May 1, 2010
SARATOGA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team fought to the end, taking Saint Mary's to nine innings in the first game and challenging hard in the second game, but fell to the Gaels in a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader today at West Valley College.
Saint Mary's went up 2-0 by the middle of the third inning of the first game, scoring once on a wild pitch and once on a passed ball, but Santa Clara rallied to take a one run lead in the bottom of the fifth.
Freshman Jamie Wallis scored the first run for the Broncos after singling to left center to get on base and advancing to third on senior Emily Batt's single to left field. Wallis and Batt then executed a double steal, as the Gael catcher tried to pick off Batt going to second, but the throw was short, allowing Batt to record the stolen base while Saint Mary's could only watch as Wallis took home.
The third straight hit of the half inning by junior Jackie Nicora advanced Batt to third and Nicora took the extra base on the throw that held Batt back from scoring. Following that, the Gaels' starting pitcher, Britany Linton, was replaced by Kimberly Green. Green hit sophomore Kristin Welsh, her first batter faced, with a pitch to load the bases before finally forcing sophomore Briana Knight into a popup for the first out.
Junior Amanda Edmonson made sure Santa Clara would take the lead with her fourth double of the season, scoring both Batt and Nicora. Green finally got out of the inning with two straight strikeouts.
Saint Mary's equalized in its next turn at the plate with a RBI-single by Kayla Gonzales that scored Whitney Heuser.
The Gaels looked as if they would come back to steal the game from the Broncos with a three-run seventh inning, but Santa Clara's Knight nailed a three-run home run over the left center fence with no outs on the board. Three straight outs after Knights homer sent the game into extra innings.
Nicora's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning matched Michelle Mounts solo shot in the top of the inning, but the Broncos couldn't find an answer for Mandy Camuso's leadoff homer in the ninth inning, giving the game to Saint Mary's.
Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot went the whole game, striking out six, and fell to 4-14 with the heartbreaking loss. Linton earned the win and improved to 12-9 with 5.1 innings pitcher and five strikeouts.
Three crooked number innings put the Gaels ahead, 7-2, at the end of the third inning of the second game as both freshmen pitchers Ali Nash, who started, and Riley McKay struggled to find their control on the ball. Rauschnot was brought in to get things cleaned up; pitching two complete innings, the second and the third, but eventually had her day ended.
Junior Jenna Fong relieved Rauschnot at the beginning of the fourth inning and pitched four perfect innings for Santa Clara, striking out two of her 12 batters faced.
Santa Clara's first run of the game in the first inning came on its second double steal of the game, this time Batt coupled with Surane to allow Surane to cross the plate. In the second, senior Megan Smith homered to left field for the Broncos' second run.
Edmonson caused Saint Mary's some pain in the fourth inning, driving her second double of the day just fair of the first base line in right field and spinning the ball away from the defense into foul territory. The helpful bounce allowed two runs to score, cutting the Gael's lead to just three runs with no outs on the board. However, a pitching change by Saint Mary's brought three consecutive outs after the swap to cut the rally short.
Both teams were unable to score for the remainder of the game and with the 7-4 Gael victory, Santa Clara fell to 9-29 on the year and 1-13 in conference play.
Nash suffered her seventh loss of the season after allowing three runs in the first inning. Both Nicora and Edmonson finished two-for-three at the plate.
The two teams will finish their series tomorrow with another doubleheader at West Valley College with the first game beginning at noon. The games, the Broncos final home set of the season, will serve as senior day for the four outgoing seniors, Kaitlyn Rauschnot, Nicole Picard, Megan Smith, and Emily Batt.