SANTA CLARA, Calif. – On the final day of the 2018 season, Santa Clara softball split with Saint Mary's. The Broncos took game one 5-3 but lost the finale 8-7 in 13 innings.
The 13 innings tied for the second most in program history. The last time the Broncos played 13 innings was at Saint Mary's on April 9, 2000.
Santa Clara (9-36, 4-10) trailed until the sixth when the offense exploded for five runs on five hits. Kelsie Barnard had the big hit, a two-out two-run double that turned a deficit into a 4-3 lead. Samantha Johnson-Needham followed with an RBI double just inside the right field line for some insurance.
Ellie Fisher picked up a pair of hits and Eleni Spirakis also had an RBI and scored a run.
Micaela Vierra (4-11) went the distance to pick up the win in her final collegiate start. She allowed three runs, one earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
Saint Mary's (14-34, 2-12) took advantage of two Santa Clara errors to score three runs in the third.
Hailey Sparacino had the only RRBI and added two hits and scored a run as well in the game. Kimiko Zapanta also added two hits and scored a run.
Katlyn Whitt (6-16) took the loss in six innings while allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
HIGHLIGHT | @KBarn06 had the game-deciding hit — a two-run triple — in a five-run 6th to send Santa Clara past Saint Mary's on Senior Day! Check out all scoring plays from the big inning here ▶️ https://t.co/buKQJ2BYY4 #StampedeTogether #SCUBroncos pic.twitter.com/hQqTVM3NBa— SCUSoftball (@SCUSoftball) May 14, 2018
Despite scoring seven runs in the first three innings, Santa Clara (9-37, 4-11) couldn't add any more and Saint Mary's (15-34, 3-12) was able to battle back and score three in the seventh to force extra innings before finally breaking the tie in the 13th.
A leadoff double by Julia McCormack in the 13th started the rally for the Gaels. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt before coming in to score on an RBI single to right by Halle Sullivan.
Kimiko Zapanta was 4-for-7 with a walk and an RBI for Saint Mary's and three others added two hits apiece. Bailey Lotz was the only Gael with more than one RBI and she had two.
In the top of the seventh, Saint Mary's took advantage of a bases loaded error that scored two before a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded made it 7-7.
Eileen Perez (6-11) got the win in 10 innings out of the bullpen. She allowed no runs on 11 hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Santa Clara loaded the bases in both the 11th and 12th innings but couldn't come through with the big hit for the win.
The Broncos scored one in the first, four in the second, and two in the third to open up a 7-2 lead.
Samantha Johnson-Needham led the Santa Clara offense with a career-high four hits and took a walk while scoring a run. Morgan Modesto was 3-for-5 with three walks, two runs scored, and an RBI out of the lead-off spot and Taylor Burns has two hits and three RBIs.
Aubree Kim (5-19) started for Santa Clara and pitched the final six innings, going 8 2/3 in total. She allowed three runs on eight hits with nine walks and five strikeouts.
VIDEO | ������ and hugs all around for Ellie Fisher, McCall James and Micaela Vierra on Senior Day! Watch the full video here ▶️ https://t.co/RlNjh9J7tI #StampedeTogether #SCUBroncos pic.twitter.com/vPlqWOGfLN— SCUSoftball (@SCUSoftball) May 17, 2018