March 18, 2007
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team played their third game of the day Saturday against BYU at the Capitol Classic, and looked very strong until giving up a big inning in the top of the seventh, turning a four-run lead into a one-run deficit. Angela Kabanuck hit her team-leading seventh home run, a two-run blast in the fourth inning, and Jackie Morales pitched 6+ innings, striking out five.
After Morales sent the Cougars down in order in the first, she gave up a solo home run in the second, giving BYU an early 1-0 lead. Santa Clara bounced right back, however. With one out in the inning, a walk to the next batter set up the double-play which gave the Broncos all the momentum they needed to start scoring some runs of their own.
Two consecutive walks to start the bottom of the second set the stage for Santa Clara. Two straight bunts by Nicole Picard and Britney Sanford moved the runners along and eventually loaded the bases. Alyc Kalamaha followed up with a bases-loaded walk, tying the game 1-1, and a groundball to second base by Nori Kamada scored Maggie Godfrey from third base to give the Bronco's their first lead of the game, 2-1.
The third inning went fast, with the Cougars retired in order. For the Broncos, it may as well have been the same, following a hit by Ashley Blier.
But then in the fourth, Santa Clara took advantage of their opportunities, and grabbed three more runs. After a single by Ashley Grove, an error by the center fielder allowed Grove to advance all the way to third base. An infield single by Sanford put runners at the corners with nobody out, and the big bats coming up.
Kalamaha scored grove with a bunt-single, and then with two out, Kabanuck blasted her team-leading seventh home run, a two-run shot to left centerfield, extending the Broncos lead to 5-1.
But BYU wouldn't let Santa Clara go any further. Furthermore, in the top of the seventh inning, the Cougars put it together on offense, forcing Morales to hang on to what looked like the Broncos seventh win of the season. But a walk to start the inning and then three consecutive hits brought two runs in, narrowing the lead to 5-3, and forcing Morales out of the game. Jerrica Castagno, who pitched in her third game of the day, forced BYU to put the ball in play, and with one out another hit scored another run, making it 5-4, and putting runners at the corners.
Then, in what should have been the final out, a poor throw by Kalamaha allowed two runs to score before Castagno got the final out, her second strikeout of the inning. A 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh ended the day in the most heartbreaking fashion, as the Broncos dropped to 6-28.
Santa Clara will conclude play at the Capitol Classic Sunday morning against Iowa State at 9:00 a.m.