March 5, 2012

Broncos-Dukes to Play Doubleheader Wednesday Night; SCU Classic This Weekend

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara University's softball team continues its busy stretch of local games by hosting James Madison University Wednesday night at PAL Stadium in San Jose. The Broncos will play a doubleheader with the Dukes, beginning at 5 p.m. (PT). The 2012 SCU Bronco Classic will follow this weekend.

Wednesday, March 7 – PAL Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)
5 p.m. - James Madison (6-7) at SANTA CLARA (3-16)
7 p.m. - James Madison at SANTA CLARA
Live Stats (both games)

**PAL Stadium is located at 680 South 34th Street, San Jose, CA 95116

SCU BRONCO CLASSIC

Friday-Sunday, March 9-11 - Spartan Stadium (San Jose, Calif.)
Friday, 12 p.m. - St. Mary's (5-9) at SAN JOSE STATE (10-11)
Friday, 2:15 p.m. - UC Santa Barbara (7-15) at SAN JOSE STATE 
Saturday, 9 a.m. – St. Mary's at SANTA CLARA
Saturday, 11:15 a.m. - St. Mary's vs. UC SANTA BARBARA
Saturday, 1:30 p.m. – UC Santa Barbara vs. SANTA CLARA
Sunday, 10 a.m. - UC Santa Barbara vs. ST. MARY'S
Sunday, 12:15 p.m. – UC Santa Barbara vs. SANTA CLARA
Live Stats
(Saturday and Sunday games)

**Tickets for the SCU Bronco Classic are $10 for daily admission, or fans can purchase a weekend tournament pass for $25. The SJSU Softball Field is located on the corner of Alma and Senter Streets, across from Municipal Stadium.

Four one-run losses this season, including a 3-2 setback to UC Davis on Feb. 21 at PAL Stadium (Santa Clara's only home game thus far in 2012) has the Broncos at 3-16 overall through 19 games this spring.

SCU will begin Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) play at the end of the month, beginning with a rivalry-series at league-leading Loyola Marymount March 31 and April. 1. The current PCSC Standings has Santa Clara two wins away from fourth-place in the PCSC's Coastal Division.

James Madison, 29-23 overall and 8-12 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) last season, is coming out to the Bay Area to play twice against SCU before spending the weekend at Stanford's Louisville Slugger Classic in Palo Alto. The Dukes were picked fourth out of eight teams in the 2012 CAA preseason coaches poll, behind Towson, Georgia State and league-favorite Hofstra.

SCU defeated conference foe St. Mary's earlier this season 12-10 in a chance matchup at New Mexico State's Hotel Encanto Invitational on Feb. 10. SCU scored four times in the fourth inning of that win over SMC, using RBI singles from all-league outfielder Briana Knight (.267 BA) and first baseman Kelly Scribner (.280 BA) to transform a 7-6 deficit into a 10-7 lead. Knight singled in another during a two-run SCU fifth, which gave the Broncos enough separation to go on and win.

UCSB has played well at home this spring (5-1), but is coming off a 1-5 road trip to Hawaii, which included a pair of losses to Florida State, who is ranked No. 20 in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll.

The lack of timely hitting is something that hurt the Broncos over the weekend at the SJSU Super Series. The Broncos matched a season-high by generating 10 hits Sunday against Southern Utah, but pushed in just two runs. On Saturday versus SUU, the Broncos totaled seven hits but had just one run to show for it.

However, the top half of the batting order continues to produce, led by junior cleanup hitter OF Jamie Wallis (.412 BA), who was terrific last weekend at SJSU. Wallis registered a hit in all four games, going 5 for 10 and drew three walks to post an on-base percentage of .615.

Leadoff hitter, SS Alyssa Jepsen (.277 BA) and No. 2 batter OF Stephanie Fisher (.321 BA) have also been doing a nice job setting the table for the rest of the order.

"I was pleased with the way we came out and played," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize, despite dropping a 2-1 decision to SJSU on Saturday. "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."

Scribner has totaled a team-best 12 RBI, hitting mostly in the fifth spot and Knight has provided six extra-base hits and nine RBI. C Breezy Bernard (.283 BA) is also putting together an impressive season. Bernard is coming off a 4-for-9 (.444 BA) weekend at SJSU.

Inside the circle, Mize is using four different starters, rotating between junior RH Carissa Theis (2-4; 7.94 ERA), sophomore RH Jessica Turner (0-4; 7.80 ERA) along with freshmen RH Jaymi Bautista-Geiger (0-4; 9.95 ERA) and LH Briana Rios (1-4; 5.06 ERA).

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.