SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a strong weekend on offense, Santa Clara softball returns to the field at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic in San Luis Obispo, Calif. starting Fri., March 7. The Broncos play Fri., March 7 vs. Sacramento State at 9 a.m. and vs. Fairleigh Dickinson at 7 p.m., Sat., March 8 vs. Stony Brook at 9 a.m. and vs. Fairleigh Dickinson at 11:30 a.m., and Sun., March 9 at 11:30 a.m. vs. Cal Poly.
Last week Santa Clara topped UC Davis 5-4 in the Santa Clara Marriott Invitational and played tight games with Seattle and Boston. The Broncos are now 1-11 on the season.
"Last weekend I saw a lot of fight from our offense," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "Our hitters went up to the plate with more confidence and had quality at-bats with good pitch selection. This week we're going to continue to build their confidence and have them take a lot of swings. We'll do our normal routines and hit off both live pitching and the pitching machine as well. The coaches will voice to them that they can come back and put up a good number of runs."
Santa Clara is led on offense by Krista Jensen who is hitting .435 (10-23) with a .609 slugging percentage. Jensen has four doubles, four RBI, and two runs scored. Kelly Scribner is hitting .324 (11-34) with a team-high five runs scored. Scribner has added four doubles, one home run, and one RBI. Geenamarie Bonilla leads Santa Clara with six RBI and is batting .273 (6-22). Bonilla has one double and has scored three runs to go with two steals.
"Our pitchers are going to do a lot of live pitching to batters this week," said Mize. "Last week they got behind in the count too much and threw too many pitches. We're going to try to eliminate that hopefully and try to get first-pitch strikes. By doing that and getting more pitches in the zone in general we'll be able to eliminate those late-inning walks in crucial situations."
Jessica Turner has thrown a team-high 33.2 innings over nine appearances, including five starts and two complete games. Turner has struck out 14 batters. Brianna Rios has made three starts and appeared in eight games. In 20.0 innings Rios has fanned 14 and picked up the win vs. UC Davis.
Sacramento State enters the week with a 6-6 record. Last week they split a doubleheader with a loss to Saint Mary's and a win vs. Boise State before having the final day of the Gael Classic rained out.
The Hornets are led by Kortney Solis who has started all 12 games for the Hornets this season. Solis leads the team in hitting with a .364 (12-33) average and has a .500 on-base percentage. She has hit two doubles to go with five RBI and a run scored. Sasha Margulies is hitting .323 (10-31) in 11 games. Margulies has smacked two doubles and one trip while scoring three runs and driving in five. Paige Castro is hitting .310 (9-29) with four RBI and five runs scored.
Caitlin Brooks has thrown a team-high 40.1 innings while throwing six complete games in six starts. Brooks is 3-3 with a 0.69 ERA and has allowed just 27 hits and 11 walks with 41 strikeouts. Taylor Stroud is 2-2 in four starts with three complete games. Stroud has a 2.74 ERA in 23.0 innings with five strikeouts.
Stony Brook is 3-7 on the season with all three wins coming in the last five games. After starting the season 0-5, last week they came back with a win vs. Charlotte and two vs. Liberty.
The Seawolves offense is led by Melissa Phelan who is batting .357 (10-28) with a .438 OBP. Phelan had three doubles, four RBI, and three runs scored. Bria Green leads the team with three home runs and seven RBI while batting .333 (11-33). Green has added two doubles and eight runs scored. Shayla Giosia is tied for the team-lead with three steals and is hitting .265 (9-34. She has scored two runs and driven in six with two doubles and a triple.
Jane Sallen leads the team in ERA with a 3.62 mark in 29.0 innings pitched. Sallen is 1-1 in nine games and five starts with 10 strikeouts and 20 walks. Allison Cukrov has made five starts and appeared in 10 games while going 2-6 with one save and one complete game. Cukrov has a 4.86 ERA and has struck out 24 in 36.0 innings.
Fairleigh Dickinson is 3-2 on the season. They opened the year with a win at La Salle and last week took down Saint Josesph's and Hartford.
The Knights are led by Angelique Nieves who is hitting .429 (6-14) with a .500 OBP. Nieves has a team-high seven RBI and is tied for the team-lead with three runs scored and two doubles. Bryana Dorado is batting .417 (5-12) with three runs scored and two doubles. She has taken a team-best four walks. Madison Lerma is batting .333 (4-12) with three runs scored, three RBI, and a double.
Megan Reiner has thrown a team-high 11.2 innings and appeared in three games. She has a 2-0 record to go with a 0.77 ERA and 15 strikeouts against just two walks. Cheryl Lopez in 1-1 with a 0.00 in two games and one start. Lopez has struck out eight batters in 8.1 innings.
Cal Poly is 7-9 on the year and has yet to play at home. They did not play last week but went 3-3 the previous weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. The team took down Fordham, Maryland, and New Mexico.
The Mustangs are led by Emily Ceccacci who is hitting .382 (21-55) in all 16 games. Ceccacci has scored 10 runs with five RBIs, two doubles, and a triple. Lauren Moreno leads the team with three home runs and, 13 RBI, and 12 runs scored. Moreno is batting .345 (19-55) and has started all 16 games. Jillian Andersen is batting .371 (13-35) with seven RBI and four runs scored. She has hit two doubles and stolen two bases.
Sierra Hyland leads the team with 54.1 innings pitched and a 2.83 ERA. Hyland has started six games with six complete games and two shutouts. She has appeared in nine games with a record of 4-3 and 59 strikeouts. The only other player to pitch has been Chloe Wurst who has started nine games and appeared in 10 with seven complete games. Wurst is 3-5 with a 5.35 ERA and 15 strikeouts.