May 1, 2011

Santa Clara Softball Drops Heartbreaker in Home Finale

SARATOGA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University softball team wrapped up its 2011 home schedule with Senior Weekend; playing four games against Sacramento State University on the Broncos home field at West Valley College in Saratoga.

Santa Clara (6-28; 2-14 PCSC) was edged in four-straight close games to Pacific Coast Softball Conference rival Sacramento State (18-22; 10-6 PCSC), losing both ends of a doubleheader Sunday. Game scores went 4-1 and 5-2.

After a three-run setback in Sunday's opener, the series finale went into extra-innings. Catherine Surane – who went 5 for 12 (.417 BA) during the weekend – hit a two-RBI single in the top of the first inning to give SCU a 2-0 lead.

Still leading 2-0 behind the pitching of freshman Jessica Turner in the fourth, Sac State rallied for a pair of runs, the first coming off Emily McCormick's second homerun of the series.

With the game knotted at two, Turner was terrific in the late innings, working out of a jam in the sixth and retiring the side in order in the seventh. Earlier in the seventh, Santa Clara's offense loaded the bases with one out, threatening to take the lead.

However, Sac State starter Shelby Voelz induced a pair of groundball outs to keep the game tied. Veolz got out of the eighth unscathed – her seventh straight inning of scoreless pitching – and then her offense finally broke through on Turner to give the Hornets the lead and the series sweep.

With one out and two runners on base, Marissa Navarro hit a three-run walk-off homer to deep left-centerfield.

On the weekend, senior Jackie Nicora was 5 for 12 (.417 BA) with a double and provided SCU with a number of outstanding defensive plays in leftfield. Stephanie Fisher and Jamie Wallis each had four hits. Fisher and Briana Knight hit solo homeruns on Saturday.

The Broncos will play at Stanford on Tuesday, May 3 and will then conclude the season with a road series at St. Mary's Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8.