May 2, 2010
SARATOGA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team refused to let Saint Mary's exit today's home finale with any easy wins, but ultimately fell to the conference-leading Gaels this afternoon in the final two games of the series at West Valley College, 4-3 and 8-5.
The Broncos battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the first game and made things interesting at the end, taking advantage of multiple Saint Mary's errors to come within one run.
The Gaels scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning on five hits, including two RBI-singles and one two-RBI-double, to establish their four-run lead.
Sophomore Briana Knight reached on an error by the second baseman and advanced to second when the catcher tried to pick her off at first base. Knight then reached third on junior Amanda Edmonson's groundout and was scored by senior Megan Smith's single. Smith went to second when her classmate Nicole Picard, who was 2-for-3 in the game, grounded out to second. Smith then scored when sophomore Catherine Surane reached on an error by the shortstop, to pull the Broncos within one, but the game ended abruptly and unexpectedly.
Surane, who had gone on to try to reach second on the Gael throw, was called out after the catcher threw back to second after Smith crossed the plate. The play was close and Surane appeared to be safe, but the umpire then ruled her off the bag and out on the play, ending the game.
Senior pitcher Kaitlyn Rauschnot went the distance yet again, striking out four.
In game two, Santa Clara jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the end of two innings, but ultimately couldn't hold on for the win.
Senior Emily Batt drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly and Nicora notched an RBI single, all in the first inning.
Batt then had a huge hit in the second inning, doubling to left center to bring in three runs.
Saint Mary's countered in the third inning, scoring four runs on three hits and one error. One of the hits was a two-run homer by Rebecca Sabatini.
In the fifth inning the Gaels took the lead with two RBI-singles and later iced the game in the sixth inning when Tiffany Gonzales drove in two runs with her single.
Santa Clara had no answer, only registering two hits after the second inning, allowing Saint Mary's to steal the game away.
The Broncos used three pitchers, starting with Rauschnot who went two innings and struck out two. Rauschnot was visibly tired after pitching two innings in the game and a total of 19 innings on the weekend, and was replaced by junior Jenna Fong. Fong pitched three innings and struck out one. Freshman Ali Nash was brought in for the last inning.
Santa Clara (9-31 overall, 1-15 PCSC) will complete its season this coming week. The Broncos will take on Stanford on the road on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will conclude the year in San Diego, taking on the Toreros in two doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon.