March 14, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team opened a doubleheader against the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) at Marsalli Park with a 4-1 loss. Jackie Morales struck out five and Angela Kabanuck extended her hitting-streak to 15 games, but a few big hits for UNI made the difference as the Broncos fell to 5-24.
After quick 1-2-3 innings in the first, Santa Clara strung a couple hits together in the second. Then in the third inning the Broncos capitalized. Ashley Grove led off the bottom of the third with a double, a blast to right centerfield. On the very next play, Nicole Picard put the ball in play and beat the throw to first. Second baseman Megan Machovec, who was covering on the play, was not able to hang onto the ball, allowing Grove to score from third to give Santa Clara a 1-0 lead.
Later in the third, with two out and Nori Kamada on second base, the Panthers did something unexpected. With one run already in, another in scoring position and the hot hitting Kabanuck stepping up to the plate, pitcher Jen Larsen gave Santa Clara their first intentional walk of the season.
In the top of the fifth inning, UNI would put the pressure on. Despite two quick outs to start the inning, consecutive singles at the top of the order set the table for Stephanie Aguero, who launched a double to the wall in center, clearing the bases and giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
In the 6th, the Panthers tacked on two more runs. A double by Rachel Gerking led things off, and after a dropped-third strike resulted in a poor throw to first by Grove, UNI had runners on second and third. Two consecutive sacrifices allowed insurance runs to score, increasing the lead to 4-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Broncos needed hits. Angela Kabanuck caught the defense off guard with a surprise bunt which she beat out, extending her hitting-streak to 15 games. In the seventh, Meghan Chavez reached base on an error, but the Broncos were unable to take advantage, and the game ended 4-1.
The Broncos will face UNI one more time this afternoon at Marsalli Park before the Capitol Classic this weekend in Sacramento, Calif.