March 24, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team dropped both games of a non-conference doubleheader to UC Riverside this afternoon at Marsalli Park. Game scores were 3-0 and 6-2. The Broncos' record falls to 13-16, while the Highlanders improve to 10-23.
Santa Clara's offense threatened early, loading the bases in the first and with two outs, and Jillian Cassel looked to have a home run on her hands. However, Highlander center fielder Jamie Yee crashed through the outfield fence for a solid catch that preserved the scoreless tie.
UC Riverside took a 1-0 lead in the fourth, when shortstop Mandi Salcido singled down the first base line. Third baseman Melissa Sanchez had been on second, after singling up the middle and advancing on the next Highlander out. She scored when the Bronco defense misplayed Salcido's hit.
The visitors extended their lead in the sixth with two additional runs. Jessica Black reached base on balls and moved to second when a Bronco error put Melissa Sanchez on base. One out later, Salcido's hit brought in Black, and an ensuing single from Jen Thompson brought in Sanchez.
The Broncos were held to five hits. Including Jenny Brown's bunt single in the first, shortstop Shannon Linerud led off the third with a single up the middle and pitcher Liz Courter followed with a single to start the fifth. Cassel and Kelley Johnson notched back-to-back singles with two outs in the sixth.
In the second game, UC Riverside once again took the early lead, scoring one run in the third. This time the Broncos responded, tying the game in the bottom half of the frame. Catcher Kate Goethals singled to the outfield to start the Bronco offense. Pinch runner Meghan Chavez took over and promptly stole second. Two outs later, and RBI single by Linerud brought in the home squad's first run of the day.
The Highlanders recaptured the lead in the fourth, scoring two runs off a Bronco error and singles by Traci Bender and Thompson. UCR extended its lead one inning later. April Murray and Yee hit back-to-back singles and were brought home by Sanchez' 2RBI double down the third base line.
Bronco outfielder Jessica Clee notched her fifth home run of the season, going deep to center to lead off the bottom half of the fourth.
Murray finished with three stolen bases for the Highlanders, while Sanchez recorded three RBIs.
The Broncos remain at home and will close out the Spring Break week at Marsalli Park on Friday, hosting St. Francis College of New York. First pitch of the non-conference doubleheader will take place at Marsalli Park at noon. Admission is free. Santa Clara will then break for the Easter holiday and return to action next week with three more home contests. SCU will host Brown on Wednesday, and then follow with the Pacific Coast Softball Conference opener against Sacramento State during the weekend.