March 26, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team hosted the Cal Poly Mustangs this afternoon at Marsalli Park in a doubleheader and dropped both games despite an impressive hitting outing in the first contest and a superb pitching effort in the following match. The Broncos received 14 hits in the opening game, but was unable to convert on several opportunities to fall 11-6 to the Mustangs, and despite hurler Liz Courter going the distance in the second game, her team fell to their Big West opponent 4-1 in eight innings.
Santa Clara drops its record to 11-20 on the year and will return to action on Tuesday night with a doubleheader with Fresno State. Game time is set for 6 p.m. in Fresno, Calif.
In the opening game, the Broncos dug a hole for themselves right off the bat in the first inning, as the Mustangs scored three runs to take an early lead. Santa Clara was unable to answer in the early stretches off the game, as Cal Poly continued to add to their lead, putting four runners across the plate in both the second and third innings to take a commanding 11-0 advantage.
Santa Clara's bats did not start to warm up until the bottom of the third inning when it scored two runs to cut into their deficit. Jenny Brown reached first base on a fielder's choice and later advanced to third base after Angela Kabanuck knocked in a double. Jessica Clee then singled to center field to send Brown home and move Kabanuck to third. Kabanuck then scored on an illegal pitch to make the score 11-2.
In the following inning, Santa Clara again had a productive outing with six hits that resulted in four runs. With the bases loaded, Brown stepped up to the plate and drove in Jillian Cassel with a single down the left field line and advancing Meghan Notti to third, with Valerie Mock going to second. Kabanuck then grounded out to the pitcher, was Notti was still able to safefly cross home plate, with Mock and Brown going to third and second, respectively. Clee then sent a laser to left field that scored both Mock and Brown and Cal Poly's lead had now shrunk to just 11-6.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, the Mustangs had built a big enough lead to end the game on the victorious end, as neither team was able to add more runs to its tally. In the end, Cal Poly totaled 12 hits to Santa Clara's 14. Jackie Morales (2-4) took the loss, while Jenna Maiden (3-8) picked up the win after replacing Robyn Kontra midway through the fourth inning.
The second contest featured a pitching dual between Courter and Emily Hively in the circle, as both were extended to extra innings after the game was 1-1 after seven. Cal Poly was able to tag three more runs in the eighth to take the 4-1 victory.
The Mustangs were first to score in the game after sending a runner across the plate in the top of the fourth inning. However, the Broncos were able to counter with a run of its own at their next at bat, as Clee ripped a homerun to left center to tie it up at 1-1.
Courter (3-8) took the loss after striking out four, while Hively (3-0) picked up the win.