Santa Clara Softball Finishes Strong, Rallying to Beat St. John's

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
Freshman starter Ciara Gonzales worked effectively into the sixth inning and Stephanie Fisher and Jordan Newell each tripled as part of a three-run Santa Clara fifth, leading the Broncos to a 3-2 comeback win over visiting St. John's Monday afternoon at the SCU Softball Field.

Santa Clara (2-9) has now won two of its last three games, bouncing back nicely from a slow start to its 2013 campaign. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Fisher's one-out RBI triple sparked the rally.  Jamie Wallis hit a bunt-single to tie the game at two and Newell's opposite-field triple scored Wallis to put SCU in front.

"Really happy we battled back from a 2-0 deficit," said Fisher after the win. "We were having trouble finishing out games earlier in the year but today were able to finish it. So I'm really happy the outcome came out in our favor. Especially after the win (over Idaho State) on Saturday and now the win today, I think we are a lot more confident."

Gonzales, a true-freshman from Chandler, Ariz., allowed just three hits and one earned run through five-plus innings Monday. St. John's had pushed across single runs in the second and fourth innings off Gonzales but got nothing more.

Sophomore lefty Briana Rios – who was the Broncos' winning pitcher Saturday – was called upon with one-on and one-out in the sixth, and retired all but one St. John's batter to record her first save.

"We realize now that finishing games is what we really need to do to be successful," Fisher added.

Fisher upped her season batting average to .500 (14 for 28) and is leading the Broncos in nearly every offensive category, including hits (14), RBI (5), doubles (2) and total bases (21).

St. John's (3-7-1) is in the middle of playing four games in the Bay Area. On Sunday the Red Storm split a doubleheader at San Jose State and tomorrow the team will play at Pacific at 2 p.m. in Stockton. Designated player Dominique Marcelino doubled and drove in both runs for St. John's against SCU.

The game for Santa Clara wrapped up an extended weekend of playing five games in four days, while also playing host to its annual SCU Bronco Classic tournament – which was played on their new on-campus softball facility.

Next up is three games with Sacramento State this coming Saturday and Sunday, March 2-3. The Broncos will host a doubleheader with Hornets on Saturday and play a single game Sunday. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. on both days.

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!