Santa Clara Softball Plays Well in Home-Opener

SARATOGA, Calif. – All-league centerfielder Briana Knight hit a two-run homer and true freshman pitcher Jessica Turner provided a gutty performance from inside the circle, but Santa Clara was edged by Oregon State 4-3 Thursday in the Broncos official home-opener.

Knight – the Pacific Coast Softball Conference leader in batting average (.442), slugging % (.981) and on-base % (.508) – drove out her seventh homerun in the bottom of the first inning to put Santa Clara (6-15; 2-2 PCSC) up 2-1.

Oregon State (18-13; 1-5 Pac-10) responded by pushing in two runs in the top of the third to regain the lead and despite Turner limiting the visitors to five hits (four singles), the Beavers were able to escape with a one-run win.

"We should have won this game," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "We were playing against a Pac-10 team that swings the bat well and has some quality pitching, so give them credit. But overall we played a very good game. Jessica Turner turned it on, striking out four, giving us one of her best outings of the year. It was great to see her get more confident as the game went on."

Turner threw a complete-game, allowing just one earned run, with OSU scoring a fourth run after an SCU fielding miscue in the fourth inning. OSU leadoff hitter Lea Cavestany paced the Beavers offense by hitting a solo homerun in the top of the first and scoring twice.

Trailing 4-2 in the fifth, Knight hit an RBI-double to make it a one-run game. She finished the day 2-for-3 with 3 RBI. Jamie Wallis, Stephanie Fisher and Amanda Edmonson added hits for Santa Clara who opened up a stretch of playing 13 of its next 14 on their home field at West Valley College.

"Playing a game like we did today is going to help us going into the weekend," said Mize, looking ahead to a key PCSC series with LMU, which begins on Saturday. "We made some errors today that hurt us and will need to execute offensively."