April 22, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Portland State came into today's softball doubleheader with Santa Clara as the only undefeated team in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference, but thanks to the host Broncos, the Vikings can no longer make that claim. Hurler Liz Courter pitched a magnificent 10 innings to ensure that Santa Clara came away with an important 3-2 triumph in the first game of the twin bill. Portland State came back later to hand the Broncos an 8-0 loss to salvage a split.
Santa Clara stays even in conference play with a 5-5 mark, taking its season record to 16-28, and returns to action tomorrow with Portland State to complete the weekend series at Marsalli Park. Game time is set for noon.
After one and a half innings of scoreless play in the first game, Santa Clara had a great opportunity to put a runner across the plate in the bottom of the second inning, as Sara Overmier blasted a double down the right field line with two outs. However, Kate Goethals grounded out to second base to end the threat.
In the following inning, Valerie Mock started things off with a single through centerfield. Brittany Pucci was subbed in as a pinch runner for Mock and immediately got to second base after Nori Kamada made a sacrifice bunt. Pucci advanced to third after Linerud grounded out to the shortstop and ended up scoring after Angela Kabanuck hit a blooper right over first base.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jenny Brown got onto first base after she hit a laser into right field and advanced to second base after Ashley Blier laid down a sacrifice bunt. However, Santa Clara was not able to convert on its scoring opportunity, as hurler Mandy Hill was able to retire Sara Overmier and Kate Goethals.
Linerud started the fifth inning off with a hard hit that went right through the third baseman's glove an into right field, yielding a double. She advanced to third off of a pass ball and Kabanuck's laser to shortstop scored Linerud to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Broncos.
The Vikings were held scoreless for a majority of the game, as Courter kept the visitors off balance with her quick and controlled deliveries. However, Portland State got on the board in the top of the sixth inning, as Courter gave up a two-run homer to Lacey Goreman to knot up the score at 2-2.
Valerie Mock rifled a single through to center field to get the bottom of the seventh inning started on a good note for Santa Clara. Jackie Morales was inserted in place of Mock and advanced to second after Kamada put down a sacrifice bunt. After Linerud was walked on a full count, Mock stepped up to the plate and got onto base after a fielder's choice, though Linerud was out at second. With runners at the corners, Clee was unable to bring anyone across the plate, as she grounded out to the pitcher.
For the next two-and-a-innings, the score remained 2-2, even after the international softball rule was implemented in the top of the 10th inning. With Kabanuck placed at second in the bottom of the 10th for Santa Clara, Jessica Clee nailed a shot to right field that enabled her to reach second, although Kabanuck was thrown out at third. Brown then promptly doubled to left field, sending Clee across home plate for the winning run.
Courter, who fanned 13 batters in 10 innings, earned her eighth victory of the season to up her record to 8-11, while Hill suffered only her fifth loss of the year to move to 15-5 in 2006.
In the second game, Portland State jumped out at starting pitcher Jackie Morales from the get go, peppering her for five hits that led to a commanding 5-0 edge. Courter replaced Morales in the middle of the fifth inning and was able to retire the side without any more damage. Sara Overmier took over in the sixth inning and the Vikings continued their assault on the Broncos pitching staff, adding three more runs in the seventh inning to account for the final tally in the game.
Hext (10-7) picked up the victory for the Vikings while giving up only two hits, while Morales took the loss and dropped her overall record to 2-8 on the year.