March 7, 2010
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team picked up its first two wins of the season, downing Cal State Bakersfield, 6-5, and Cal State Northridge, 5-2, in the final day of the Matador Invitational today. Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot got her first win of the season over the Roadrunners and earned a save against the Matadors.
The Broncos were scheduled to play both teams yesterday, but rain forced the cancellation of the games. Santa Clara was originally supposed to play Saint Mary's and Cal State Northridge on Sunday, but played CSUB in place of the Gaels.
The Broncos engineered a come-from-behind victory over the Roadrunners, tying the game with runs in the second and third innings after falling behind 2-0 in the first.
Junior pitcher Jenna Fong started the game for Santa Clara but was retired after 3.2 innings pitched and allowing two runs on six hits. Fong was replaced by Rauschnot in the fourth inning with two outs after the Broncos allowed three runs on two hits and two errors. Rauschnot struck out Ryane Petersen to end the inning.
Santa Clara pulled within one run in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two runs with two outs on the board. Sophomore Briana Knight earned the RBI with a single to score senior Emily Batt, who reached on a base hit and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Fong. After Knight's single, freshman Jamie Wallis singled through the left side to score Megan Smith who had reached on a walk.
The Broncos tied the game at five-all in the bottom of the sixth with senior Megan Smith's homer to center, then held Cal State Bakersfield scoreless after two hits in the top of the seventh. Santa Clara's Jackie Nicora then iced the game with one out on the board, driving home Batt on a sacrifice fly to right field for the winning run.
Against Northridge, freshman Ali Nash picked up her first collegiate win in the circle and the Broncos were fueled by a five-run second inning.
Santa Clara loaded the bases on two singles and an error and Nicora was walked to score the first run, tying the game 1-1 after the Matadors took a first-inning lead. Junior Stephanie Smith then singled up the middle, scoring Batt. Megan Smith was walked after that to make it 3-1. Knight then singled up the middle to score another base-hit RBI and caused Northridge to make a change in the circle. Wallis recorded the final RBI of the inning, grounding out to second to drive in the run. The Matadors scored their final run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning.
Nash pitched a solid five innings before being swapped for Rauschnot after one batter faced in the sixth inning. CSUN threatened with loaded bases in the sixth, but the Bronco defense came through with a play at the plate and earning a 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Santa Clara (2-7 overall) will next play a midweek doubleheader at UC Davis on March 11 beginning at 1 p.m.