April 6, 2003

Softball Wins 20th of the Season against LMU

April 6, 2003

Box Score

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team hit a program milestone this afternoon with its 20th win of the season, marking only the fourth time the win plateau has been reached in the 25-year history of the program. The Broncos did it with a 3-0 victory over Loyola Marymount in the second game of a double header this afternoon at Marsalli Park. The Lions took the first contest by a 2-1 score.

Santa Clara's overall record goes to 20-18, while it improves to 2-2 in Pacific Coast Softball Conference play. The Lions' record evens to 16-16, 2-2.

Today's victory also marked the second straight 20-win season for the Broncos, who posted 25 wins in 2002. With 21 games left in the regular season, Santa Clara is just six games shy of tying the program's best mark of 26 wins, set in 1986. The other 20-win season came in 1995 when SCU posted 22 victories.

The Broncos' offense caught fire in the second game with eight total hits. Second baseman Jenny Brown led off with a double to right center, and was followed by third baseman Vanessa Werner's single. Brown took advantage of a wild pitch from LMU's Krystal Kehr to give Santa Clara the early lead.

Freshman outfielder Jessica Clee opened the fourth with a double down the leftfield line and was brought home by senior Tracie Hall three batters later to open a 2-0 lead.

Santa Clara extended the shutout by a 3-0 score with sophomore Kelley Johnson's first home run of her career. She sailed the pitch just fair in left field during the fifth inning.

LMU threatened in the bottom half of that frame, placing a runner on third with singles from outfielders Jessica Grassi and Lisa Abbott. With no outs in the sixth, the Lions put another runner on third, but did not convert.

Liz Courter earned the win and is now 7-6 on the year. Kehr took the loss and fell to 8-6 from the circle.

In accordance with PCSC rules, the Broncos were the visiting team for today's games. At the plate first to open the day, two of the first three Bronco batters reached base on balls, forcing LMU head coach Gary Ferrin to call time just eight minutes into the game. The Lions escaped the inning with two quick defensive plays.

With two outs on the board in the fourth, LMU took a 1-0 lead as designated player Sami Strinz swung at the first pitch thrown and sent it over the fence at centerfield. Grassi added another run with her solo homer to left in the fifth frame.

LMU got the first hit of the game in the second inning, with a single down the left line by short stop Brittany Bassett. A runner was also on second after the batter was hit by a pitch, putting runners in scoring position with one out on the board. SCU pitcher Jaime Forman-Lau struck out the side.

The Broncos were in scoring position in the third and fourth frames-in part to two Lions errors-but could not convert. Santa Clara's first hit of the day came from Hall in the fourth, whose double to centerfield hit the fence and just barely remained in play. She added another double in the sixth.

Santa Clara rallied in the top of the seventh, as Brown reached base on an error and senior Coresta Salas was hit by a pitch. Clee advanced both runners with her sacrifice hit. Outfielder Lacey Smale followed with her sacrifice to score Brown. With the tying run on third base, Lion pitcher Samantha Lavino stuck out Hall to close out the contest and post her fourth win of the season. The Broncos stranded 11 runners total in the first game.

Despite the loss, Forman-Lau retired seven batters in the first three innings and finished with 11 Ks for the second consecutive outing. Her record in the circle moves to 13-9. She added her second save of the season in the second contest, striking out seven more.

Today's game concluded a seven-game homestand for the Broncos. Santa Clara will return to action on April 12 and 13, visiting PCSC opponent Saint Mary's. Both games are scheduled for noon first pitches in Moraga.