Stanford Invitational II Presents Stiff Challenge to Broncos

March 21, 2006

Santa Clara, Calif. - The last time Santa Clara traveled to Stanford, Calif. for a tournament, it came away with a 2-3 mark at the Stanford Invitational I.  This time around, the Broncos are hoping to do a bit better, as they will be participating in the Stanford Invitational II this weekend.  Santa Clara will face Illinois at 3 p.m. on Friday, followed by Saturday games with Princeton (9 a.m.) and UC Davis (9 a.m.).  And if three games in two days weren't enough, Cal Poly will take on Santa Clara in a doubleheader on Sunday.  Game time is set to begin at noon.

The Fighting Illini faces off with the Broncos sporting an overall record of 9-12, which includes a 2-2 mark at last weekend's Capital Classic, hosted by Sacramento State. Senior Jenna Hall, who was named the Big 10 Player of the Week on March 14, is Illinois' big slugger at the plate, going 32-66 this year with eight doubles and eight homeruns. Senior Rachelle Coriddi and sophomore Shanna Diller have started all 21 games this season and for good reason: they supply great offensive support to Long, with 30 and 27 hits, respectively. Claire DeVreese has appeared in the most innings for Illinois (74.0) and has struck out 46 batters. Terri Sullivan enters her sixth season as the head coach of the Fighting Illini and has gone213-140-2 during her tenure in Champaign, Ill.

"It will be good to get back into game situations after a week of practices. This will give us some time to recover and some time to work on things," said head coach Steve Rianda. "Illinios will be a good team to open back up with. They are good but have had a similar year to us."

The Tigers (6-3) are coming off of a 4-0 record at the Capital Classic where they defeated Minnesota, Miami (Ohio), Southern Utah, and Nevada. Prior to the Stanford Invitational II, Princeton will take on Saint Mary's today in a doubleheader in Moraga, Calif. Recently crowned Ivy League Pitcher of the Week, senior Erin Snyder is among the top pitchers in school history, as she has accumulated 600 strikeouts in her career, making her Princeton's all-time leader in the category. This season, she has already fanned 39 batters in 3 games. Senior Amanda Erickson is hitting .360 after only nine games, with one homerun and two doubles this year. Maureen Barron, a former Princeton star that led her team as a pitcher to the Women's College World Series in 1995 and 1996, has been the head coach of the softball team since 2001 and has accumulated an overall mark of 144-104.

"They have only had a handful of games to date so we don't know what they have to offer yet," admitted Rianda. "However, I expect it to be a good game none-the-less."

The Aggies enter the Stanford Invitational II with an overall mark of 8-14, with their last contest coming against North Dakota State on March 12, resulting in a slim 5-4 victory. The two teams matched up earlier in the year in a doubleheader and Santa Clara came away with a pair of victories. Recently named Division I Independent Softball Player of the Week, sophomore Ashley Johnson is the team's leading hitter, with 23 hits to her credit, which includes three homeruns. Freshman Roxanne Hannan and senior Megan De La Hoya are also among the top offensive threats for UC Davis, as both have combined for 42 hits on the season. Junior Lindsay Tognetti is the Aggies' ace in the circle, boasting a 3-3 record and has struck out 68 batters this season. Karen Matteson-Yoder is in her second year at the helm of the Aggies softball program and has compiled an overall record of 15-61 during her time at UC Davis.

"The Aggies are a different team then when we opened up with them in early February," stated Rianda. "They are going to want some revenge and we need to take it right at them. Davis is a team that we must win."

Cal Poly travels to Marsalli Park with an overall record of 11-16, though it will face Saint Mary's in a doubleheader on Saturday, March 25. The two teams met earlier in the season at the Stacey Winsberg Tournament, with the Mustangs taking a 9-8 decision in the first game of a doubleheader and the Broncos returning the favor in a 7-3 victory in the following contest. Lisa Modglin has been on fire for Cal Poly, as she is leading the team in batting average (.376), hits (35), RBI (21), and homeruns (4). Sarah Iwata has also been dangerous at the plate, belting 21 hits in 2006, including six doubles, one triple, and two homeruns. Hurler Robyn Kontra has struck out 48 batters and has a team-low ERA of 3.24 on the year among all major starters. Jenny Condon is in her second year as the head coach of the Mustangs and has compiled an overall mark of 46-32.

"With Cal Poly, you can never let up and you can never have enough runs. They are a strong team throughout the line up," noted Rianda. "It will be good to play a team the second time around to see how we have learned from previous games. Hopefully our fans will come out and support us and make Cal Poly feel some Bronco Spirit."