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Vikings Nip Broncos in 12-Inning Thriller

April 23, 2006

Box Score

Santa Clara, Calif. - In yesterday's Pacific Coast Conference contest between Santa Clara and Portland State, Liz Courter pitched her way to a brilliant 3-2 extra-innings victory.  However, the roles were reversed this afternoon, as the Vikings were able to snatch a hard-fought 5-4 win that went 12 innings in the first game of a doubleheader.  Solo homeruns by Angela Kabanuck and Shannon Linerud were not enough to propel the Broncos to victory.  In the following game, Portland State triumphed over Santa Clara 10-1 to win the weekend series, as the two teams split Saturday's doubleheader.

Santa Clara drops its overall record to 16-30 on the season, with a 5-7 mark in PCSC play, and will return to action next weekend with a four-game series against host Loyola Marymount.

Due to PCSC rules, the home and visiting teams switch after the first day and Santa Clara started off the game batting first as the visitors. Valerie Mock got SCU's offense going right off the bat in the top of the first inning after singling to the shortstop. Jessica Clee then reached first base after an error by the shortstop, which enabled Kabanuck to get to second. Jenny Brown then singled and Kabanuck's speed took her all the way to home, giving the Broncos the early 1-0 lead.

Portland State came back in their at bat in the first inning to score two runs after a few Santa Clara fielding miscues, but Shannon Linerud tied the game up at 2-2 in the third inning after blasting a shot past left field.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Vikings added another run to take a 3-2 advantage in the game. Portland State threatened to break the game open in that same inning, as the bases were loaded with two outs. However, starting pitcher Liz Courter was able to get Lacey Gorman to ground out to third base to end the scoring threat.

Down by a run, Kabanuck got her team back on track in the top of the sixth inning as her homerun to centerfield knotted the score at 3-3. Clee followed that up with a single up the middle and with two outs, Ashley Blier banged a double that hit the top of the fence. Maggie Godfrey was unable to capitalize on the Broncos good fortunes, as she grounded out to second base to end the inning.

The contest headed into extra innings as the score remained 3-3 after the seventh inning. After Vikings pitcher Michelle Hext retired the side in order in the eighth inning, Courter found herself in a dangerous situation with Portland State up, as there were runners at the corners with two outs. However, she was able to strikeout Jana Rae Slayton to obtain the necessary third out.

Both squads were unable to score in the ninth inning and at the beginning of the 10th inning, the international softball rule was employed. With runner Noelani Hoopii automatically placed on second base, lead-off hitter Nori Kamada laid down a sacrifice bunt to send Hoopii to third. Linerud was next up and hit a blooper single over second base that allowed Hoopii to cross home plate and give Santa Clara the 4-3 advantage. However, Portland State countered with a run of its own at its next at bat to tie it up at 4-4 heading into the 11th inning. It wasn't until the 12th inning that another run would be scored and it was the Vikings that were able to get the winning run across the plate and took the contest 5-4.

Courter (8-12) took the loss after striking out seven batters, while Hext improved to 11-7 on the season after fanning 14 batters. In total, Santa Clara accumulated 11 hits, with Blier, Brown, Clee, Kabanuck, and Linerud each leading the way with two hits apiece.

After a short break, Courter returned to resume her pitching duties in the second game of the doubleheader, but Portland State was able to race out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Sara Overmier replaced Courter after a three-run homer was given up with no outs on the Vikings' side. Portland State was able to get one more run off of Overmier to take a commanding 5-0 lead after only one inning of play.

After Portland State added two more runs heading into Santa Clara's at bat in the sixth inning, Clee got her team on the scoreboard with a homerun to right center. The Vikings added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning off of a three-run homer to account for the final margin.

Mandy Hill (17-5) was credited with the win, holding the Broncos to just five hits, while Courter (8-13) was hit with the loss.