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Toreros Open Conference Play With One Win and One Loss

April 8, 2006

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego softball team posted a 1-1 decision in their Pacific Coast Softball Conference home opener against Santa Clara University on Saturday afternoon at the USD Softball Complex. The Toreros dropped their first game 1-3 against the Broncos but came back to win the second game 6-3 over SCU. The Toreros move to 13-15 overall and 1-1 in conference play, as Santa Clara falls to 12-23 overall and 1-1 in the PCSC.

The noon game was a pitchers duel through the first five innings of play between San Diego's Christina Haake and Santa Clara's Liz Courter. Haake held the Broncos to only one hit in the first five innings to San Diego's four hits.

In the sixth inning, both teams scored one run each. Santa Clara's run came when Shannon Linerud got on base after being hit by a pitch. Ashley Blier followed with a triple to deep left field allowing Linerud to score.

San Diego responded in the bottom half of the inning as Kathleen Bonja led off with a walk and then advanced to second when Gina McFarland grounded out to first base. Marissa Merchain belted a double into center field allowing Bonja to score tying the game 1-1.

Santa Clara posted two more runs on three hits in the seventh inning to capture the win.

In the afternoon game, a fired up San Diego team posted two quick runs in the first inning. The Broncos took back the lead as they scored three runs in the fifth inning retaking the lead 3-2.

The Toreros big inning came in the bottom of the fifth as they scored four runs on five hits. Bonja led off with a single through the left side followed by a Mason who ripped a ball deep allowing Bonja to cross home plate tying the game 3-3. McFarland ripped a single advancing Mason to second base. Merchain belted a single to the infield as Mason took off for home making it past the catcher's attempt to tag her out. McFarland was then thrown out at second to end the play. Freshman Kelly Nesseth took over base-running duties for Merchain. Alicia Massei, fresh off the disabled list, tore off a single into center field moving Nesseth to third. Nesseth then took advantage of a wild pitch crossing home plate for a 5-3 lead. Junior Rebekah Bradford walked moving Massei to second. Ashlee Nunes then singled to the shortstop allowing Massei to score from second and capping the final at 6-3.

Defensively for San Diego, Haake records the loss moving to 7-7 after pitching a complete game recording four strikeouts. McFarland posts the win after her complete game moving to 3-2 overall and recording four strikeouts.

Offensively for the Toreros, McFarland finished a combined 4-for-7 (.571) with one triple and two RBI. Merchain combined for 2-for-4 (.500) with one double and two RBI. Nunes also hit 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.

USD and SCU return tomorrow for a second conference doubleheader at the USD Softball Complex scheduled to begin at noon.