April 18, 2010
SARATOGA, Calif.- The Santa Clara softball team was left still searching for its first Pacific Coast Softball Conference victory after dropping the final two games of the series against Cal State Bakersfield this afternoon at West Valley College. The Roadrunners used a walk-off grand slam to win, 9-1, cutting the first game off in the fifth inning and stole the second game, 7-6, in extra innings.
CSUB drew first blood in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead on the Broncos and doubled that lead in the third inning on a two-run homer to right center by Jaimey Kleinsmith.
Junior Briana Knight hit a leadoff double in the top of the fifth inning, but Santa Clara suffered two straight strikeouts following that to halt the momentum. Freshman Jamie Wallis resurrected some hope for the inning, scoring Knight after coming in to pinch hit for senior Nicole Picard and driving a single to left field and advancing to second on the throw, but a popup ended the inning.
That inning would turn out to be the last chance the Broncos had at the plate as the Roadrunners' bats came alive. Emily Bliss reached on a single and was scored by Heather Veitch's double. Following that, singles by Kelli Bailey and Kleinsmith loaded the bases, setting up Jill McClelland for a chance to end the game with a grand slam. McClelland did just that, sending a long ball well past the center field fence for a five-inning 9-1 win.
The second game started nearly the same way the first did, with CSU Bakersfield taking a 2-0 lead, but Santa Clara looked as if it would engineer a come-from-behind victory that started with Knight's two-run shot that cleared the center field fence in the fourth inning. The Broncos didn't score again in the fourth, but grabbed three runs in the fifth inning to take a three-run lead.
Wallis, who started the game in the field for the first time in the series, got her second big hit of the day with a leadoff double in the fifth. Senior Emily Batt's sacrifice bunt moved her to third, but Wallis was able to score on a throwing error by Bailey as she attempted to throw out Batt at first. Batt was then sent home by Knight's second home run of the game.
The Roadrunners tied the game in the bottom of the fifth with three consecutive hits, one of them a two-run homer by Kristen Archuleta, but the two teams were unable to score in the final two innings of regulation, sending the game into extra innings.
Senior Megan Smith appeared to be the hero for Santa Clara with a solo home run to left field in the top of the eighth, but CSUB was able to spoil the day for the Broncos.
Santa Clara got two of the first three Roadrunner batters out but loaded the bases with a single and a walk while searching for the winning out of the game. A wild finish sealed the Broncos fate, as a passed ball scored the tying run, and a mental blunder following the play at the plate allowed Ryane Petersen to score from second on an error charged to freshman pitcher Ali Nash.
Santa Clara falls to 8-22 on the year and 0-7 in conference. The Broncos will travel to Los Angeles next weekend for a four-game series with Loyola Marymount.