SANTA CLARA, Calif. – 'Opening Day' for Santa Clara University's softball team is this Thursday, Feb. 9 in El Paso, Texas. The Broncos are preparing to face UTEP at 2 p.m. (PT) at the Miners' Helen of Troy Field. Santa Clara will then travel to Las Cruces, New Mexico, for five weekend games at the Hotel Encanto Invitational hosted by New Mexico State.
THIS WEEK' SCHEDULE:
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012
@ UTEP - 2 p.m. (PT)
Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 (Hotel Encanto Invitational; Las Cruces, NM)
vs. Saint Mary's – 8 a.m. (PT)
vs. Illinois-Chicago - 12:30 p.m. (PT)
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 (Hotel Encanto Invitational; Las Cruces, NM)
vs. Indiana - 2:30 p.m. (PT)
@ New Mexico State – 4:30 p.m. (PT)
Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 (Hotel Encanto Invitational; Las Cruces, NM)
vs. UTEP - 11 a.m. (PT)
LIVE COVERAGE: UTEP will be streaming a live video feed of Thursday's game on (UTEPAthletics.com). Access live stats for all five Santa Clara games at the Hotel Encanto Invitational via (NMStateSports.com.). Links to both of those streams can also be found on (SantaClaraBroncos.com) by clicking here.
"As a team we have been discussing how we will define success this season, and for each game it may be different," said Santa Clara sophomore pitcher Jessica Turner (pictured). "Ultimately we want to have a winning record, of course. However, overall we want to be competitive in every game we play, showing our abilities to every one of our opponents."
Turner threw 123 innings last season as a true freshman, starting 23 of the team's 39 games. She was one of just two available pitchers on the Broncos roster. However, Santa Clara has brought in a wealth of talent for 2012, adding three new pitchers and 10 new players overall, which should allow Turner additional rest and give the team much needed depth at just about every position on the field.
"I am most impressed with two of our freshmen, Breezy Bernard and Amity Tello," said Turner, when asked who has been difficult to pitch against during the team's preseason training. "Those two are incredible power-hitters. At times they seem to be two steps ahead of you, which also helps me prepare for games. They both cover the entire plate very well. The teams we play this year need to watch out for the both of them. They are definite game changers, and are truly fun to watch."
Santa Clara is led offensively by all-conference senior outfielder Briana Knight (.413 BA), who had 20 RBI, 8 homers and scored 22 times in 29 games last season. It's clear that Knight will hit in the middle of the Broncos batting order, but it should be interesting to see the entire Opening Day lineup Thursday.
2011 NFCA Junior College All-American Alyssa Jepsen hit .432 and slugged .435 playing shortstop at the College of San Mateo last season. Jepsen and Peruvian National Team member, true freshman Jaymi Bautista-Geiger, are two other new players to keep an eye on this weekend.
"There is a lot of new energy surrounding our program right now," said fourth-year SCU head coach Lisa Mize in a recent interview.
Mize will have the option of pitching Turner, Bautista-Geiger, New Mexico State transfer Carissa Theis or freshman lefty Briana Rios. Additionally, Mize now has the depth in the field to tailor her lineup in a way that best suits the players she has for each position, something that was prohibited last season due to injuries.
"As a team the biggest adjustment this fall was probably getting to know each other on and off the field," said Turner about the offseason prep. "With so many new people, it takes time to learn how everyone plays and reacts in certain situations on the field. The off-the-field relationships with each other are definitely the easier of the two. A lot of softball is about knowing your teammates and how they play."
It will be exciting to see how the team plays this weekend. Watch Thursday's game online and follow the rest of the weekend action via live stats. For the very latest on Santa Clara softball, follow the team's official Twitter page (@SCUSoftball) and the Bronco softball Facebook page for updates and information throughout the year.
June 25, 2012 Leaving a Legacy
April 29, 2012 SCU's Briana Knight Enjoys Seven-RBI Game On Senior Day
April 23, 2012 Future Looks Promising for Briana Rios and Bronco Softball
April 22, 2012 St. Mary’s Takes PCSC Series from Santa Clara Softball
April 18, 2012 SCU Softball Drops 10-2 Decision to Nation’s No. 1, Cal
April 10, 2012 Six Road Games Will Test Santa Clara Softball This Week
April 7, 2012 SCU Softball Drops Close Games to Sacramento State
April 6, 2012 Pitching Dominates Friday's Doubleheader in Sacramento
March 31, 2012 SCU Softball Stuns League-Favorite LMU in Conference Opener
March 28, 2012 No. 13 Stanford Pulls Away from Santa Clara, 9-2
March 25, 2012 Santa Clara's Rally Falls Short against UC Riverside Sunday
March 23, 2012 Santa Clara Edged by Brown and CSU at UCR Invitational
March 17, 2012 Iowa State Tops Santa Clara in Softball Saturday, 6-2
March 16, 2012 Santa Clara-Iowa State Softball Will Play at 4 p.m. Saturday
March 11, 2012 Briana Knight’s Slam Lifts Santa Clara in Tournament Finale
March 10, 2012 Bronco Softball Edged by Gaels and Gauchos on Saturday
March 7, 2012 JMU Rallies, Claims Doubleheader Over Santa Clara
March 3, 2012 Santa Clara Softball Just Misses Upset at San Jose State
February 26, 2012 Carissa Theis Punches Out 13 as SCU Softball Wins Again
February 25, 2012 Team Effort, Freshmen Provide SCU Softball With Clutch Win
February 24, 2012 Seattle Rallies Twice to Beat Santa Clara Softball In Extras
February 23, 2012 Bronco Softball Excited About Their Weekend Games in Moraga
February 21, 2012 UC Davis Escapes With 3-2 Victory, Spoiling SCU Softball’s Home-Opener
February 18, 2012 SCU Softball Drops First Two at Fresno State’s ‘Weekend Series’
February 17, 2012 Offense Has Been an Early-Season Spark for SCU Softball
February 12, 2012 Santa Clara Drops Tough 5-4 Decision to Unbeaten UTEP
February 10, 2012 Santa Clara Softball Tops Rival in Early-Season Tournament Play
February 9, 2012 Wallis Homers for Santa Clara in Season-Opening Setback to UTEP
February 6, 2012 SCU Softball 'Opening Day' is Thursday, Feb. 9 in El Paso
December 15, 2011 Join Bronco Softball for the Annual Crab Feed on Friday, Feb. 3!
December 5, 2011 Senior Kristin Welsh Helps Lead SCU Softball Into 2012 Season
November 11, 2011 SCU Softball Alumni Game Moved to Feb. 4, 2012
November 3, 2011 SCU Broncos Announce 2012 Softball Schedule
October 14, 2011 Fall Ball: Incoming Players Infuse New Energy Into Bronco Softball
September 19, 2011 Bronco Softball Releases 2011 Fall Schedule, Practice Begins Oct. 4
July 20, 2011 Santa Clara Softball: Walk-On Tryout Announcement