SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Playing the first-ever home West Coast Conference games, Santa Clara softball dropped two games to Saint Mary's by finals of 1-0 in nine innings and 1-0. The Broncos are now 7-29 overall and 2-6 in WCC action on the season while the Gales are now 21-22 overall and 7-4 in conference play.
Santa Clara returns to the field tomorrow, Sun., April 27 at 12 p.m. vs. Saint Mary's in the series finale. It will be a "pink" game in support of breast cancer awareness.
Ciara Gonzales (4-13) started for Santa Clara and picked up a loss in 9.0 innings. Gonzales allowed one run on five hits with one walk. Breezy Bernard and Stephanie Fisher were both 2-4 to lead the offense.
Lujane Mussadi (12-11) started for Saint Mary's and picked up a win in 8.1 innings. Mussadi allowed no runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Katie Moss got her third save of the season. Giana Bilotta led the offense with a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth for the only run of the game. Brittany Sabatini and Andrea Hazel were both 1-4 with a double.
With one down in the bottom of the first, Bernard and Fisher hit back-to-back singles. Bernard was lifted for pinch-runner Amanda Delfino who moved up to third on a fielder's choice to center field when Fisher didn't get a good read on the popup and was thrown out after the ball fell. A liner to second ended the inning with the game still scoreless.
Erica Musgrave singled up the middle leading off the sixth inning. Musgrave moved into scoring position on a ground out to third and to third on a ground out to short. With the go ahead run 60 feet away and two outs, Loralie Fitzpatrick nearly hit a ball over Krista Jensen's head in right field but a lunging catch saved the day.
Bernard singled to third with one down in the home half of the sixth and Fisher followed with a single to right. After scalding two balls foul during her at-bat, Kelly Scribner hit into a double play to end the inning.
Geenamarie Bonilla roped a single into left field with one out in the bottom of the seventh to get the winning run on base. A sac bunt moved Bonilla into scoring position but a groundout sent the game to extra innings.
Sabatini doubled to left with one out in the eighth for Saint Mary's. Musgrave reached on an error by the shortstop that put runners at second and third with just one out. Gonzales escaped the jam with the score still 0-0.
Fitzpatrick hit the first pitch of the ninth into left field for a single and Lahela Usui pinch-ran. Usui moved up to second on a one out sacrifice bunt and came in to score on a single up the middle by pinch-hitter Bilotta.
Scribner walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Taylor Bojorquez came in to pinch-run. Gianetta France hit a ground ball to short but an error put runners on the corners. Bonilla went down swinging for the second out and pinch-hitter Chiara Biagini reached on a hit by pitch that loaded the bases. A fly ball to left ended the game.
Gonzales (4-14) started for Santa Clara and picked up a loss in 7.0 innings. Gonzales allowed one run on eight hits. Bernard was 2-2 with a walk to lead the offense. Scribner added the other Santa Clara hit.
Moss (2-4) started for Saint Mary's and picked up the complete game shutout. Moss allowed three hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts. Christine Torrise was 3-3 with a run scored to lead the offense. Hazel was 2-3 while Sabatini was 1-3 with an RBI.
Bernard walked with one out in the bottom of the first and Fisher was hit by a pitch. Santa Clara was unable to capitalize and the inning ended without a run coming across.
Torrise singled to right to start the third and a bunt single put runners on the corners after an error on the third baseman. Monika Reichhardt was caught stealing and a ball back to the pitcher got the second out. Sabatini came through with a two-out RBI single to right to put the Gaels up 1-0.
Scribner started the home half of the fourth with a base hit to right field and Amanda Delfino came in to run. Bonilla was hit in the head with a pitch to put two on for the Broncos but the next three went down in order.
Pinch-hitter Krista Jensen led off the bottom of the seventh with a foul out to the catcher. Pinch-hitter France followed with a strikeout. With the top of the order up and two outs Cassandra Padilla ended the game on a swinging strikeout.