SAN JOSE, Calif. – Santa Clara University's softball team dropped a 2-1 decision to local rival San Jose State Saturday on the first day of the 'SJSU Super Series' at Spartan Stadium.
San Jose State (9-9) has dominated the recent meetings with Santa Clara (3-14), but on Saturday, the Spartans benefited from two bases-loaded walks in the fourth inning to escape with a one-run victory. The close loss came after Southern Utah (7-8) defeated SCU 6-1 in the morning session.
"San Jose State is known to be a good hitting team," said fourth-year Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "I was pleased with the way we came out and played. Timely hitting is something we can improve on. Of course we want to win, but I liked our effort and it's clear that we are getting better and better."
The Broncos will get another shot and both SJSU and Southern Utah on Sunday as the 'SJSU Super Series' continues. SCU will play SUU at 10 a.m., then San Jose State at 12:15 p.m.
True freshman infielder Jordan Newell returned from mononucleosis to register two hits in her first collegiate games. Newell played both shortstop and third base, providing a spark Saturday and adding to what is already the deepest Broncos team Mize has coached during her tenure at Santa Clara.
"It's huge for us. Jordan coming back gives us a lot of options," said Mize. "She can play any position in the infield and to have her coming back is a big lift for this team in a number of ways."
The Broncos had seven hits during the morning game with Southern Utah, and starting pitcher Carissa Theis (2-3) posted three scoreless innings before the Thunderbrids broke a 0-0 tie by scoring five times in the fourth.
"Carissa (Theis) pitched well enough to win," said Mize. "But there were some errors behind her that cost us. Other then giving up a couple hits, she shut them down. Unfortunately our defense let us down in that morning game and our offense couldn't string together timely hits."
Despite a solid combined pitching performance from freshman Jaymi Bautista-Geiger (0-4) and Jessica Turner, it was SJSU starter Jennifer Ames (2-6) working a complete-game five-hitter to claim Game Two. The Bronco offense went without an extra-base hit through both games.