April 5, 2003
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team opened the inaugural Pacific Coast Softball Conference with a 2-1 victory over Loyola Marymount this afternoon at Marsalli Park. The Lions rebounded with a 4-3 win in nine innings to close out the day. Santa Clara's overall record goes to 19-17, while the Lions record moves to an even 15-15 on the year. It was the league opener for both squads.
With the first game tied at 1-1 in the sixth, the Broncos pushed one run across the plate to secure the victory. Freshman Jessica Clee led off the bottom of the inning with a blooper shot between the third baseman and shortstop to place a runner of first. Clee reached second on a throwing error by the Lions' third baseman while outfielder Lacey Smale reached first on a fielder's choice. LMU pitcher Samantha Lavino loaded the bases with a walk to Salas. The Lions then changed pitchers as Sami Strinz entered the game. Shannon Linerud then hit a single to right field to drive in Clee, the winning run.
The Broncos tied the game in the prior inning. With two outs, junior Rachel Sherman reached first after she was hit by a pitch. Catcher Roni Rivera then hit a line drive blast to center field to place runners on first and second. Freshman Jenny Brown loaded up the bases with a single up the middle. Sophomore Kelley Johnson was then put in as a pinch hitter. With two outs on the board, Johnson hit a shot to center to drive in Sherman for her first RBI of the season.
LMU's sole run of the game came from Jessica Grassi's first home run of the season over the left field fence in the third inning.
Jaime Forman-Lau struck out six of the last seven batters and finished with 11 total to help ensure the Bronco victory, while pitching a two-hitter to improve to 13-8 on the season. Strinz's record falls to 3-6.
In the second game, the Broncos jumped out and took the early lead scoring one run in the bottom of the first. Outfielder Coresta Salas reached base after being hit by a pitch. Clee then advanced Salas to second with a sacrifice bunt. Smale drove in Salas with hit to centerfield.
In the top of the fourth with one out in the books, Santa Clara hurler Liz Courter walked Emily Foltz to place a runner at first. Foltz was then replaced by pinch runner Christina Costanzo. Grassi singled to center field to place runner on first and second. The bases were loaded by a single from Andrea Gutierrez. Courter walked Lisa Abbot to tie the game at one all. Casie Phillips then hit a single to drive in two runs for the Lions, giving them the 3-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the frame, Smale hit a single to right field with one out in the inning. Linerud then placed a sacrifice bunt to move Smale to second. Hall then hit her fifth home run of the season over the left field fence to tie the game at three all. Hall ties current Bronco teammate Sherman and former Bronco Kim Maynard with the most home runs in a single season at five.
In the top of the ninth, Tiffany Lawson reached first on a walk. She stole second and took third on a wild pitch. She scored the winning run for the Lions when she took home on a wild pitch.
Courter takes the loss for the Broncos and goes to 6-6 on the year. Strinz earns the win and goes to 4-6.
Today's game was the sixth for the Broncos of a seven-game homestand. Santa Clara will close out the series against the Lions at Marsalli Park on Sunday in continuing PCSC action. First pitch for the double-header is scheduled for noon.