May 7, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - The Santa Clara softball team beat Pacific Coast Softball Conference rival Saint Mary's twice this afternoon at Marsalli Park to complete the four-game weekend sweep, sending out its five seniors in grand fashion. Jenny Brown, Jessica Clee, Liz Courter, and Shannon Linerud competed for the final time in a Bronco uniform this afternoon, paving the way for two victories by scores of 10-2 and 6-0. The fifth senior, Kate Goethals, took her turn behind the mike instead of the plate, as the catcher took on the duties of the game-day announcer this weekend due to an injury she suffered last Saturday and was unable to partake in the series against the Gaels. The quintet was honored in the middle of Games 1 and 2 for their commitment and dedication to Bronco softball over the past four years, in the presence of family and friends.
The Broncos finish the year with an overall record of 24-34 and with four consecutive wins over the Gaels this weekend, improve their PCSC mark to 11-9.
Santa Clara bolted to a huge lead in the first inning, as Shannon Linerud started off the game with a walk and advanced to second base after she beat out the throw from the pitcher from Angela Kabanuck's at bat. Jessica Clee then loaded the bases after she singled to left field, giving clean-up batter Jenny Brown a prime opportunity to send some runners across the plate. She responded to the challenge by singling to left field, bringing Linerud home. During Ashley Blier's turn at the plate, Kabanuck scored off of a passed ball and Brown and Clee took advantage of the situation, moving to second and third, respectively. Blier than gave the Broncos the 3-0 lead after doubling down the right field line, pushing Clee and Brown past the home plate. Noelani Hoopii then hit the ball into left center for a single, increasing Santa Clara's advantage by one after Blier ran to home. After Sabrina Franks walked, putting Hoopii on second, Sara Overmier was able to load the bases for the second time this inning after reaching first base off of an error by the Gaels shortstop. Linerud then put the ball into ball again, hitting to third base, which allowed Hoopii to score to give the Broncos a commanding 6-0 advantage in only the first inning.
In the fourth inning, Saint Mary's scored to runs to cut into its deficit, but Clee added to Santa Clara's tally when she hit a solo shot past the right field fence to put her team up 7-2. The Broncos scored three more runs in the top of the seventh inning to account for the final margin. Clee started it off with a double to left center and Brown got onto first after getting walked. Blier then stepped up to the plate and hit her first career home run, giving her squad three more runs with a shot that went past the left field fence.
Hurler Liz Courter (11-15) went the distance in the contest, fanning eight batters on her way to victory. Marlena Green (2-7) picked up the loss after giving up six runs on four hits, all in the first inning. Leading the way for the Broncos on offense was Clee, who went 4-of-4 from the plate, and Blier, who had a 2-of-4 performance from the plate while adding in five RBIs.
In the second game, Santa Clara did not have quite the explosive first inning as in the previous contest, as the batters were retired in order, but got its offense jumpstarted in the second inning. Brown got on base due to a walk and advanced to second after the shortstop mishandled Blier's hit. Overmier then singled to left field and advanced to second and Blier to third after Jenny Brown was thrown out at home. Valerie Mock then gave Santa Clara a 2-0 lead after her single down the left field line enabled both Blier and Overmier to cross home plate.
The Broncos added two more runs in the following inning for the 4-0 advantage. Back-to-back walks for Clee and Brown put runners on first and second and Blier doubled down the left field line to bring the pair home. The potent offense generated two insurance runs in the seventh inning, giving SCU a 6-0 lead over SMC. Kabanuck and Clee had back-to-back singles down the middle to get themselves on first and second base, respectively and Brown looped a double into left field, scoring both Kabanuck and Clee.
Although Overmier started in the circle for Santa Clara, it was Jackie Morales who picked up the win, boosting her record to 5-9. Courter pitched the final two innings of the contest to cap off her career as a Bronco. Chelsea Loftis (2-16) was hit with the loss after she gave up four runs on three hits. Mock was the leading hitter on the squad, posting a 2-of-3 performance from the plate to go along with her two RBIs.