April 12, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara currently sits in second place in the latest Pacific Coast Softball Conference standings with a 2-2 mark and this weekend's away series with Sacramento State will be a chance to further separate itself from the pack. After dropping a close 3-2 decision to the Hornets earlier this season at the Stanford Invitational, the Broncos (13-24, 2-2 PCSC) are eager to gain revenge, especially since conference games carry much more weight than non-conference matches.
Sacramento State enters this weekend with an overall mark of 21-14 after splitting its series with Loyola Marymount last weekend. Leading the way for the Hornets will be recently crowned PCSC Player of the Week Lindy Winkler. She is currently batting a team-leading .413 with 45 hits on the year. In addition, Hilary Johnson and Jamie Schloredt have combined for 62 hits in 2006, with Schloredt also tallying 29 RBI, six doubles, and five homeruns. Six starters return for Sacramento State, including pitcher Nikki Cinque who has struck out 93 batters. Cassie Cervantes is in her first season in a Hornets uniform and has already made a huge impression on the collegiate level, posting an 8-4 record, while fanning 137 batters. Head coach Kathy Strahan has been at the helm of the Sacramento State softball program for 14 years, accumulating an overall record of 390-356-2.
"Sacramento State has done very well in preseason. Their pitching is doing excellent now and we need to get off to an early lead. On paper we are very evenly matched and it is just a matter of who shows up to compete that day," commented head coach Steve Rianda. "Offensively, we have very strong hitters and the ability to score runs in any inning. Injuries have hurt us a bit this year but everyone has been able to contribute and pick up the slack. This past weekend we played well [against San Diego] and stayed in every game. We are ready to take on the Hornets."