April 22, 2007
SAN MATEO, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team wrapped up their series with Sacramento State Sunday afternoon with their second straight extra-innings battle, this one going to the Hornets in nine innings. Meghan Chavez hit a three-run home run early on, but in the last of the seventh, the Hornets connected for three runs to tie the game. Two innings later, consecutive singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases with nobody out and Jamie Schloredt's grounder to second base brought in the winning run for the Hornets.
Jerrica Castagno started the game for the Broncos, and for the most part made the Hornets work hard for every base they earned. In the bottom of the second, she got help from her defense when freshman Ashley Grove, playing at third for an injured Ashley Blier, got the runner at home plate with bases loaded, and then secured the third out on a line drive.
In the top of the third inning, the Broncos offense got to work. Britney Sanford reached on an error, then then a single by Nori Kamada set the table for Chavez to make a big impact. Her shot over the wall in left centerfield gave the Broncos a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets battled back, however. Whitney Loomis, who hit two home runs Saturday, led off the bottom of the third with a home run of her own over the wall in left field to narrow the lead to 3-1. But after that, Castagno hardly gave the Hornets anything: Home run and three straight outs in the third, double and three straight outs in the fourth, single and three straight outs in the fifth, and three straight outs in the sixth.
Carrying a 3-1 lead into the top of the seventh, the Broncos weren't satisfied. Chavez had her second hit of the ball game and took advantage of a wild pitch, putting her into scoring position for Kabanuck, who had converted nicely in the earlier game. And she did it again, this time with a double down the rightfield line, scoring Chavez from second to give Santa Clara a 4-1 lead.
But the Hornets weren't going to be swept. With one out, Sacramento State put together two consecutive singles before Loomis hit her second dinger of the game, this time a three-run home run to tie the game 4-4.
In the eighth, the Broncos struck out three times, and in the bottom of the inning, Castagno returned fire, striking out two. After three quick outs in the top of the ninth, Castagno had the top of the order coming up against her.
Two consecutive singles with a stolen base mixed in between left runners at the corners with nobody out. Head coach Steve Rianda then put Loomis on first intentionally, loading the bases for Jamie Schloredt. Schloredt's grounder found Netto at second base, but Netto's throw home was offline, allowing the game-winner to score for the Hornets, and bringing the series to a close following a split doubleheader in which both contests went to extra innings.
Following this weekend's series, the Broncos are now 11-40 overall and 4-8 in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference. Next weekend, April 28 and 29, Santa Clara will travel to face Portland State University. Gametimes both days will be 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.