SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Santa Clara softball will play threes games this week as part of the San Jose State Super Series. The Broncos host San Jose State Fri., March 14 at 5 p.m. then travel to San Jose State to face Princeton Sat., March 15 at 2 p.m. and Sun., March 16 at 10 a.m. Santa Clara won two games at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic last weekend with a 6-0 win over Fairleigh Dickinson and a 9-1 win in six innings over Stony Brook. The Broncos are now 3-14 on the season.
"Our team is definitely excited about some of the things that happened over the weekend," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "The walk-off run rule home run by Kelly was something we haven't done in quite a while. It shows that our team and our offense is going in the right direction. The great thing for me to see as a coach in the Cal Poly game was that we didn't hit the ball hard, but we made things happen. We fought and were able to come back and tie the game, which is the game of softball sometimes. I was really proud of that."
Santa Clara is led on offense by Krista Jensen who is hitting a team-best .353 (12-34) in 16 games. Jensen has hit four doubles, scored four runs, and knocked in four. Kelly Scribner is hitting .340 (16-47) with a team-best four walks to post a .404 on-base percentage. Scribner has started all 17 games and is tied for the team-lead with two home runs while leading with five doubles and has scored seven runs. Geenamarie Bonilla leads the team with 11 RBI and is batting .286 (10-35). Bonilla has scored five runs and hit two doubles while leading the team with two steals.
"We're working really hard on our mental game right now," said Mize. "We want to stress that our mental game is just as important as the physical game. The players have bought in and are ready for this week."
Jessica Turner has thrown a team-high 42.2 innings and leads the Broncos with 18 strikeouts. Turner has appeared in 12 games and made six starts while tossing two complete games. Ciara Gonzales has made 12 appearances and started five games with one shutout. She is second on the team with 32.2 innings pitched. Brianna Rios has tossed 21.1 innings in nine games and three starts. Rios has fanned 17 batters.
"We've talked to our pitchers about who we are as a pitching staff," said Mize. "We have a decent defense so we've told them to throw strikes and let them hit the ball. We want to take some pressure off of the pitchers by letting them know they can trust the defenders and be aggressive in the strike zone."
San Jose State enters the week with an overall record of 11-11 and a 0-4 mark on the road. The Spartans started the season 7-0 are currently on a five-game loving streak. Last week they lost five games at the Judi Garman Classic, including three games to ranked teams. They fell to No. 16 Nebraska 4-1, No. 10 Arizona State 10-1 in five innings, and No. 7 Arizona 8-1.
Jessie Hufstetler leads the Spartans in hitting with a .492 (30-61) batting average and has taken 20 walks to post a .627 OBP. Hufstetler has started all 22 games and has hit two home runs, one triple, and six doubles while scoring a team-best 19 runs and driving in 14. Jessica Garcia is batting .348 (24-69) while leading the team with five home runs and 30 RBI. Garcia has scored 11 runs and added three doubles in 22 starts. Devin Caldwell is hitting .328 (20-61) with a triple, three doubles, four RBI, and 13 runs scored.
Allison Lang is 6-4 with a 2.80 ERA in a team-high 55.0 innings pitched. Lang has made 17 appearances and seven starts while throwing two complete games and one shutout. Lang has also picked up two saves and has struck out 32. Katelyn Linford is 3-5 with a 5.82 ERA in 10 games, including nine starts, with one complete game. In 43.1 innings Linford has struck out 24 batters.
Princeton is 1-6 entering the week. The lone Tigers' win came in their last game vs. Hartford. The Tigers have had six games cancelled due to weather and are making their first trip out west this year.
Amongst qualified players, Rachel Rendina is leading the Tigers with a .238 (5-21) batting average in all seven games. Rendina has two RBI and has scored one run. Marissa Reynolds leads Princeton with four RBI and has clubbed the team's lone home run. Reynolds has also scored a team-best four runs.
Shanna Christian is 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA in a team-high 13.2 innings. Christian has appeared in four games and made three starts while striking out eight. Erica Nori has a team-best 3.00 ERA but is 0-1 in four games, and one start, with a save. Nori has tossed 9.1 innings with seven strikeouts. Claire Klausner has a 0-1 record with a 3.18 ERA in three games out of the bullpen. Klausner has thrown 11.0 innings with seven strikeouts and just three walks.