March 21, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team broke a seven-game losing streak with a 7-6 victory over Princeton University Saturday evening at the Stanford Invitational. The Broncos, 5-20 overall, came back from a 2-0 deficit in the third inning to score four runs and followed with three runs in the fourth inning to solidify the win. In their first game of the day, the Broncos fell to No. 4 Stanford 6-1. It was the first game of the year that Santa Clara has scored a run on a ranked opponent.
In the bottom of the third SCU tallied four runs and two hits. Jeanine Ruffoni hit a single to left field to score lead off hitter Jackie Nicora. Two batters later Jenna Fong doubled to left field to bring home Breann Netto and Kristin Welsh, who went 1-for-2 versus the Tigers, 5-8 overall. Rounding out the four-run inning was catcher Emily Batt. Batt reached on a fielder's choice to score Ruffoni and give SCU a 4-2 lead.
The following inning Nicora was walked to lead off the inning for her second straight at bat. Briana Knight was also walked two at bats later. Freshman Welsh followed with a single, which she was advanced to second on the Tigers' throw. She then reached third on an error by the PU centerfielder to come home and score. Nicora and Knight also scored to tally three runs in the inning.
Princeton attempted a comeback in the fifth with two runs, but it was not enough to edge Santa Clara. Fong, who posted two RBIs in the contest, earned her third win on the mound. In two innings pitched, she had three strikeouts and allowed only three hits in 14 batters faced. Starting in the circle in the game was junior Lauren Passafuime, who threw three strikeouts in 17 batters faced in her three inning stint. Earning her first save of the season was Kaitlyn Rauschnot, who closed the final two innings of the game allowing no hits and throwing two strikeouts in six batters faced.
Against Stanford (27-1), the Broncos battled the top-five team for the first four innings. The Cardinal, who has shutout 14 opponents this season, earned an immediate 1-0 lead in the first inning. Santa Clara responded with a run in the third to tie the game at one-all off a Knight doubled down the left field line.
After holding the tournament hosts to one run in four innings, the Cardinal broke through with three runs in the fifth and two runs in the sixth to earn their 26th straight win.
SCU closes out play at the Stanford Invitational versus Pacific. First pitch is set for 11:15 a.m. After falling on Friday to UOP, the Broncos look to bounce back and win their second game in a row.