May 30, 2003
The Santa Clara University softball team recently completed its season, posting a 30-25 record and setting a new single-season mark for wins. Under fourth-year head coach Marcy Crouch, the Broncos took the inaugural Pacific Coast Softball Conference Championship down to the final day of action before settling for second place. A few season highlights:
The 30 wins marked the most in school history for one season, surpassing the 1986 Bronco squad's 26-12 mark. A sweep of Sacramento State on April 27 tied and then set the record. It took a home run in the ninth inning by senior Coresta Salas to secure the milestone win. The team doused head coach Marcy Crouch with a cooler of water to celebrate. A win on April 6 over Loyola Marymount marked only the fourth time the Broncos had reached the 20-win plateau. It was the second straight for the Broncos, who posted 25 wins in 2002. The other 20-win season came in 1995 when SCU posted 22 victories.
Head coach Marcy Crouch was named the Pacific Coast Softball Conference's Coach of the Year after leading the Broncos to a second-place finish in the inaugural year of the PCSC. In her fourth year at the helm of the SCU program, Crouch guided the team through a milestone season, posting a record 30 victories, more than any other Bronco squad in the 25-year history of the program, and setting numerous season marks.
Junior pitcher Jaime Forman-Lau was named the league's Pitcher of the Year. A first-team All-PCSC selection, she is a seven-time conference Pitcher of the Week winner, and led the PCSC with 112 strikeouts in 94 innings. League opponents hit only .123 against Forman-Lau, as she boasted a 0.89 ERA in conference play. On the season, Forman-Lau shattered the SCU strikeout record, with 279. She added a program-best 11 shutouts and ties for first with 21 wins in a season. Her overall ERA of 1.32 ranks second in Bronco history and is fourth in innings pitched, with 244. She threw a perfect game against San Diego on April 19, striking out 14 in the historic outing. Additionally, Forman-Lau was named to the Pacific All-Region second team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
The Broncos found their success in a balance of experienced talent and fresh faces. Four freshmen started for SCU: Jenny Brown (second base), Jessica Clee (left field), Liz Courter (pitcher) and Shannon Linerud (short stop). Additionally, transfer Jamie Forman-Lau started in the circle, while Vanessa Werner was coming off a redshirt season. This means that six starters will return for the 2004 season.
After only notching one home run in 2000 and 01, the Broncos recorded eight in 2002. Santa Clara more than tripled that mark this past season, notching 27 homeruns. It broke the 15-homer mark that was set in 1997.The Broncos officially tied the record on March 22 with a solo homer by Lacey Smale against Illinois-Chicago. They surpassed the 15-homerun plateau three days later on March 25 against UC Santa Barbara, with Jessica Clee's solo shot. Leading the homerun frenzy was Tracie Hall who set a single-season home run mark with six this year. Clee added five and Coresta Salas four in leading the team to the new standard.
The Broncos successfully defended their team spirit award, for their outstanding example of Bronco spirit among the student-athlete population. The team closed the season with its fourth annual Homerun Derby competition on May 28 and a banquet on May 29, in which Coresta Salas was named the Bronco of the Year.