SCU Softball Set to Battle No. 13 Stanford on Wednesday and PCSC Front Runner LMU This Weekend

SCU Softball Interactive Virtual Guide

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
The Santa Clara University softball team is gearing up for a big week, playing No. 13 Stanford Wednesday before opening up Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) play against preseason league favorite Loyola Marymount this weekend.

THIS WEEK

Wednesday, March 28 -Smith Family Stadium (Stanford, Calif.)**
Santa Clara @ No. 13 Stanford 6 p.m.
Live Stats
Saturday-Sunday, March 31-April 1 - Smith Field (Los Angeles, Calif.)

SAT - Santa Clara @ Loyola Marymount 10 a.m.
SAT - Santa Clara @ Loyola Marymount 12 noon
SUN - Santa Clara @ Loyola Marymount 10 a.m.
SUN - Santa Clara @ Loyola Marymount 12 noon
Live Stats | Audio

**THE SCU-STANFORD GAME HAD ORIGINALLY BEEN SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, BUT WAS RESCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY DUE TO RAIN IN THE FORECAST

SANTA CLARA
The Broncos (5-24; 0-0 PCSC) record may not reflect the team's progress from their 6-33 finish from a year ago. SCU has been extremely competitive, playing 12 games that have been decided by two runs or less, including close one-run losses to Brown and Colorado State this past weekend. So expect SCU to win more than the two PCSC games it won in 2011. The reason for optimism comes from a much deeper roster, which includes three new pitchers, a revamped infield and some dangerous hitters at the top of the lineup. The Broncos have been focusing on continued development in preparation for Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) play, which begins this weekend at LMU.

STANFORD
Ranked No. 13 in the latest NFCA Top 25, the Cardinal (25-6; 0-3 Pac-12) hits .337 as a team and its pitching staff boasts an ERA of 2.26. Prior to being swept by No. 1 Cal this past weekend, Stanford was 25-3 and ranked No. 9. Cal snapped a 19-game winning streak Stanford had going since mid-February. SCU and Stanford will play twice this season, first Tuesday, then again Tuesday May 1.

LMU
The Lions (22-11; 0-0 PCSC) are putting together an impressive 2012 thus far. Picked to win the PCSC by the league's coaches, LMU has benefited from the pitching of Saratoga Calif. native and Presentation High School product Molly Medeiros (14-5; 1.60 ERA) - the 2011 PCSC Pitcher of the Year. Medeiros highlights a staff that is allowing just three runs per game collectively. Senior SS Sam Fischer (.533 BA) is an early candidate for PCSC Player of the Year honors, hitting 15 homers and driving in 41 runs through 33 games.

THE OFFENSE
The Broncos are getting 19 RBI from senior All-PCSC OF Briana Knight (.258 BA) and 16 from 1B Kelly Scribner (.256 BA). The pair are hitting in the middle of the batting order, behind a productive group of offensive players at the top of the lineup. Scribner is hitting .310 (9 for 29) with RISP. OF Stephanie Fisher (.325 BA), OF Jamie Wallis (.363 BA) and SS Alyssa Jepsen (.297 BA) have done a nice job getting on base and providing the team with scoring chances. Wallis has also been used in the cleanup spot. Wallis is hitting .409 (9 for 22) with RISP and .333 (13 for 39) with runners on base. Freshman C Breezy Bernard (.273 BA) is coming off a week where she hit three doubles and drove in four runs in five games.

THE PITCHING
SCU has seen freshman RH Briana Rios (2-6; 3.81 ERA) emerge as the team's most effective pitcher heading into PCSC play. Rios went 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in five games last week, limiting opponents to a .290 batting average. Look for experienced starters, RH Jessica Turner (1-6; 7.39 ERA) and RH Carissa Theis (2-6; 6.70 ERA), to start games this weekend in Los Angeles. Freshman RH Jaymi Bautista-Geiger (0-6; 9.14 ERA) pitched in three of the team's four games at the UCR Tournament last weekend. 

FIELDING
One area of marked improvement from last season has been the Bronco defense. The Broncos have played error-free softball in six different games. Nine other times the team has made just one error.

INSTANT ACCESS
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.

ALYSSA JEPSEN GIVES FANS AN INSIDE LOOK AT SCU SOFTBALL 
It's always an adjustment for transfers to be successful in their first year at a new university. But Alyssa Jepsen, last season a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Junior College All-American shortstop and pitcher at the College of San Mateo, has immediately become Santa Clara's leadoff hitter and everyday shortstop. She recently took the time to give us an inside look at SCU Softball . Read more.

PCSC STANDINGS (March 27)
Coastal Division
LMU 22-11
Sacramento State 17-9
San Diego 13-11
St. Mary's 11-16
CSU Bakersfield 7-19
Santa Clara 5-24

Mountain Division

Utah Valley 18-6-1
Northern Colorado 15-14
Portland State 10-11
Weber State 10-17
Seattle 7-16
Idaho State 3-20

PCSC SHIFTS TO SEVEN TEAMS NEXT YEAR
Brigham Young University has accepted an invitation to join the Pacific Coast Softball Conference in 2013. The addition of BYU will give the PCSC seven teams for the 2013 campaign as the Big Sky Conference will begin sponsoring softball in 2013, meaning the PCSC's Big Sky core-members of Idaho State, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State and Weber State will leave the PCSC after this season. Seattle University will also be leaving the PCSC for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) following the 2012 campaign.

While the West Coast Conference (WCC) does not sponsor softball, the Cougars will be among five WCC schools in the soon-to-be seven-team PCSC in 2013. BYU will play the 2012 season in the WAC before joining fellow WCC members Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, San Diego and Saint Mary's in the PCSC .

PCSC alignment for 2013
Santa Clara, LMU, BYU, St. Mary's, San Diego, Cal State Bakersfield, Utah Valley

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