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Seven-Run Sixth Inning Carries Broncos Past Lions

April 30, 2006

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team split again with Loyola Marymount in Pacific Coast Softball Conference action, losing the first game 6-1, but taking the second one in dominating fashion with an 11-3 triumph.  Jessica Clee's grand slam in the second contest was one of the many highlights for the Broncos today.

Santa Clara improves to 20-32 on the year, with a 7-9 mark in the PCSC, and will return to action on Tuesday with a doubleheader against Oregon up in Eugene, Ore. Game time is set for 1 p.m.

In the first game, neither team was able to score until Loyola Marymount tagged starting pitcher Liz Courter for two runs in the top of the third inning, as she gave up back-to-back solo homers. Santa Clara remained down two runs until the top of the seventh inning, when Loyola Marymount added four more runs to their lead. The Broncos were not able to get onto the board until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Jessica Clee started off the frame with a double to left field. Jenny Brown then walked to add another runner on base. Ashley Blier was able to bring home Clee after she singled to left center, although LMU's Tiffany Pagano was able to hold the remaining SCU batters at bay to pick up the win.

Courter drops her season record to 9-14 on the year after taking the loss despite striking out eight batters, while Pagano (12-10) fanned nine batters on her way to securing the victory.

The Lions' offense picked up right where it left off in the second game, as they scored three runs off of starting hurler Jackie Morales. Despite the shaky start, Morales was able to settle down and did not let Loyola Marymount score another run for the rest of the game.

The Broncos' offense came alive in the fourth inning, as they cut into the 3-0 deficit by scoring one run. Clee got onto first after rifling the ball to shortstop and advanced to second after Brown grounded out to second base. Blier then singled to right center, bringing Clee across home plate.

In the fifth inning, Santa Clara took the lead on the game at 4-3 after bringing in three runs. Nori Kamada got things started by singling after laying down a bunt, but was able to get to second off of an error by the pitcher. A wild pitch enabled Kamada to reach third and after a Shannon Linerud walk and an Angela Kabanuck bunt single, the Broncos found the bases loaded. Clee then hit a sacrifice fly to left field, bringing Kamada home and moving the others runners one base up. Brown then reached on a fielder's choice, though Linerud scored and Kabanuck advanced to third. The final run in the fifth inning came after Kabanuck was able to steal home while Brown got picked off on her way to second.

The Broncos exploded for seven runs in the sixth inning to effectively close out the game early. The frame was highlighted by a grand slam by Jessica Clee. With Noelani Hoopii, Brittany Pucci, and Linerud all on base, Clee blasted the ball past the center field wall to give Santa Clara the lead for good. The hitting spree continued for Santa Clara and Hoopii ended the game after her single up the middle brought home Blier, giving the Broncos their seventh run of the inning and an eight-run advantage over the Lions.

Morales (4-9) picked up the win after going five innings today, while Samantha Lavino (12-7) took the loss.