February 9, 2005

Cassel's Grand Slam Helps Softball Sweep SJSU

Feb. 9, 2005

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Sophomore outfielder Jillian Cassel hit a grand slam as her first collegiate home run to help lift the Santa Clara University softball team to two victories over South Bay rival San Jose State this afternoon at Marsalli Park. The Broncos won 4-2 and 8-3 to improve to 3-5 on the season. The Spartans fall to 2-3 overall. This contest is part of the two schools' Rivalry Series, which the Broncos now lead 19-4.

San Jose State took the early lead in the first inning of the second game, scoring two runs. With one out, the Spartans notched back-to-back singles by Michelle Newbold and Elisa Barrios. Both runners were brought home by first baseman Carlie Hill's double to right center.

SJSU's lead was short-lived, however, as the Broncos scored five runs in the bottom of the first frame. With two outs, and the bases loaded, first baseman Kelley Johnson was hit by a pitch for the third time in the doubleheader, allowing catcher Kate Goethals to walk home. Cassel followed with a grand slam that was just inside the foul pole in left field.

Santa Clara extended its lead in the fourth. Second baseman Jenny Brown led off the frame with a double down the left field line. One out later, Goethals registered a single to right center, and was followed immediately by outfielder Jessica Clee, who cleared the fences in right field. It marked her 12th career home run, granting her sole possession of the Bronco career mark in the category. She surpasses Kim Maynard, who posted 11 homers from 1996 to '99.

San Jose State added one run in the third with an RBI single from Hill.

Pitcher Liz Courter earned her first victory of the season, and Kat Castro took her first loss, allowing seven hits in four innings.

In the first contest, Santa Clara took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. A pitch hit Johnson to start the frame and then Cassel reached base on balls. Both were brought home by Brown's double to center. Brown advanced to third due to interference by the Spartan third baseman and scored herself on the Broncos' next at bat.

San Jose State countered in the top of the third with a two-out home run by Barrios that cleared centerfield. She also scored Courtney Lewis, who reached base on balls with one out in the frame.

Santa Clara pushed its advantage to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Clee walked to first and then scored on Johnson's double to right center.

Two of Santa Clara's first three innings were retired with the bases loaded. The Broncos finished with four hits, including a double to the left field fence by Clee to start the third frame and a sacrifice hit by Goethals in the second. Freshman Jerrica Castagno threw the first game, and improved her season mark to 2-2 after striking out four. Spartan Carol Forbes is now 1-2 on the season and struck out five.

Santa Clara hits the road for the next month, starting with a non-conference doubleheader at UC Davis this weekend. First pitch is slated for noon on Saturday at LaRue Field.