March 11, 2007
SUNNYVALE, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team came through with a big win Sunday as they played their final game of the NIST against the Charlotte 49ers from Twin Creeks in Sunnyvale, Calif. Freshman Lauren Passafuime earned her first career win and the Broncos had a very good day at the plate, picking up 12 runs on 11 hits as they defeated the Charlotte 49ers by a score of 12-1 in five innings.
A lineup switch appeared to pay off big in the first inning. Alyc Kalamaha walked to lead off the game as Angie Kabanuck was moved to the third position, and almost right away bases were loaded after two infield hits by Nori Kamada and Jackie Morales. Junior Ashley Blier was hit by a pitch, scoring Kalahama from third, and the next batter, Meghan Chavez, walked to bring in Kamada, giving Santa Clara a 2-0 lead with only one out. The next batter, Emily Batt, struck out, and then with two outs freshman Ashley Grove, who got the start at shortstop, came through in the clutch. Grove's single past the second baseman scored Morales from third, and Blier beat the throw home to give Santa Clara a 4-0 lead. Grove took advantage of the throw home and took off for second base, drawing a return throw and what was almost a rundown. An alert Chavez who had stopped at third, left for home plate, and drew the attention of the secondbaseman, and was thrown out at home plate to end the inning 8-to-2-to-4-to-2.
Passafuime had a good day, but it didn't start easy. The Charlotte batters were patient and were forcing Passafuime to throw a lot of pitches. In the second inning, Charlotte got one run back. A single and a walk put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third with just one out. Heads up play from Blier threw out the lead runner at home plate on a sharply hit ground ball. But a single to left field scored the second runner to narrow the lead to 4-1.
But from there on out, Charlotte didn't have a chance, as Passafuime kept the 49ers off the bases, giving up only two more hits the rest of the game.
Santa Clara wasn't content at 4-1, though. In the third inning, Kabanuck led off with a home run to deep right field, her sixth of the season. Later in the inning, Blier doubled to the gap in right-center and then Grove picked up her third RBI of the game with a base knock to right field, extending the lead to 6-1.
In the fourth inning, Santa Clara batted around. Two consecutive walks set the stage for Kabanuck, who advanced the runners and reached on an error. Morales put the ball in play toward the gap between third and short, and after shortstop Cee Brooks made a nice play to keep the ball in the infield, a poor throw to third went past the bag allowing Kamada to round the bag and score extending the lead to 9-1.
Santa Clara stole two more runs thanks to singles by Blier and Grove, who eached finished the day with three hits. On the day the two combined for five RBIs, Grove with three. In the top of the fifth, Santa Clara grabbed their final run of the morning after Kabanuck picked up her second hit of the game, Blier her third, and then Chavez sacrificed to left field, bringing the score to the 12-1 final margin.
With the victory, Santa Clara improves to 5-23 as they prepare for a rematch with Northern Iowa, a doubleheader on Wednesday at Marsalli Park beginning at 2:00 p.m.