forman-Lau pitched the final four innings and earned the save with eight strikeouts.
Both teams registered 10 hits, but five errors by the 49ers aided the Bronco victory. Each team scored on run in the first, and Long Beach took the lead with one run in the bottom of the second.
Santa Clara responded with three runs in the third. Werner, playing third base, hit her second single of the contest and advanced to second on Brown's single. Sherman brought Werner in with her double to left field. The Broncos earned their fourth consecutive hit by senior Tracie Hall, who brought in Brown. Sherman scored on a throwing error by the Long Beach infield.
The next two innings were quiet for both teams on the scoreboard, but Long Beach scored a run in the sixth to make it a 4-3 game heading into the final inning. Santa Clara responded with two runs in the seventh. Brown opened the frame with a single, and Sherman followed with her second double of the game. Freshman Shannon Linerud grounded out at her turn at the plate, but brought in Brown. Senior Coresta Salas doubled to left center to bring in Sherman.
"We ended our first weekend of the season on a high note," head coach Marcy Crouch said. "It was very obvious on Friday that we were playing our first game, as we were really tight. But over the weekend we have been playing as a team more and this morning, I could really see how we came together. We stayed calm and worked our way through some tight situations. It's good momentum to take into next week, which is going to be a very tough tournament."
Santa Clara will return to action on Thursday at the Chevron Paradise Classic in Honolulu. The Broncos open the tournament with games against Washington and Louisville. On Friday, SCU will play Oklahoma State and host Hawaii. Saturday and Sundays games will be based on results from the first two days of competition.