April 24, 2010

Big Fifth Inning Powers Santa Clara To Win Over Loyola Marymount

April 24, 2010

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

LOS ANGELES - Four runs on five hits, including two doubles, powered the Santa Clara softball team to its first Pacific Coast Softball Conference victory today as the Broncos split a doubleheader with conference leader Loyola Marymount. Santa Clara won the first game, 7-6, and fell in the second game, 9-3.

The Broncos got on the board with a leadoff home run by sophomore Catherine Surane to take a 1-0 lead, but the Lions rebounded with two runs of their own in the first inning. Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Rasuchnot struggled at the start of the game, with a wild pitch allowing the first LMU run, and a double scoring the second, but Rauschnot recovered and sent two consecutive Lions down swinging to get out of the inning.

Rauschnot was steady through the next two innings and got her third strikeout in the bottom of the third inning as Sam Fischer whiffed at the ball. Santa Clara tied the game in the top of the third when senior Emily Batt earned an RBI double, scoring senior Nicole Picard from second base.

The Lions regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single, but the Broncos powered back in response in the top of the fifth, scoring four unearned runs. Freshman Jamie Wallis got things going with an RBI-double, scoring Picard. Batt then singled, chasing Melissa Dykema from the circle in favor of Molly Medeiros. Wallis then scored on a throwing error by the short stop, Fischer, to give Santa Clara the lead. Sophomore Kristin Welsh's single scored Batt and her classmate Briana Knight doubled down the right field line to score junior Jackie Nicora to end the scoring for the Broncos as the LMU was finally able to get the final two outs, leaving three on base.

Santa Clara extended it to a four-run lead in the top of the sixth inning when Wallis scored from second base on a fielding error by the first baseman Kelly Sarginson but the Lions recouped the run in the bottom of the inning when Jennifer Nayudu scored on a throwing error by Wallis. Rauschnot picked up her fourth strikeout of the game in the sixth inning, a game-high this season, by foiling Fischer yet again at the plate.

The Broncos were held to one hit and no runs in the top of the seventh and survived to win, 7-6, after Nayudu made it interesting with a two-run homer with two outs. Wallis got the final out of the game and sealed the victory by catching Amy Charpentier's pop up.

Rauschnot earned her fourth victory of the year in the complete-game effort.

In the second game, the game began similarly to the first with the Broncos earning a 1-0 lead after the first half inning, but the Lions came out firing, scoring eight runs over the first three innings to assert control over the game.

Fischer redeemed her mistakes from the first game by sending a two-run shot over the fence and Sarginson followed suit, giving LMU a 3-1 lead after the first.

The Broncos used all four pitchers on the roster trying to figure out how to tame LMU's bats. Rauschnot started the game but only went one inning, getting replaced by freshman Ali Nash at the beginning of the bottom of the second inning.

Priscilla Patete gave Nash a sour welcome to the game by taking Nash yard in her first batter faced but Nash had help from her teammates to retire the next three consecutive batters, ending the inning. Nash was replaced by junior Jenna Fong after walking her first batter of the third and surrendering a double to Fischer in the second at-bat.

Fong did not fare well either, giving up her first run on a wild pitch and allowing a three-run home run by Sarginson, her second home run of the game. The defense then got all three outs after the four runs had scored to stop the bleeding.

Senior Megan Smith hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning off Medeiros, but that would be it for the Santa Clara offense for the rest of the game.

Darcy Pagnini hit a solo home run off Fong's replacement, freshman Riley McKay, in the bottom of the fourth to end all scoring as zeros dominated the scoreboard over the final three innings.

Rasuchnot was credited with the loss despite only pitching one inning as the Broncos moved to 9-23 overall and 1-8 in the PCSC. Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount will meet again tomorrow to wrap up the series with another doubleheader, slated to begin at 10 a.m.