SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a grueling 10-game road swing to begin the season, Santa Clara University's softball team returned to the Bay Area and nearly knocked off UC Davis Tuesday. This weekend, the Broncos make the short trip to Moraga to play four games at the PCSC Crossover Tournament hosted by St. Mary's College.
2012 PCSC Crossover Tournament @ SMC
Friday, February 24
Santa Clara (1-10) vs. Seattle (0-5) 8:30 a.m.
Santa Clara vs. Portland State (4-6) 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, February 25
Santa Clara vs. Northern Colorado (8-3) 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, February 26
Santa Clara vs. Seattle 8:30 a.m.
Follow the games via live stats
Santa Clara's 2012 Schedule/Results
SCU Season Statistics
The Broncos and fourth-year head coach Lisa Mize will give the ball to freshman pitcher RH Jaymi Bautista-Geiger (0-2; 14.26 ERA) Friday morning against Seattle. Bautista-Geiger has made two starts this season, including matching up with Fresno State this past Sunday, Feb. 19.
Against Portland State, sophomore RH Jessica Turner (0-4; 8.55 ERA) will look to build on a solid five-inning effort against UC Davis. Turner allowed just five hits and three runs but took a hard-luck loss Tuesday. Freshman lefty Briana Rios (0-2; 6.35 ERA) and junior RH Carissa Theis (1-2; 16.71 ERA) will also be called upon throughout the long the weekend.
"We knew our early-season schedule was going to be tough," said Mize. "Most every team we've played, play a fast game and we saw some real power-hitting teams down in New Mexico. The upcoming weeks provide an opportunity for us to capitalize on the fact we've been road-tested the past few weeks."
There is no doubt that the Santa Clara lineup and its defense is much-improved this spring. SS Alyssa Jepsen (.240 BA) and C Breezy Bernard (.250 BA) have emerged as everyday players in the infield and dangerous batters for opposing pitchers to face. The outfield trio of Briana Knight (.344 BA), Jamie Wallis (.321 BA) and Stephanie Fisher (.400) have set the table at the top of the order.
"I was really proud of the way our team performed Tuesday, in terms of finishing strong," said Mize, about the close 3-2 decision against UC Davis. "We made some adjustments as the game went on and they reacted really well to that. As a coach that is really important, to see these players battling and competing."
Mize has continued to work with her squad on hitting this week in preparation for the games in Moraga. Patience and selectivity have been a focus of improvement at the plate. On defense, she would like to see her infield react a bit quicker in key situations, especially when trying to close out innings in two-out situations.
Fans can follow each game live this weekend online (see links above). 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.