March 10, 2010
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
Fresh off two wins this past weekend, the Santa Clara softball team will play five games over three days. The Broncos will make up a previously-scheduled doubleheader on the road at UC Davis on Thursday before playing in the San Jose State-hosted South Bay Super Series against Cal State Fullerton and Princeton Friday and Saturday.
Senior catcher Emily Batt (.316 average, 6-for-19) and sophomore Briana Knight (team-leading nine hits, four RBIs, and .567 slugging percentage) lead the offense for Santa Clara. Sophomores Kristin Welsh and Catherine Surane also have been productive for the Broncos with seven hits each.
Senior Megan Smith was named the Pacific Coast Softball Conference Player of the Week following last weekend's games he went 3-for-6 with one home run, two RBI and three runs scored. In the Broncos' 6-5 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday, the Salinas, Calif.,-native went 2-for-2 with a home run and three runs scored. She hit a solo home run to tie the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the 5-2 victory over Cal State Northridge, Smith drew a bases-loaded walk to break a 1-1 tie during a five-run second inning. In seven games this season, Smith is 3-for-12 at the plate with one home run and one RBI.
Santa Clara (2-7 overall) was originally scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Aggies on Feb. 24th, but rainy weather denied the games from happening. This time it appears there will be no weather hurdles and the first of two games will begin at 1 p.m. on March 11 on UC Davis’ campus.
The Aggies (7-12 overall) have lost 10 of their last 12 games, with three of the losses coming against five nationally-ranked teams. Davis beat 2009 Pacific Coast Softball Conference champion Portland State, 3-2, on Feb. 20 at the Winsberg Memorial Tournament in Los Angeles and last was victorious against Indiana, 4-2, on March 6 in Fullerton, Calif.
The Aggies are led at the plate by Sarah Axelson, who is batting .382 with 21 hits in 55 at-bats with three doubles, two home runs, 10 RBIs, and 12 runs scored. In the circle Alex Holmes has posted the team’s best earned run average of 3.83 and is 5-3 on the season. Santa Clara and UC Davis were scheduled to play a doubleheader last season and the Aggies took the first game 4-1 but the teams were unable to get the second game in.
Cal State Fullerton (3-17 overall) also has struggled to find recent success in a season following their fifth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament and a second-place finish in the Big West. The Titans last won on Feb. 27 (8-4 over Baylor) and saw their only other wins come on Feb. 13 against Southern Utah (14-1) and Wisconsin (3-1).
At the plate, Fullerton’s most consistent starter Torrie Anderson is hitting .254 with 15 hits in 59 at-bats with three doubles, six home runs, 15 RBIs, and 10 runs scored. On the rubber Ari Cervantes has the best stats of the pitching staff at 1-6 overall with a 6.30 ERA. The Broncos will play the Titans on Friday, March 12 at 6 p.m. at San Jose PAL Stadium. The teams have not played each other since Santa Clara attended the Fullerton/UCLA Tournament in 2008, falling twice to Fullerton by a combined score of 14-3.
The Broncos doubleheader with Princeton on Saturday at 9 a.m. at San Jose PAL Stadium will be the first of four meetings between the two teams this year. Santa Clara will play the Tigers two more times next weekend at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic. Princeton has only put five games (one weekend at the Maryland Tournament) in the books this season, going 1-4, losing to Mount St. Mary’s College, Maryland, and Towson. The Tigers only win was a 6-1 victory over Mount St. Mary’s on March 6.
Jamie Lettire has gone 8-for-16 at the plate with one double, one home run, 3 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. Alex Peyton is the only hurler with a win and has a 3.75 ERA. The teams met once last year at the Stanford Invitational, with Santa Clara taking an 8-7 decision over Princeton.
This weekend's South Bay Super Series will be contested at San Jose PAL Stadium. Live stats will not be available for any of the weekend's games.
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