March 7, 2003
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team defeated Virginia Tech 9-2 in the opening game of the National Invitation Softball Tournament, hosted by San Jose State University at the Twin Creeks Complex in Sunnyvale. Santa Clara fell to ninth-ranked Arizona State 2-1 in the second game and is now Santa 11-10 on the season.
Sophomore Lacey Smale -- who only returned to action last week after a back injury kept her out of the first 17 games of the season -- hit a grand slam just right of center in the first inning. Junior Rachel Sherman added a home run as the Broncos took a 5-0 lead.
"We totally dominated," SCU head coach Marcy Crouch. "Our team came out absolutely ready to play. There was a lot of intensity from our girls early on. It was fun."
Freshman Liz Courter led the Bronco defense in the circle, allowing no runs in six innings of play. Sherman finished 3-3 at the plate and added another home run to Santa Clara's score. Senior Coresta Salas also earned three hits, including two doubles. Vanessa Werner added two hits.
In the loss to the Sun Devils, senior Tracie Hall hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Broncos' only score. Despite striking out 11 batters, Jaime Forman-Lau took the loss in the circle for Santa Clara. An unearned run was the game-winner for Arizona State.
"We were disappointed in the outcome against ASU," Crouch added. "We were right in the game all seven innings. We're going to rebound and are looking to do some good things the rest of the weekend."
Santa Clara will play The University of Missouri-Kansas City at noon today in continuing pool play action. The winner of that contest will play again at 4 p.m.