May 6, 2010

Softball Will Wrap Up Season This Weekend

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team will head to San Diego this weekend to finish off the 2010 season with two doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday against the Toreros. The series is set to begin Saturday at noon on the campus of the University of San Diego. Sunday's games will also begin at noon.

The Broncos head into the weekend led offensively by sophomore Kristin Welsh. Welsh is batting .311 and has five doubles, one triple, and two home runs along with 11 RBIs. Sophomore Briana Knight leads the team in home runs (7) and RBIs (23). Senior Emily Batt is hitting .299 and is second on the team in slugging percentage at .481.

In the circle, senior Kaitlyn Rauschnot leads the pitching staff in wins (4) and out of the four pitchers has nearly twice as many innings pitched (128.1) as the next highest, freshman Ali Nash (69.2).

This weekend's games against San Diego will be pivotal in who makes the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Championship series from the Coastal Division. At the moment, Saint Mary's leads the division, but if the Gaels do anything less than sweep CSU Bakersfield, many scenarios could happen. Santa Clara could play the spoiler for the Toreros if they win just one of the four games and Saint Mary's wins three-of-four against the Roadrunners. If the Broncos are swept and the Gaels lose one, Saint Mary's and San Diego will be forced to make up a doubleheader from Sunday, April 11 that was canceled due to inclement weather to determine a division champion.

Currently the Toreros are 19-24 overall and 8-6 in PCSC competition. Jennifer Ellenbeck leads the team with a .322 batting average and Taylor Hensley is the only other San Diego player above .300. Hensley is also the Toreros big bat with a team-leading nine home runs this season. Ellenbeck is also San Diego's top pitcher with a 3.70 ERA and a 13-11 record. She also has 112 strikeouts in 155 innings pitched.

Santa Clara is currently sitting at the bottom of the PCSC Coastal Division standings with a 9-32 overall record and a 1-15 conference record.