SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Santa Clara's Micaela Vierra and Ciara Gonzales combined to allow seven hits and one unearned run over seven innings as the Broncos defeated Sacramento State, 2-1, in a non-conference game Tuesday evening at SCU Softball Stadium.
The victory allowed the Broncos to improve to 8-23 while the Hornets dropped to 12-18-1. Tonight was the first of just two remaining non-conference games on the regular season schedule as Sacramento State will take on Cal in a makeup home game on Wednesday, April 19, at 4 p.m.
In tonight's game, the Hornets had plenty of chances to score, accumulating seven hits and four walks. In fact, Sacramento State stranded at least one runner on base in every inning but the fourth while leaving multiple runners aboard in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Hornets finished the game just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-14 with runners on base.
Sacramento State had a big chance to tie in the sixth inning, getting a runner to third base with one out, but Gonzales, who entered the game with a runner at second base and no outs, escaped the jam. She retired both Sydnee Strong and Nene Alas on ground balls. In the seventh, the Hornets got runners to first and second base with one out, but Mo Spieth and Jessica Scott were both retired to end the game.
Santa Clara had three doubles in the first inning to score two runs, including RBI-two baggers from Taylor Burns and Amanda Delfino. The Broncos would connect for just four hits during the final six innings.
Sacramento State scored its lone run in the third inning when a Spieth two-out, RBI-single scored Zamari Hinton from second base. However, the Hornets would not score again as the Broncos were held scoreless in their final five at-bats and the Hornets scoreless in their last four at-bats.
Vierra (4-7) got the win, allowing seven hits and one unearned run in five innings of work with four strikeouts. Gonzales issued three walks during the final two innings, but did not allow a run while earning her second save of the season. Taylor Tessier (4-7) got the loss, allowing two runs and six hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Freshman Danielle Sperry pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, lowering her ERA to a staff-best 2.67.
For Sacramento State, both Sydney Rasmussen (2-for-3) and Scott (2-for-4) had multiple-hit games. Spieth was 1-for-4 with an RBI and Hinton 1-for-3 with a run scored. Alas also finished 1-for-3.
The Hornets jump back into Big Sky Conference play for a three-game home series vs Montana this weekend. The Hornets and Griz will play a doubleheader on Saturday at noon, followed by a single game on Sunday at noon. In between games of Saturday's doubleheader, former Hornet pitcher Joanne English will have her number retired in a ceremony.
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