April 17, 2010
SARATOGA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team moved to 8-20 overall today following losses in two Pacific Coast Softball Conference contests against Cal State Bakersfield at the Broncos' home field at West Valley College. Santa Clara fell, 4-1, in the first game of the doubleheader and 7-3 in the second.
A big second inning by the Roadrunners in the first game was all it took as the Broncos tried to play catch up the rest of the game. CSUB hit two two-run homers, one by pitcher Sammy Rodriguez and another by first baseman Ryane Petersen to take the 4-0 lead. Following Rodriguez' homer that made it 2-0 in favor of the Roadrunners, senior pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot made her first relief appearance of the day, replacing freshman starter Riley McKay.
The second inning turned out to be even more pivotal as CSUB was able to strand three Santa Clara runners on base in the bottom of the inning after a double by sophomore Briana Knight in the Broncos' second at-bat of the inning.
Rodriguez struck out nine Santa Clara batters, only allowed four hits, and was not charged with an earned run. The Broncos scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning on a ball put in play by freshman Jamie Wallis that was fumbled by the third baseman with the bases loaded.
Senior Emily Batt had two of the four hits, both singles. McKay faced only 10 batters, but took the loss to fall to 1-4 on the season.
In the second game, Santa Clara took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after Knight crushed a ball over the center field fence. Two at-bats later, senior Megan Smith copied Knight, sailing the ball over the center field fence for the Broncos second home run of the inning.
Bakersfield answered right back though, tying the game with yet another long ball home run, this time from Kristen Archuleta, whose drive scored two runs.
The game got away when the Roadrunners loaded the bases in the fourth with two outs but still managed to score five runs to take a 7-2 lead. Things started going downhill for Santa Clara when Jill McLelland's slow-rolling single to center field was bobbled by Knight on the pickup, a rare error for the normally sound fielder, allowing Stefanie Frei to score from second base. The next play, Petersen hit her second home run of the day, a three-run shot that chased starting pitcher freshman Ali Nash from the circle and brought in Rauschnot in relief for the second time of the day. Rauschnot was able to get the final out of the inning, fielding a short hit by Archuleta and getting the easy out at first.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Broncos nearly closed CSUB's lead to two, but left fielder Frei robbed sophomore Catherine Surane of a three-run homer in left center, grasping the ball at the last second with her arm extended over the fencing for the second out of the inning. Surane ended up getting credit for a sacrifice fly on her long hit, scoring junior Jackie Nicora, but the play turned out to be a game-changing moment as the Roadrunners were able to get the third out of the inning on the next at-bat and the lone run of the half-inning would turn out to be Santa Clara's final score of the game.
The Broncos had another good chance to get runners across the plate in the fifth, gaining momentum as senior Nicole Picard successfully bunted to reach in Santa Clara's first at-bat. Picard was put out on the next play when junior Amanda Edmonson reached on a fielder's choice. Edmonson then made it to third on junior Jenna Fong's single to deep center, but got caught trying to get home for the second out of the inning. The Broncos loaded the bases with a single by Nicora while Batt was hit by a pitch, but Bakersfield managed to get the third out and put an end to any run Santa Clara could have made and went on to win, 7-3.
Knight finished 2-for-3 at the plate, adding a single to her home run. Nash struck out one and fell to 3-5 on the season.
With the two losses, the Broncos were left still searching for their first conference win. Santa Clara and CSUB will meet again tomorrow at West Valley College in another doubleheader event beginning at noon.