April 6, 2007
Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's softball team opened its conference season today against Bay Area rival Santa Clara. The Gaels split today's doubleheader with the Broncos. The Gaels dropped the first game 7-2 and won the first game 5-4. The Gaels will finish the first conference weekend of the season tomorrow when the play a second doubleheader against Santa Clara.
Saint Mary's gave up a tough run in the first. Although Gael starter Chelsea Loftis struck out three batters in the first inning a run managed to cross the plate. Loftis struck out the first batter of the game on a change-up in the dirt. The batter swung early on the ball on the ball as it hit the ground and took off running for first base. She made it on an error by the catcher. After a stolen base and a passed ball the Broncos had a runner on third. This run came across to score on a single.
The Gaels tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Bronwyn Russell, the Gaels big bat of the day, singled with one away in the first. Senior slugger Lauren Mello doubled in Russell on a hit to left center.
The game remained tied until the fourth inning. Santa Clara hit a one out double and followed it up with a two run homerun off the bat of Sara Overmier. The Broncos added two runs in the sixth and two unearned runs in the seventh to give them a 7-1 lead.
The Gaels came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh. Sandra Ruezga led off the inning with a homerun. Ruezga struck a tater off of the scoreboard to give the Gaels their second run of the game. The Gaels could only manage these two runs against Santa Clara. The game ended 7-2 in favor of Santa Clara.
The Gaels entered game two with a nine game losing skid. Saint Mary's were ready to compete in game two of PCSC play. However, the Gaels fell behind 2-0 as the Broncos scored a run in the second and third innings.
With the game 0-2 in favor of Santa Clara, Saint Mary's came to bat in the bottom of the third inning. Molly Bergeson hit a one out single. Russell came up to bat and got on base via a Bronco error. Bergeson and Russell, a very quick duo, took off on a double steal to put two runs in scoring position. Mello doubled to center field to score Bergeson and Russell and tie the game at 2-2. These were Mello's second and third RBI of the day.
The Broncos took a 4-2 in fifth inning. In the bottom of the sixth the Gaels struck. Ruezga led off the inning with a single. Katheryn Delpit singled and advanced Ruezga to third. Michelle Mathis came in to pinch run for Delpit. Bergeson came to bat and doubled in Ruezga and advanced Mathis to third. The score was now 3-4 in favor of the Broncos with Bergeson on second and Mathis on third. The Gaels had given up three runs off of errors in the game when Russell stepped into the batters box. A wild pitch got the runners off to the races. The catcher got the ball and threw to the pitcher covering home plate. The catcher threw the ball away from the pitcher. When the dust had settled around home plate both Mathis and Bergeson had crossed the plate giving the Gaels a 5-4 lead.
Kate Albaugh, who came in to pitch in the sixth inning, close the Broncos down in the seventh and earned the first conference win of the 2007 season for the Gaels.
The Gaels return to PCSC action tomorrow when they face off against Santa Clara in a doubleheader. The match up will begin at Noon from Cottrell Field.