March 16, 2007
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Santa Clara opened play at the Capitol Classic in Sacramento Calif. and did so on a very high note. The Broncos put together a season-high seventeen hits and scored in five consecutive innings to defeat Mercer by a score of 14-6 in five innings. Freshman Ashley Grove was 3-for-3 and hit her first career home run, a grand slam, finishing the day with six RBIs.
The Broncos got on the board first in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI double by Ashley Blier. But in the bottom of the first, Mercer came storming back. With two out and runners on second and third, a single to center put Mercer up 2-1. Another single and then a fielding error by freshman Breann Netto, who made her first start since returning from an injury sustained at the Mustang Classic in February, allowed a third run to score. A double steal with runners at the corners brought in the fourth run for Mercer, who led 4-1 after the first inning.
But Mercer's lead wouldn't last long. With two out in the top of the second, freshman Ashley Grove collected her first of six RBIs with a single to left field, scoring pinch runner Britney Sanford, who was running for Netto. Following Grove, three consecutive singles scored Grove and Alyc Kalamaha, tying the game at 4-4.
In the third inning, Grove unloaded with a grand slam to deep centerfield, giving Santa Clara an 8-4 lead. In the fourth inning the Broncos had four more hits, including an RBI double by Sara Overmier, and singles by Kamada and Angela Kabanuck who each collected RBIs as the lead was extended to 12-4
In the bottom of the fourth, two singles and a fielders choice loaded the bases. A single and a walk gave Mercer two runs to narrow the lead to 12-6, temporarily avoiding the mercy rule.
But the Broncos put together three hits in the top of the fifth including an RBI double for Overmier, her second straight RBI double, and an RBI single for Grove, her third hit and sixth RBI of the game.
In the bottom of the inning, Jackie Morales took care of business, striking out two batters and keeping Mercer off the scoreboard to preserve the victory by mercy-rule. Morales pitched five strong innings, giving up six runs, eight hits and recording four strikeouts.
With the win, Santa Clara improves to 6-25 as they will continue the Capitol Classic Saturday with one of their busiest days of the season. Santa Clara will play three games, beginning with a rematch with Iowa at 10:00 a.m., before facing Purdue and BYU. Santa Clara will conclude play at the Capitol Classic Sunday morning with yet another rematch, against Iowa State at 9:00 a.m.