March 23, 2009

Softball to Play Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara on the Road

March 23, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team will remain on the road this week with two midweek doubleheader contests at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. The Broncos (5-21) will square off with the Mustangs of Cal Poly on Tuesday, March 24, in San Luis Obispo, Calif. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. The following day SCU will travel down the coastline to Santa Barbara, Calif. to square off with UCSB. Game time is set for noon against the Gauchos.

Last Time Out
The Broncos earned their fifth win of the season on March 21, versus Princeton at the Stanford Invitational. With two-multi run innings, SCU was able to outlast the Tigers of PU, 7-6. After being down two runs, Santa Clara broke through with four runs in the bottom of the third. Jeanine Ruffoni's single to left scored lead off hitter Jackie Nicora and two batters later Jenna Fong doubled to left field to score two runners. Rounding out the inning was Emily Batt, whose fielder's choice scored Ruffoni. The Broncos backed up their 4-2 lead with three runs in the fourth to solidify the victory. Freshman Kristin Welsh singled with runners on first and second. She advanced to second on the Tiger's throw and reached home on a PU throwing error. Both runners also scored, to tally three victory-solidifying runs.

Pitcher Fong earned her third win on the mound in the game and relief pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot earned her first save of the season. She closed out the final two innings of the game allowing no hits and throwing two strikeouts in six batters faced.

During the three day tournament the Broncos went 1-4. SCU was edged 5-4 by Winthrop and was shutout by Pacific 12-0 in the first day of play. The following day they split results defeating Princeton 7-6 and falling to No. 4 Stanford 6-1. The lone run versus the invitational hosts was the first game this season that Santa Clara has scored on a ranked opponent. In the final day of play the Broncos valiantly battled Pacific for the second time in three days. They fell 8-4, after earning a 1-0 lead to begin the game.

Rauschnot Saves the Day
Pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot manned the mound throughout the five-game Stanford Invitational from March 20-22. The Morgan Hill, Calif. native started in three games and came in relief in the subsequent two games on the weekend. The Bronco junior threw nine strikeouts and earned her first career save. Versus Princeton on March 21, Rauschnot came in at relief in the sixth and seventh innings. In her two inning stint, she threw two strikeouts and allowed no hits in six batters faced. She is the lone SCU pitcher to post a save on their resume this season. In 21 appearances this season she's tallied 22 strikeouts, four complete games, and a win and a save.

Knight Continues with Breakout Freshman Season
Freshman Briana Knight continues to be a stronghold in the Bronco lineup. At the Stanford Invitational from March 20-22, she led SCU at the plate with six hits, four RBIs, two doubles, two walks and a run. This season the Santa Clara rookie is hitting .360 and has started in all 26 games. She's 27-for-75, with 17 RBIs, 11 doubles, 10 runs, 10 walks and three home runs. The Bronco outfielder leads the team with four two-hit games and two three-hit games, and she currently is a on a three game hitting streak. Earlier this season she posted an eight-game hitting streak, which is the longest streak on the team this season.

From the Plate to the Mound
In her second season with the Broncos, pitcher Jenna Fong has become an integral part of both the SCU offense and defense. The Santa Clara sophomore is second on the team in hitting with a .271 batting average, and has 13 hits, five RBIs, four runs, three doubles and a home run. In the circle she's thrown a team leading 25 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched. She posts three wins and three complete games in 20 appearances. She earned her third win of the season versus Princeton on March 21. She tallied a hit and two RBIs at the plate, while throwing a strikeout and allowing only three hits in her all-around strong performance.

On the Road Again
Santa Clara remains on the road for four games this week, after playing their last eight contests away from their new home - the West Valley College Softball Field. The Broncos are 2-0 at home this season after back-to-back wins versus Northern Illinois on March 11. SCU will return home next after stints at Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, San Jose State, and at Portland State in the next two weeks. Their next home contest is on Friday, April 10, versus conference rival Loyola Marymount. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.

Scouting Cal Poly
Cal Poly hosts the Broncos amidst a 13-game win streak. They will play No. 4 Stanford on Monday at Stanford prior to playing Santa Clara. The unranked Mustangs (19-6) defeated No. 10 California 4-1 in the final day of play at the Capital Classic hosted at Sacramento State, in their last complete game. Leading CP this season is Melissa Pura, who is 29-for-78 with a .372 batting average in 25 straight starts. She has 23 RBIs, 13 runs, five home runs and five doubles. On the mound Anna Cahn is 12-3 with a 1.40 ERA. In 20 appearances, she's tallied 11 complete games, two shutouts and 97 strikeouts. She has given up 80 hits, 20 runs, 12 walks and five home runs, as well.

Scouting UC Santa Barbara
The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara (13-11) are coming off a pair of back-to-back wins versus San Diego on March 11. UCSB, who has not played a game in 12 days, will take on UCLA on Tuesday, March 24, in Los Angeles prior to hosting SCU. Leading the Gauchos in the circle this season is Krista Cobb who is 7-3 in 14 appearances. She posts 42 strikeouts, five complete games, three shutouts and a 2.66 ERA in 55.1 innings pitched. Cobb has given up 43 hits, 24 runs and 20 walks this season. Offensively, Christine Ramos leads UCSB at the plate with a .372 batting average. She's 32-for-86, with 16 runs, 10 RBIs, four walks and a double.