April 6, 2008
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In a surprising turn of events, Santa Clara (7-34, 3-1 PCSC) nearly doubled their win total for the season this weekend as they beat the defending PCSC champions Loyola Marymount (25-14, 1-3 PCSC) twice on Sunday, and three times during the four game weekend.
Kaitlyn Rauschnot started the first game of the day and pitched five strong innings giving up just six hits and three runs, two earned.
The Lions came out strong, taking a 1-0 lead off a Chelsea Tysdale RBI, but the Broncos came storming back, claiming the lead in the second on Jackie Nicora's two-RBI double. Then in the third, Santa Clara loaded the bases and Ashley Blier came through in the clutch with a two-out single to score another run to bring the score to 3-1.
Rauschnot pitched three straight scoreless innings for the Broncos, including the third inning in which she got out of a bases-loaded jam unharmed. In the fifth inning she gave up one run on a double. In the sixth, the Lions led off with a single that knocked Rauschnot from the game. Jackie Morales, who pitched ten innings on Saturday, came in the game in relief and allowed the tying run to score on a groundout to short.
Santa Clara would not be denied as Ashley Grove singled to start the inning, was brought around to second on a Noelani Ho'opi'i walk, and scored as Amanda Edmonson hit a shot up the middle that was knocked down. After Maggie Godfrey walked to load the bases, Breann Netto struck out for the second out of the inning, but Blier came through in the clutch again with a two-strike, two-out single that scored two more runs to build the lead to 6-3.
Morales then retired the heart of the LMU lineup in order to get the win. That effectually ended the 11-game PCSC winning streak of LMU pitcher Tiffany Pagano who came on in relief in the fourth inning.
Blier had three RBIs on 2-for-3 batting, Nicora batted in two going 2-for-3 and Grove was a perfect 2-for-2 in the game.
Loyola Marymount again started the game out on top as Tysdale hit a two-run homerun to give the Lions a 2-0 lead. Santa Clara did not stay behind for long though, as Jeanine Ruffoni plated a leadoff homerun to cut the lead in half. The Broncos then proceeded to bat around and score four in the inning thanks a couple of key errors by the Lions.
Morales continued to be unstoppable for the Broncos as she earned a complete game victory, giving up just five hits over seven innings and allowing two runs. In the 25 innings played by Santa Clara this weekend, Morales pitched 19 of them, going 3-1 and getting the decision for all four games.
Ruffoni went 2-for-4 for the Broncos in the game, grabbing two of the team's six hits.
Santa Clara returns home this coming weekend to continue league play against Saint Mary's. There will be two double headers, one on Saturday, April 12 starting at noon and the other on Sunday, April 13 starting at noon as well.