BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Santa Clara University's softball team won its Pacific Coast Softball Conference opener 4-3 over Cal State Bakersfield Saturday afternoon on the road. Cleanup hitter, junior centerfielder Briana Knight, went 3-for-3, hitting her fourth homerun of the season and senior pitcher Jenna Fong went the distance to win her fourth game.
"I was really excited to see the intensity and drive from this team," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize, whose squad was getting back on the field after missing nine games recently due to rain in the Bay Area. "The team came out hungry and ready to play some ball today."
The Broncos (5-12; 1-1 PCSC) dropped Game Two of the doubleheader 6-2, ending the day with a split over the homestanding Roadrunners (13-19; 1-1 PCSC). The two teams will finish the weekend series by playing a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon.
"They stayed focused for all seven innings in both games," said Mize. "It would have been nice to get two, but if we play like we did today we have a good chance to come out tomorrow and finish the weekend strong."
Knight hit an RBI-double in the first inning of Game One to put SCU on the scoreboard right away. Fong was able to hold CSUB to just two runs through the first four innings, giving Santa Clara a chance to take the lead in the later innings.
Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Knight hit a solo homer to left-centerfield and in the fifth, Catherine Surane drove one out to give Santa Clara a 3-2 lead.
"It was nice to see so many people contributing," said Mize. "Kelly Scribner had some good at-bats, Jackie Nicora made some great plays in the outfield and Amanda Edmonson caught two solid games for us behind the plate."
Bakersfield put two runners aboard in the bottom of the seventh inning, threatening to take the lead – and the game. However it was Fong who induced the final out with the tying run on second and the possible winning run on third.
"(Jenna) Fong had an excellent outing, really staying composed," said Mize. "She hit her spots, stayed ahead in the count; she did a really good job."
In Game Two, Bakersfield was able to generate six runs on seven hits, using a four-run third inning to break a 2-2 tie and would hold on for the win. SCU starter Jessica Turner pitched well but the four-run Bakersfield third inning would eventually give her the loss despite keeping the Roadrunners off the scoreboard in the final three frames.