April 26, 2006
San Jose, Calif. - The tally is in and it's official: Santa Clara has yet again defeated San Jose State in the Rivalry Series. With today's softball sweep of the Spartans at the San Jose State Softball Complex, the Broncos hold a commanding 26-6 lead in the annual competition between the two South Bay universities 13 varsity sports. Santa Clara overwhelmed San Jose State in the first game of the twin bill, as Jackie Morales led her team to an 11-0 victory that lasted only six innings. She not only pitched the entire contest, but she also totaled a team-leading three hits. In the second game, Ashley Blier guided the Broncos to a 6-4 victory after tallying three RBIs off of three hits.
Santa Clara improves to 18-30 on the year and will return to action this weekend with two doubleheaders against Pacific Coast Softball Conference rival Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Saturday and Sunday's contests are slated to begin at noon.
Santa Clara got on the board in the first game in the second inning, with Jenny Brown starting off with a double to left field. Brown advanced to third after Blier laid down a sacrifice bunt, and she scored on a wild pitch, giving the Broncos the early 1-0 lead.
Neither team would be able to score again until the fourth inning, when Santa Clara exploded for five runs. Jessica Clee singled to right field to begin the Broncos onslaught and went to second after Brown was walked. The pair advanced to second and third, respectively, after a wild pitch and both scored after Blier sent a laser to left field and went to second on the throw. Meghan Notti pinch ran for Blier and scored after Morales doubled to left center. Morales was able to reach third after Meghan Chavez grounded out to second base. Brittany Pucci then stepped up to the plate and slammed a shot past left field to put herself and Morales across the plate.
With a commanding 6-0, Santa Clara tacked on another five runs in the sixth inning to end the game early. The frame was highlighted by Angela Kabanuck's double down the left field line that scored Liz Courter and Pucci, who were at second and third, respectively. Morales (3-8) picked up the win and Courtney Lewis (10-4) took the loss. In total, Santa Clara boasted 13 hits and in addition to Morales' three, Shannon Linerud, Clee, and Pucci notched two hits.
As in the first game, Santa Clara was the first on the board in the second contest, scoring one run in the third after Clee's double sent Kabanuck across the home plate from second base. However, San Jose State was able to counter and scored a run to tie it up in the bottom of the third inning.
San Jose State was able to rally and score three runs in the fifth inning to make the score 4-1. Santa Clara was able to generate much offense and heading into the seventh inning, the Spartans remained in the lead. Luckily for the Broncos, their bats got hot again and Nori Kamada started off the inning with a single to third base. Linerud reached first off a fielder's choice, with Kamada out at second, and Linerud advanced to second thanks to a single by Kabanuck. Kabanuck and Linerud then took off for second and third, respectively, after a wild pitch and Clee loaded up the bases after she was walked. Brown drove home Linerud after a single and then Blier doubled to center field, clearing the bases to give Santa Clara a 5-4 advantage over San Jose State. Chavez then singled through the left side, prompting Blier to head for third. The comeback and scoring spree was complete after Blier scored on a throwing error, making the score 6-4 in favor of the Broncos.
Sara Overmier (3-3) pitched a complete game to earn the win, while Nicole Luna-Pickens (5-8) gave up seven hits to take the loss. Santa Clara had 11 hits and along with Blier's team-leading three hits, Clee, Kabanuck, and Kamada had two apiece.