Women win on a walk-off in one game, can’t grab series
THE SANTA CLARA
April 9, 2015
The first game of conference play began on a clear Thursday afternoon at the SCU Softball Field, with both teams’ aces on the mound.
The Santa Clara softball team began conference play this past weekend versus Loyola Marymount University in a three-game series.
Santa Clara pitcher Ciara Gonzales and LMU pitcher Rachael Farrington set the tone early, both allowing no runs on only four total hits in the first three innings.
Despite Gonzales’s solid performance, LMU scored two unearned runs off an error to take a 2-0 lead.
The small lead was enough for a shutout win for the Lions.
Without giving up a single earned run, the Broncos were fired up for the second game. With the same pitchers on the mound, both teams still had a tough time finding runs.
“We definitely need to make our adjustments at the plate quicker,” said senior Jordan Newell. “If we get a lead, our solid defense will do the rest.”
After three scoreless innings, LMU got on the board first off a fielder’s choice. They added to their lead in the next inning when Gonzales gave up a solo home run, increasing the deficit to two runs.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning that Santa Clara finally cracked Farrington. Captain Breezy Bernard drove in two runs off a single and later in the inning Newell would bat in a third run to give the Broncos their first lead of the series.
“Our dugout also had a ton of energy this weekend, which kept us focused in,” Newell said.
Defense continued to be a problem for Santa Clara, however, as an error would score the tying run in the top of the seventh for LMU.
After a rally in the previous inning, the Broncos looked confident versus Farrington and continued to have success in the bottom of the seventh. Infielder Jenna Krummen began the rally with a leadoff single. After an ensuing wild pitch, Krummen, now on second, advanced to third off a bunt by freshman Ellie Fisher.
With the momentum clearly in Santa Clara’s favor, the Lions optioned to replace Farrington for the first time in nearly two games. The move, however, would not be to their advantage. On the next at-bat, Casandra Padilla singled to center field to drive in the go-ahead run from the third, winning the game for the Broncos, 4-3.
“I was so confident that she was going to do it,” Newell said. “It’s always fun to win like that.”
After a series tying performance in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, both teams looked to clinch the series in the afternoon.
Santa Clara took the first lead when Fisher scored off of an LMU wild pitch, but their lead disappeared soon after when the Lions scored three runs in the third and fourth.
The Broncos scored an unearned run in the fifth off an error and another in the sixth to tie the game up at three apiece.
Nevertheless, Santa Clara was unable to fend off the Lions’ offense. In the top of the seventh, LMU scored two runs off of a pair of singles to give them a 5-3 lead heading into the final half-inning.
Despite a late single by sophomore Geenamarie Bonilla, Santa Clara was unable to muster up anything else offensively and lost 5-3.
“We played three great games this weekend; we just needed to capitalize on our opportunities,” Newell said. “If we clean up some mistakes and make adjustments at the plate, we’ll be fine.”
Contact Nick Redfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.