SARATOGA, Calif. – In a pair of hotly contested games that couldn't have been any closer, Sacramento State hit a pair of late-inning homeruns that eventually allowed the Hornets a sweep over homestanding Santa Clara Saturday in Saratoga. Game scores were 4-3 and 4-0.
Game One was extremely entertaining, with the lead changing hands twice before an unearned run in the top of the seventh broke a 3-3 tie and gave Sacramento State (16-22; 8-6 PCSC) the edge. Santa Clara (6-26; 2-12 PCSC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead on back-to-back solo drives from Stephanie Fisher and Briana Knight in the top of the first inning.
Knight – the PCSC's top hitter – was making her return to the lineup after missing the last five games with an sprained ankle. After Fisher pulled the second pitch of the game offered to SCU over the right-centerfield fence, Knight hit an opposite-field shot to nearly the identical spot to put the Broncos up 2-0.
It was Knight's team-leading eighth homerun of the season. For Fisher, a freshman from Tracy, Calif., it was the first of her young career.
With Game One tied 2-2 in the sixth, Jamie Wallis made what appeared to be a game-saving catch at the centerfield wall to rob the Hornets of a homerun and keep the game tied. It was one of a number of great plays Wallis made defensively in centerfield throughout the afternoon.
However, later in the inning, Kelly Shepard hit her second solo homerun of the game to push Sac State back in front 3-2. Shepard went 2 for 5 on the day.
In the bottom of the sixth, SCU senior Amanda Edmonson came up with a clutch game-tying single, scoring Kristin Welsh to even the game back up at three. Like Knight, Welsh was also making a return from injury, providing a big boost the Broncos at shortstop and at the plate offensively.
A pair of groundball singles off Bronco starter Jessica Turner put runners on base for Sac State in the top of the seventh and a fielding error plated the eventual winning run, overshadowing another strong outing from Turner, who scattered eight hits and allowed just two earned runs.
In Game Two, SCU senior starting pitcher Jenna Fong was terrific through six-innings. Fong was locked into a pitcher's dual with Sac State's Taylor Stroud, as the game went into the seventh with the Hornets holding a 1-0 lead.
One of Kelli Frye's three hits on the day helped put two insurance runs aboard for Sac State in the seventh. With one-out and two-on, Fong fanned Molly Smith but Emily McCormick followed with a two-out, three-run homerun to leftfield.
Santa Clara rallied to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Stroud got two key strikeouts to stop the Broncos momentum, retiring the final three batters in order to complete the shutout.
Catherine Surane and Welsh each had three hits for SCU on Saturday. As a team, Santa Clara totaled 14 hits in the two games.
The series will continue with a doubleheader Sunday in Saratoga. A ceremony honoring each team's senior student-athletes will preclude the first pitch, which is scheduled for 12 noon.
May 3, 2011 No. 10 Stanford Tops Santa Clara in Softball
May 3, 2011 Bronco Softball Wraps Up 2011 Season This Week
April 30, 2011 Hornets Edge Broncos in Softball Doubleheader Saturday
April 27, 2011 No. 9 Cal Softball Gets Past Santa Clara
April 26, 2011 Senior Weekend On Deck for Santa Clara Softball
April 23, 2011 Short-Handed Broncos Swept In Saturday Doubleheader
April 22, 2011 USD Tops Santa Clara in Softball, Series Resumes Saturday
April 19, 2011 Santa Clara Softball Battles USD This Weekend in Saratoga
April 16, 2011 Softball: LMU Takes Doubleheader from Santa Clara
April 14, 2011 Santa Clara Softball Plays Well in Home-Opener
April 13, 2011 Pacific Claims Tuesday Night Game Versus Santa Clara
April 11, 2011 Santa Clara Softball Begins 13-game Homestand This Week
April 10, 2011 SCU Softball Wins Again, Shutting Out Bakersfield 3-0
April 9, 2011 Santa Clara Softball Wins PCSC Opener, 4-3 Over CSUB
April 6, 2011 Wallis Has Winning Attitude
April 4, 2011 An Inside Look at SCU Softball: Senior Amanda Edmonson
March 29, 2011 UC Davis Outlasts Santa Clara Softball
March 26, 2011 SCU Softball Will Not Play Until Tuesday Due to Rainouts
March 24, 2011 Rain Forces Schedule Change for SCU Softball in Davis
March 23, 2011 Aggie Stampede Precludes Conference Play for SCU Softball
March 20, 2011 Rain Washes Out Softball's Game Sunday
March 15, 2011 Capital Classic in Sacramento On Deck for SCU Softball
March 13, 2011 SCU Softball Completes Day Two of Bronco Classic
March 13, 2011 Complete Results of Santa Clara Bronco Softball Classic
March 11, 2011 Santa Clara Wins at Its Own Softball Classic
March 9, 2011 2011 Santa Clara Bronco Classic This Weekend
March 6, 2011 SCU Softball Wins Three Times at Colorado State Classic
March 5, 2011 Santa Clara Softball Wins Again, Tops Sacred Heart 8-6
March 4, 2011 Offense Sparks SCU Softball Victory in Fort Collins
February 27, 2011 One Run Separates Santa Clara and No. 13 Oregon
February 26, 2011 SCU Drops Game to Pacific, Plays No. 13 Oregon Sunday
February 24, 2011 Weather Changes SCU Softball's Schedule in Stockton This Weekend
February 20, 2011 Bronco Softball Suffers Close Loss on Opening Day
February 14, 2011 SCU Softball’s Annual Crab Feed This Saturday!
February 4, 2011 Santa Clara Softball Fueled by Senior Leaders
February 4, 2011 Junior Welsh Hopes to Lead Team Again
January 25, 2011 SCU Freshmen Getting Initiated to Division I Athletics
January 18, 2011 SCU Softball Working Hard for Season-Opener February 20
January 11, 2011 Defense, Conditioning the Focus of Softball’s Preseason Training
December 6, 2010 Santa Clara Softball Announces 2011 Schedule
December 6, 2010 SCU Softball to Host Winter Prospect Camp on January 30
December 3, 2010 Extra Effort and a Positive Attitude Keys Success for Knight
November 22, 2010 Bronco Softball Inks Accomplished Class for 2011-12
November 17, 2010 Nicora Excited for Senior Season
October 27, 2010 Catching Up with Bronco Softball Player Jackie Nicora
October 21, 2010 Santa Clara Softball: Fall Training Underway