April 19, 2011

Santa Clara Softball Battles USD This Weekend in Saratoga

PCSC Weekly Release (PDF)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
A weekend series against Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) rival University of San Diego is on deck for the Santa Clara University softball team, Friday and Saturday, April 22-23. Doubleheaders will start at 12 noon on both days on the Broncos' home field at nearby West Valley College in Saratoga.

After a 2-2 start to league play, Santa Clara (6-19; 2-6 PCSC) was swept by Loyola Marymount last weekend in Saratoga and has lost seven straight. San Diego (17-14; 7-1 PCSC) on the other hand, is red-hot. USD has won seven straight and is tied for first in the conference standings.

Santa Clara's offense is led by junior outfielder Briana Knight (.442 BA), the league's top hitter, who was an unfortunately scratched from the Bronco lineup against LMU with a sprained ankle. The Broncos managed 9 runs in five games last week in losses to Oregon State and LMU.

As a team, the Broncos are hitting .218 and scoring around 3 runs per game on average. Knight has accounted for 47 percent of the team's runs this season, scoring 16 times and driving in 18. SS Jamie Wallis (.246 BA) ranks among the PCSC leaders with 7 homeruns. Wallis, a native of San Jose and graduate of Lynbrook High School, has three doubles and two homers in eight conference games thus far in 2011.

UT Catherine Surane (.205 BA) and OF Jackie Nicora (.254 BA) are also hitting the ball well in recent PCSC games. Surane is 8-for-22 (.364 BA) against league pitching. Nicora went on a team-best eight-game hitting streak from March 12 through April 12.

Santa Clara's defense is possibly the team's biggest area of concern right now. The Broncos have committed 44 errors, compared to 15 by their opponents. It has really hurt the pitching staff, which has been forced to absorb 38 unearned runs.

Senior Jenna Fong (5-6; 5.96 ERA) and freshman Jessica Turner (1-12; 9.55 ERA) have handled most all the pitching duties. Freshman 1B/P Kelly Scribner (.250 BA) has made four pitching appearances on the year, but has not been used inside the circle since March 12.

San Diego's offense was impressive during the Toreros four-game sweep over CS Bakersfield last weekend. Led by junior INF Jessica Tieszen (.370 BA) and freshman UT Dana Prelsnik (.356 BA), USD has scored seven or more runs in four of its last five games. Similar to SCU, rain washed out a number of USD's early-season games, but Toreros have found a nice rhythm as of late. USD was 22-25 overall last season and 11-7 in the PCSC. They enter the weekend already owning seven conference wins in 2011.

Follow all the action this weekend via Live Scoring on SantaClaraBroncos.com

Pacific Coast Softball Conference Standings
(Apr. 18)
Coastal Division

Loyola Marymount … 7-1/23-21 (W4)
San Diego … 7-1/17-14 (W7)
Sacramento State … 3-5/11-21 (L2)
St. Mary's … 3-5/7-19 (W2)
Cal State Bakersfield … 2-6/14-26 (L6)
Santa Clara … 2-6/6-19 (L7)

Mountain Division
Northern Colorado … 7-1/11-29 (L1)
Portland State … 5-3/17-15 (W4)
Utah Valley … 5-3/12-21 (W1)
Seattle … 5-3/9-25 (L1)
Weber State … 2-6/9-27 (W1)
Idaho State … 0-8/7-27 (L4)