March 21, 2010
STANFORD, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team completed play in the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic today, dropping a 6-3 decision to Princeton this morning.
It was the Broncos fourth meeting of the season against the Tigers, and although Santa Clara took an early lead they were unable to hold on in the final innings.
Princeton took a two-run lead in the first inning after freshman starting pitcher Ali Nash was called for several illegal pitches.
In the second inning, sophomore shortstop Kristin Welsh, who finished 3-for-3 on the day with three singles, recorded the second hit of the game for the Broncos after senior first baseman Emily Batt singled. The sequence started a drive in which Santa Clara would score three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-2 lead.
Junior outfielder Jackie Nicora grounded out to the shortstop but drove in Batt and senior second baseman Megan Smith slugged a double to left center to score Welsh and junior designated player Stephanie Smith. The Broncos' run was cut short by a groundout to third base, ending the half-inning with four hits, one error, and two left on base.
Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot came in relief of Nash after the first batter of the bottom of the second. Rauschnot held Princeton to no runs for three innings and got a key strikeout and assist in the third inning with a runner on third.
The Tigers had a big fifth inning, taking advantage of two hits and two errors to score three runs and regain the two-run lead it had after the first inning. Meanwhile, Santa Clara's bats fell silent, only getting two hits, one each in the fourth and the sixth.
Princeton iced the game in the sixth on a home run from Jamie Lettire with two outs.
The Broncos, now 5-13, will return to Stanford next weekend for another tournament, the Stanford Invitational. Santa Clara will face UC Santa Barbara and BYU for the first time this season, will meet conference opponent Cal State Bakersfield for the second time, and Pacific for the third time.