March 28, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team will look to bounce back this week after dropping a doubleheader to Cal Poly on Sunday, but the road ahead will be difficult. On Wednesday, Santa Clara will travel to Fresno, Calif. to face No. 23 Fresno State in a doubleheader. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the second game to begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first one.
The Broncos (11-20) will head into battle with a trio of seniors leading the way. Recently named Pacific Coast Conference Player of the Week Jessica Clee banged her fifth homer of the year against the Mustangs in a 4-1 eight-inning loss on Sunday and now has a career total of 26, the most in program history. Jenny Brown and Shannon Linerud are second in hits behind Clee this season, as both have 29 on the year. In addition, junior Angela Kabanuck has posted 27 hits in 2006, with six of them being triples. In the circle, senior Liz Courter had one of her best games of the year on Saturday in a 3-1 victory over Princeton at the Stanford Invitational II. She went the full distance of the game and fanned 8 batters in the process.
The Bulldogs (20-13, 2-1 WAC) have won 10 out of their past 14 contests, including a 2-1 record this past weekend against visiting WAC opponent Nevada. Robin Mackin has been the star in the circle for Fresno State, as she has compiled a 16-8 record for the Bulldogs on a 1.48 ERA, striking out 248 batters this year. All-American shortstop Christina Clark has supplied much of the offensive power this year, as she has a .411 batting average to go along with her 39 hits, which includes 10 doubles in the year. Haley Perkins leads the team in hits with 41, while Kristi Sylvester has 37 hits on a .373 batting average. Margie Wright is in her 21st season at Fresno State, accumulating an overall record of 1,026-330 as the head coach of the Bulldog program.
"This is a tough trip, not only playing a top ranked team, but playing at a stadium that gets great support from the community," noted head coach Steve Rianda. "Liz Courter and Jackie Morales will take the circle tonight and will need to keep thier hitters off balence. They are both working very hard. Our defense is the key tonight in not giving anything extra to the Bulldogs. The team is excited to play."