SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In the first day of action hosting Sacramento State, Santa Clara fell twice Saturday. Game one ended in a 6-2 decision for the Hornets, who also took game two by a final of 3-2. The two teams will tangle in the final game Sunday at 11 am.
Santa Clara falls to 2-11 and Sacramento State moves to 7-5.
In the first game, the Broncos, facing two-time Big Sky Pitcher of the Week Caitlin Brooks, registered three hits, two of which spurred the Broncos seventh inning rally. Down 6-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Stephanie Fisher reached on a base knock, igniting a Bronco rally. Jordan Newell reached on a dropped third strike. Following an illegal pitch the runners moved to the corners, Kelly Scribner doubled to left field, bringing home Newell.
"It's great to see that we came back and scored a couple runs and put up a good game," said Bronco head coach Lisa Mize. "We have to push those runs across sooner. I'm really happy we played solid for the seven innings. We need to get better at coming out of the gate stronger."
Sac State scored two runs in the top of the first, and added four in the fifth. Bronco starter Briana Rios worked through one inning, allowing four hits and two runs. She was replaced by Jessica Turner, who started the second innning. Turner worked through 3 plus innings, allowing four runs on four hits, striking out one. Ciara Gonzalez finished the game for the Broncos, pitching 2 plus innings and allowing two hits.
Sac State was led by Kelli Frye, Kortney Solis and Paige Martin, who each had two hits. The trio also combined for four of the Hornets' six runs. Third base-man Emily McCormick notched one hit and two runs.
Brooks finished the game for the Hornets, securing the win. She moved to 5-1 on the season, striking out seven Broncos, and allowing three hits and two runs.
In the afternoon edition, Sac State started just as they did in the first game, driving in three runs in the top of the third from the heart of the Hornet lineup: Emily McCormick, Solis and Martin.
Santa Clara answered in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded, catcher Breezy Brenard roped a single to the short stop who was unable to make a play at any base, allowing Chiara Biagini to score. With Krista Jensen at bat, Hornets pitcher Jennifer Hartman delivered a wild pitch, allowing Stephanie Fisher to score, cutting the Sac State lead to 3-2, but Hartman was able to get out of the inning, escaping any further damage.
Santa Clara threatened in the fifth inning. Jenna Krummen led off the inning with a hard-hit ball to third base, ricocheting into the glove of the shortstop, but Krummen was able to beat the throw to first base. With one out, Stephanie Fisher drew a walk, putting Krummen in scoring position. Santa Clara was unable to advance Krummen past second, ending the inning with a popup and a force out at third.
In the seventh inning, the Hornets were unable to score, leaving the Broncos with just a one-run deficit to overcome. Facing a new Hornets pitcher in Taylor Stroud, Bronco leadoff hitter Rochelle Rivera reached on a fielding error. With two out, Stephanie Fisher singled to center field, moving Rivera to scoring position. Rivera advanced to third on a wild pitch, and batter Jordan Newell was able to draw a walk. Kelly Scribner stepped up to bat with the bases loaded, but was unable to continue the rally.