April 2, 2005

Softball Opens Defense of Conference Title with Victory

April 2, 2005

Box Score |  Photo Gallery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University softball team opened the Pacific Coast Softball Conference season with a 1-0 victory over Sacramento State on a windy afternoon at Marsalli Park. The Hornets took the afternoon contest 7-3 to even the squads' league records. Santa Clara is 18-17 overall, 1-1, and the Hornets are now 18-14, 1-1.

The Hornets opened today's action tough, with senior pitcher Brianne Ferguson throwing a no-hitter through the sixth inning and striking out seven in the contest. Offensively, the Hornets finished with three hits, singles from outfielder Hilary Johnson, catcher Erin Coyne and short stop Gloria Toledo.

The game's action turned up a notch with two outs in the top of the seventh, as the Hornets loaded the bases. Outfielder Lindy Winkler started the frame reaching base on balls and stole second. She advanced to third two outs later, and was joined by Toledo and pinch hitter Kayla Williams who both walked. Bronco pitcher Liz Courter ended the threat with a called strike to the Hornet first baseman Danielle Ackland.

Santa Clara's defense sparked its offense, and the Broncos' only two hits of the afternoon came in the bottom half of the seventh. Junior outfielder Jessica Clee started the frame with a single to center field and was followed one out later by short stop Shannon Linerud's game-winning RBI triple to right field to end the contest. Courter earned her ninth victory of the season in the circle.

The second game favored the visitors, as Sacramento State went up 3-0 in the second, in part to two Bronco errors. Back-to-back hits were notched by Amy Hillel and Toledo to start the frame. Sac State added three runs in the fifth and a final score in the sixth. The Hornets scattered nine hits in the second game, led by Leslie Mayhorn's 3-for-3 effort. Nikki Cinque earned the victory in the circle.

Santa Clara was held to one hit in the first five frames, a single by junior second baseman Jenny Brown to lead off the first inning. Brown sparked the offense again in the sixth, singling to center to advance Angela Kabanuck, who reached base on balls. One out later, with both runners advanced one base, Jillian Cassel's sacrifice hit brought in the Broncos' first run. Clee followed with an RBI single for another SCU score.

Santa Clara continued the rally in the seventh, notching three consecutive singles with two outs on the board. The Broncos scored one additional run, but could not complete the comeback. Jerrica Castagno pitched four innings and took the loss. Sara Overmier finished the game. The two combined for seven strike outs.

Santa Clara will play another doubleheader against the Hornets on Sunday at Marsalli Park. First pitch is scheduled for noon. Admission is free.