Two Games Slip Away from Santa Clara Softball at Hotel Encanto Invitational
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Junior College All-America transfer Alyssa Jepsen (Redwood City, Calif./Notre Dame, Belmont) made her 2012 debut for Santa Clara and homered against Hotel Encanto Invitational tournament host New Mexico State, but the Broncos gave up a combined 13 runs in the final innings to both NSMU and Indiana en route to a pair of walk-off losses in Las Cruces on Saturday.
Trailing just 3-0 in the fifth against Indiana in Saturday's opener, Briana Knight (Fairfield, Calif./Angelo Rodriguez) hit an RBI-double to centerfield to score teammate Stephanie Fisher (Tracy, Calif./Tracy), cutting the deficit to two. However, Indiana exploded for six runs in the bottom half of the frame, capped off by Cassie Gogreve's bases-clearing 3-RBI double down the right field line, ending the game at 9-1.
Six different Broncos registered a hit in Saturday's opener against Indiana, led by Fisher, who had two. True freshman pitcher Jaymi Bautista-Geiger (Gainesville, Fl./Oak Hall School) worked into the fifth before lefty classmate Briana Rios (Modesto, Calif./Central Catholic) was called upon in relief. Bautista-Geiger (0-1) was the pitcher of record for SCU and was tagged with the loss.
Jepsen was cleared to play for the first time Saturday and responded with a leadoff single in the first inning against NMSU in the afternoon game, then belted a two-out homer to right field in the fifth. Helped along by the pitching of Tulsa native Jessica Turner (0-2), the Broncos were tied with NMSU 1-1 into the third and Jepsen's solo shot pulled SCU back within two, 4-2, in the fifth.
Similar to what happened late in the game against Indiana, the Broncos gave up seven runs in the bottom of the fifth and watched their opponents enjoy another walk-off victory.
Santa Clara (1-4) will wrap up its season-opening six-game trip to the Southwest by playing UTEP Sunday morning. The Miners beat the Broncos in El Paso earlier in the week.
THIS WEEK' SCHEDULE/RESULTS:
Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012
UTEP 11, Santa Clara 3 (El Paso, Tex.)
Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 (Hotel Encanto Invitational; Las Cruces, NM)
Santa Clara 12, Saint Mary's 10
Illinois-Chicago 5, Santa Clara 1
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 (Hotel Encanto Invitational; Las Cruces, NM)
Indiana 9, Santa Clara 1
NEW MEXICO STATE 11, Santa Clara 2
Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 (Hotel Encanto Invitational; Las Cruces, NM)
vs. UTEP - 11 a.m. (PT)