May 6, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Behind a loud and enthusiastic crowd, Santa Clara swept Saint Mary's this afternoon by identical scores of 6-2 at Marsalli Park in a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader. Thanks to a superb effort by pitchers Liz Courter and Sara Overmier, in addition to the hot hitting of Jenny Brown, Sabrina Franks, and Shannon Linerud, the Broncos were able to comfortably take both contests against the Gaels, with Sabrina Franks hitting a grand slam in the second game to highlight the day.
Santa Clara improves its overall record to 22-34, 9-9 in the PCSC, and will return to action tomorrow afternoon with its home finale against Saint Mary's. The Broncos will honor Jenny Brown, Jessica Clee, Liz Courter, Kate Goethals, and Shannon Linerud in between Games 1 and 2, as the quintet will play their final collegiate matches. Game time is set for noon.
After starting hurler Liz Courter retired the side in the first inning, Shannon Linerud got the Santa Clara offense going with a hard-hit shot down the right field line that resulted in a double. Angela Kabanuck sent Linerud home for the early 1-0 lead after she rifled a double through left field. The Broncos added to their lead to 2-0 in the second inning after Linerud's single allowed Nori Kamada to cross home plate all the way from second base.
The scoring binge continued in the third inning, as Jenny Brown hit a shot down the left field for a single and advanced to third after Ashley Blier's double to left center. Jackie Morales stepped up to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Brown and moving Blier to third. Sara Overmier then brought Blier home after singling down the right field line, bringing the Broncos edge over the Gaels to 4-0.
Santa Clara added two more insurance runs in the fourth inning, though Saint Mary's scored one run in both the fifth and sixth innings to make the final outcome of the game 6-2. Overmier led the Broncos with a 3-of-3 performance from the plate and Linerud followed closely behind with a 3-of-4 effort at the bat.
Courter (10-15) went the distance in the contest, fanning a season-high 13 batters, in the victory, while Chelsea Loftis (2-15) suffered the loss.
In the start of the second game, Saint Mary's took a quick 1-0 lead after starter Jackie Morales gave up a home run, though Santa Clara bounced back in the bottom of the second inning in grand fashion. Brown started it off by singling to third base and went to second after Ashley Blier was walked. Jillian Cassel laid down a well-placed bunt to reach first and Blier and Brown advanced to second and third, respectively. Sabrina Franks capped off the offensively productive inning with a grand slam to center field, helping the Broncos take a 4-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, Linerud was walked with two outs on the table and Kabanuck slammed the second home run of the game in the next at bat, bringing Santa Clara's advantage over Saint Mary's to 6-1. While the Gaels would add one more run in the top of the fifth inning, relief pitcher Sara Overmier kept SMC at bay with her accurate placement of the ball. With the 6-2 lead heading into seventh inning, Overmier retired the side to give her team the victory.
Overmier improves to 4-4 on the year after only giving up five hits in four innings of work, while Megan Galloway (2-15) took the loss after giving up six runs in only three and two thirds innings.