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Toreros Finish Opening Weekend of Conference Play 2-2

April 9, 2006

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego softball team (14-16) posted a split in Sunday afternoon's twin ball against Santa Clara University (13-24) at the USD Softball Complex. San Diego captured the first game 8-1 over the Broncos and posted a 7-6 extra-inning loss in game two.

In game one the Toreros defense held the Broncos scoreless through five innings allowing only two hits, while the offense recorded runs in the second, fourth, and sixth innings. USD's big scoring run came in the fourth inning when they posted five runs on five hits.

With the Toreros leading 1-0, Virginia Fritsch started the offense off reaching first base on a Bronco error. Emily Passovoy then took her base after being hit by a pitch advancing Fritsch to second. Nichole Valenzuela sent a ball over the infield and into shallow center field moving Passovoy and Fritsch one base. Kathleen Bonja also put a ball into center field moving Valenzuela and Passovoy one base and allowing Fritsch to score. Sara Mason smashed a two run double deep into left-center field which brought home Passovoy and Valenzuela and moving Bonja to third base as the Toreros took a 4-0 lead. Gina McFarland blasted a single through the right side into the outfield scoring Bonja and moving Mason to third base. Marissa Merchain then sent a ball back to the pitcher allowing Mason to score and giving the Toreros a 6-0 lead to cap the inning.

USD posted two more runs in the sixth inning to seal the 8-1 victory and taking a 2-1 lead in the series.

In game two, USD got off to a slow start as they were held scoreless through the first three innings. San Diego posted runs in the Fourth, sixth, and eighth innings while the Broncos recorded runs in the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth innings.

Down 1-0 going into the fourth inning, San Diego put up three runs on two hits against the Broncos. Bonja led off the inning with a stand-up double to right field. Mason laid down a sacrifice bunt almost beating the tag but moving Bonja over to third base. McFarland and Merchain both took first base on balls loading the bases for San Diego. Fritsch followed reaching base on an error by the Bronco shortstop advancing McFarland and Merchain one base and allowing Bonja to score. Celine Pujol took over base-running duties for Merchain. Alicia Massei belted a single up the middle into the outfield allowing McFarland and Pujol to score and moving Fritsch to third base as the Toreros took a 3-1 lead.

Both teams battled for the lead as the Broncos tallied three runs in four innings. With a 4-4 tie heading into extra innings, San Diego turned up the heat on the Broncos when Merchain reached on an error by the Santa Clara pitcher. Fritsch tripled to right-center field scoring Merchain for a 5-4 lead. Treiber hit a sacrifice fly to right field allowing Fritsch to score from third ending the inning with the Toreros up 6-4.

However, San Diego wasn't able to hold on as Santa Clara posted three runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth inning to win the game 7-6.

Offensively for San Diego, McFarland hit a combined 5-for-8 (.625) with one double, one RBI, and two runs scored. Fritsch hit 4-for-7 (.571) with one triple, three RBI, and two runs scored. Merchain hit 2-for-5 (.400) with one double, two RBI, and three runs scored.

Defensively for USD, Christina Haake posted a loss moving to 3-7 overall (4.99 ERA) pitching 6.0 innings and striking out two batters. Erin Harmonson picks up a win moving to 8-7 on the season (3.26 ERA) after pitching a complete game and striking out five batters.

San Diego returns to action as they take their first conference road trip this upcoming weekend to Moraga, Calif. to face the Saint Mary's College Gaels. Games are scheduled for Friday, April 14 at noon and 2 p.m., and Saturday, April 15 at noon and 2 p.m.