March 27, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team opened a doubleheader with San Jose State at Marsalli Park Tuesday with a tough 13-3 loss to the Spartans. Cold temperatures and swirling winds made conditions difficult for both teams, but San Jose State put together 16 hits and scored nine runs in the last three innings, and despite the Broncos best efforts, the game ended after six innings.
Junior Jerrica Castagno had a rough start, giving up three runs in the first inning as the Spartans sent all nine hitters to the plate. In the second inning, San Jose State added one more with three hits and the help of an error.
The Broncos fought back, however. After Meghan Chavez led off the inning by reaching base on an error, a sacrifice and two more San Jose State errors allowed Chavez and Ashley Blier to score, narrowing the lead to 4-2.
Things began to look up, as Castagno only had to face four batters in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, San Jose State would only need to face four Broncos in each of the remaining innings.
In the top of the fourth, San Jose State rallied with two outs to add three more runs, extending their lead to 7-2, and forcing Castagno out of the game. Then in the fifth, a leadoff home run by Brittany McConnell off of Sara Overmier began what was another three-run inning for the Spartans, extending their lead to 10-2.
Down by eight runs, the Broncos needed at least a run to keep the ballgame going in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff double by Nori Kamada put the Broncos in position to do just that. A sacrifice fly by Angela Kabanuck moved Kamada to third. With two out, and leading by eight, the Spartans replaced starter Kelly Harrison. The move backfired however, as Nicole Luna-Pickens threw two consecutive illegal pitches, scoring Kamada from third base, and keeping the Broncos in the game by narrowing the lead to seven runs.
In the seventh, freshman Lauren Passafuimen replaced Overmier and faced more of the same from San Jose State. Two hits, two errors and two hit batsmen led to the third consecutive three-run inning for the Spartans, who extended their lead to 13-3, ending the game after six innings.
The Broncos (6-30) will face the Spartans one more time this afternoon.