SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Santa Clara softball earned a split on the final day of the NorCal Kickoff, falling to UC Santa Barbara 2-0 in the day's opener before coming back with a 7-4 victory over Sacramento State in the afternoon.
The Broncos (2-3) ended up on the wrong end of a pitcher's duel in the first game of the day.
Alyssa Molina (1-1) was terrific in the complete game shutout and earned her first win of the year. She allowed seven hits and two walks while punching out three.
The lone runs came in the third after the Gauchos (1-4) loaded the bases with no outs behind a pair of singles and a hit batter. A fielder's choice by Carissa Felix and a single by Sierra Altmeyer brought in the only runs Molina would need.
Sammy Fabian picked up a pair of hits with a run scored and every other Gaucho starter but one picked up a single of their own.
The Broncos nearly rallied in the bottom of the seventh after Regan Dias led off with a double and Allyson Ferreira walked to bring the winning run to the plate but neither runner was able to come across.
Sammy Needham led the offense with three singles while Eleni Spirakis reached twice with a single and a hit by pitch.
Hannah Edwards (0-2) took the loss while going 3 innings in the start. She allowed two runs on six hits with three strikeouts.
Despite finding themselves down a run after one inning and two after the second, the Broncos offense came back with seven over the next three frames to earn a split on the day.
The scoring began with one out in the third when Emma Bickford doubled to left, bringing in Needham. Kaitlyn Anderson followed with an RBI single of her own and three batters later, with the bases loaded, Sarah Ellersick had an RBI fielder's choice.
After a Santa Clara error cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning, a Hornets (4-1) error gave two runs right back in the top of the fourth.
Another Sacramento State error set the table for the Broncos in the fifth and Regan Dias hit an RBI single, followed by a sac fly from Needham to make it 7-3.
Dias (2-0) picked up the win in relief, tossing 4 innings while allowing one run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout after starter Hannah Edwards allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks in 3 innings.
Dias also added a pair of hits, a run scored, and an RBI with Needham collecting two hits, scoring twice, and knocking in one. She finished the day with five hits in two games.
Lewa Day and Mo Spieth both collected two hits for Sacramento State. Day had a double and an RBI and Spieth had a doubled with a run scored.
Alyssa Nunez took the loss in 1 inning out of the bullpen. She allowed three runs but just one earned on three hits with a strikeout and two walks. Starter Danielle Sperry lasted 2 innings and gave up two runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout.
The Broncos are off to the UC Riverside Tournament where they will take on UTEP Friday at 9 a.m.
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