SARATOGA, Calif. - Santa Clara University's softball program celebrated the careers of seniors Briana Knight and Kristin Welsh Sunday afternoon with a 10-5 victory in Game One of its regular-season home finale, splitting a doubleheader with CSU Bakersfield.
Knight went 3 for 5 with a double, homerun and seven RBI in the opening-game win. She is currently No. 2 all-time at SCU in both homeruns and RBI. Knight will go down in the Santa Clara record books as one of the most accomplished power-hitters ever to play for the Broncos.
"Briana is just a special kid, a remarkable hitter, remarkable player, she will be missed," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "I can not remember a game during her four year career where she didn't go all out. Today was a perfect example of that and of her abilities."
Knight's three-run homer to left-centerfield in the sixth inning of Game One extended a one-run Santa Clara lead out to 7-4, giving junior starting pitcher Carissa Theis enough insurance to post the win, 10-5. Alyssa Jepsen had three hits as well in Game One and her and Jamie Wallis each scored three times.
The Broncos scored five runs and registered 10 hits in Game Two, but were not able to overcome a slow start, falling behind 9-1 after two innings and 10-1 after three.
The doubleheader over the weekend marks the conclusion of Pacific Coast Softball Conference (PCSC) play this season. CSU Bakersfield (13-39; 6-14 PCSC) finishes just ahead of Santa Clara (11-42; 5-15 PCSC) in the final league standings.
Welsh had provided the game-winning RBI in the opening game Saturday. The two teams split the series.
"Two kids I can always count on," said Mize about her two seniors, Kristin Welsh and Briana Knight. "They always showed up to the field ready to work hard, were always positive through our ups and downs ... two key players that are really important to our softball history here."
The Broncos will play one more game, Tuesday, May 1 at Stanford.
"I know the girls really wanted to win for us today, and I took that to heart," said Welsh. "It was really, really, really nice to see all the girls working together to get a win for us. It meant the world to me."