SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After getting its first taste of West Coast Conference play, Santa Clara softball heads to Utah to face Utah Valley on Thurs., April 10 at 3 p.m. before visiting BYU for a three-game WCC set. The Broncos and Cougars will play Fri., April 11 at 6 p.m. and a doubleheader Sat., April 12 at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Last week the Broncos won their first-ever WCC game vs. Pacific before dropping the next two to the Tigers. Santa Clara is now 5-22 overall and 1-2 in conference action.
Santa Clara also added a game to its schedule on Thurs., April 17 at 6 p.m. vs. Fresno State at the Santa Clara Softball Field.
"Our message this week is that we're really close to where we want to be," said Santa Clara head coach Lisa Mize. "We played a great game defensively in the 2-0 win and to come back in the second game from down 7-0 was awesome. We definitely had an opportunity to win that game. The key is capitalizing on our chances and recognizing that the little miscues will hurt us. Our pitchers have got to throw strikes this week."
Stephanie Fisher leads the Broncos in hitting with a .333 (28-84) batting average and is second on the team with 13 RBI. Fisher has added seven doubles and a triple to go with 10 runs scored and two stolen bases. Kelly Scribner has a team-high three home runs with 10 RBI. She has scored 10 runs and added eight doubles for a team-best .519 slugging percentage. Geenamarie Bonilla leads Santa Clara with 20 RBI while batting .299 (20-67). Bonilla has hit five doubles and scored seven runs.
Ciara Gonzales leads Santa Clara with a 3.42 ERA in a team-high 71.2 innings pitched. Gonzales has appeared in 21 games, including nine starts. She has tossed three complete games and one shutout while fanning 15. Jessica Turner has appeared in 16 games and made nine starts with three complete games. Turner has thrown 52.2 innings and struck out a team-high 25.
With the trip to Utah being further than the Broncos usually travel and BYU being known as a tough place to play, Mize isn't concerned about her team's ability to play in a hostile environment.
"We handle that stuff pretty well so as a group it doesn't phase us," said Mize. "We tend to thrive off of those kind of things. We have a unique group that's pretty vocal so we just need to play our game and stick to what we do best."
Utah Valley is 11-22 overall in 2014 and 0-3 at home. The Wolverines dropped two games at Seattle University last weekend before coming back with a 13-12 win in the series finale.
Brittney Vansway leads Utah Valley with a .346 (27-78) batting average. Vansway has hit one home run and seven doubles, to go with 17 RBI, eight runs scored, and five stolen bases. Hailey Kofler is tops on the team with five home runs while hitting .342 (27-79). She has driven in eight runs and score 13 while adding a triple and seven doubles to go with eight stolen bases in as many chances. Brianna Gatlin is batting .323 (32-99) and leads the team in walks (13) and on-base percentage (.412). Gatlin is also tops on Utah Valley with 24 RBI and has hit one home run and 11 doubles while scoring 13 runs.
Josi Summers is 6-11 in 26 games pitched, including 22 starts, five complete games, and one shutout. Summers leads the team with 118.0 innings pitch and has struck out 80. Bailey Moore has tossed 53.1 innings with 38 strikeouts. In 18 games Moore has a 5.25 ERA and a 1-5 record.
BYU is 16-20 on the year and 2-1 in conference action. Last week the Cougars fell to San Diego in the conference-opener but came back with a doubleheader sweep of the Toreros the next day.
Sydney Broderick leads BYU in hitting with a .352 (37-105) batting average and has started all 36 games. Broderick has hit four home runs, two triples, five doubles to go with 20 RBI and 16 runs scored. McKenzie St. Clair leads the Cougars with 20 runs scored and has 22 RBI. She has four home runs, one triple, and six doubles as well. Katie Munuma leads BYU with six home runs and 26 RBI while hitting .243 (26-107). Manuma has added six doubles and 19 runs scored.
Tori Almond is 3-5 with a team-low 2.72 ERA in 72.0 innings. Almond has appeared in 18 games and made 11 starts with four complete games and two saves. She has struck out 72 against 42 walks. McKenna Bull is 7-9 with a 3.96 ERA in a team-high 100.2 innings. She also leads the team with 121 strikeouts. Bull has pitched in 28 games and made 17 starts with four complete games, one shutout, and two saves.