SAN JOSE, Calif. – Santa Clara had a season-high 11 hits and led going into the sixth inning, but visiting James Madison rallied for a 9-5 victory in Game One of a midweek doubleheader at PAL Stadium in San Jose. The Dukes were able to claim the sweep, with a 5-2 win in Game Two.
Santa Clara (3-18) is hosting five games this week, which included Wednesday's doubleheader with James Madison (8-7) and three games at the SCU Bronco Classic this weekend at Spartan Stadium.
In Game One (Box Score) ... Alyssa Jepsen led off Santa Clara's first inning with a triple down the rightfield line, setting the tone for a nice offensive opener for the Broncos. SCU put its first five runners on-base en route to taking an early 3-2 lead, fueled by RBI-singles from Briana Knight and Kelly Scribner.
The Dukes responded to take the lead back in the third 4-3, doing it off one swing from pitcher Sarah Mooney (3-4), who drove a full-count, two-out offering from Jessica Turner (0-5) over the leftfield fence.
However, the Broncos answered right back, using a clutch two-out triple from freshman Ashley Haney to even the game at four apiece before classmate Jordan Newell's single plated Haney to put SCU in front again, 5-4.
Newell went 3 for 4 and Jamie Wallis added two hits to pace the Bronco offense.
Following Mooney's homerun, Turner retired the next six JMU batters she faced and did not allow another hit until Mooney came to the plate to begin the sixth. JMU went on to load up the bases with two outs and the Dukes scored on another two-out, full-count pitch, drawing walk to tie the game at 5-5.
Moments later, Ashley Burnham – the 2010 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year - cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double that put JMU up. Burnham would score on an RBI single that gave the Dukes a late 9-5.
The five-run JMU inning and subsequent four-run advantage would be too much for SCU to overcome with just two more chances to score in the sixth and seventh – and it would be Mooney shutting out the Broncos in four-straight innings to close the door and earn her third win.
In Game Two (Box Score) ... James Madison starter Reba DePriest (3-2) threw a complete-game five-hitter, striking out seven to allow the Dukes a 5-2 win. DePriest kept Santa Clara off the scoreboard until the seventh and got a lift from Mooney, who hit her second homerun of the day en route to a 2 for 4 effort in the nightcap.
True freshman Jaymi Bautista-Geiger (0-5) was effective, keeping Santa Clara close deep into the contest. After four innings, JMU held a tenous 2-0 lead. Bautista-Geiger fanned four and allowed just one walk before the Dukes broke through with a three-run fifth inning which extended the lead out to 5-0.
In the seventh, Santa Clara got a spark from senior Kristin Welsh and newcomers Amity Tello and Breezy Bernard. After Welsh singled, Tello came on to pinch hit and drove the first pitch she saw from DePriest into the left-centerfield gap. Tello's double was followed by an RBI-single from Bernard which allowed the Broncos to end the night on a positive note.
SCU plays three times this weekend, starting with a rivalry game against St. Mary's on Saturday at 9 a.m.
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)