April 7, 2007
MORAGA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team wrapped up its first day of conference play Friday with a 5-4 loss to St. Mary's. Jackie Morales went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, but a three-run bottom of the sixth gave the Gaels their first lead of the day, and they didn't let it go.
In the top of the second, the Broncos threatened to put runs on the board by loading the bases witn one out. They managed to score, but two consecutive outs at home plate sent them back to the field with just one run.
Jerrica Castagno retired the Gaels quickly in the second and the Broncos got back to work. Nori Kamada led off with a single, and Angela Kabanuck followed up with a double to the gap in left-center. A sacrifice bunt by Jackie Morales scored Kamada from third to give Santa Clara a 2-0 lead.
But St. Mary's battled back in the bottom of the inning. With one out, two doubles and an error tied the game a 2-2. After the Broncos went three-up three-down in the fourth, the Gaels kept pressing for more runs. A single, walk and hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs, but Castagno stayed strong and sent the Gaels back to the dugout without a run.
In the fifth, Santa Clara took the lead again with a little help from sloppy defense on the part of the Gaels. Kamada reached on an error by the shortstop and then advanced to third on a single by Kabanuck, her second hit of the ballgame. After Kabanuck stole second base, an error in centerfield off the bat of Ashley Blier scored Kamada from third, and, advanced Kabanuck from second to third, while Blier was tagged out trying to reach second base. A two-out RBI single by Morales gave Santa Clara a 4-2 lead.
With a two run lead, Castagno was replaced by freshman Kaitlyn Rauschnot, who retired St. Mary's in order in the bottom of the fifth. After the Gaels did the same to the Broncos in the top of the sixth, they finally put a rally together in the bottom of the sixth. After sending all nine players to bat, five hits, a walk and an error yielded three runs, giving St. Mary's their first lead of the day, and they hung on for good, 5-4, after three quick outs in the top of the seventh.
The Broncos (8-33, 1-1) completed day one of conference play and will have another doubleheader Saturday, April 7 beginning at 12:00 p.m.