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Britan Linton and the Gaels travel to Santa Clara this weekend for a crucial four-game PCSC series
Britan Linton and the Gaels travel to Santa Clara this weekend for a crucial four-game PCSC series
SB | Gaels Set For Important PCSC Series at Santa Clara
Release: Friday 04/19/2012 
by SMC Athletics
MORAGA, Calif. - The Saint Mary's softball team will play their final Pacific Coast Softball Conference road series this weekend when they travel to nearby Santa Clara. The Gaels and Broncos will play four games this weekend, with each game of importance for SMC with San Diego 1.5 games ahead of the Gaels in the Coastal Division.

Saint Mary's and Santa Clara will play doubleheaders on Saturday, April 21 and Sunday, April 22 beginning at 12 p.m. The games will be played at San Jose State's Spartan Softball Stadium as the new Bronco stadium is being built. Live stats will be available for all four games and can be found on the softball schedule page.

Saint Mary's enters the series with a 19-20 overall record and sits in second place in the Coastal Division with an 8-3 PCSC record. Most recently, the Gaels swept a four-game road series against CSU Bakersfield last weekend. After big 10-5 and 12-5 wins on day one, Saint Mary's shutout out the Roadrunners 7-0 in game three and then run-ruled CSUB 12-3 in six innings to complete the sweep.

Rebecca Sabatini was excellent at the plate last week, combining to go 14-for-18 in four games against the Roadrunners and one against No. 1 California. For her efforts, Sabatini was named the PCSC Coastal Division Player of the Week. This was the first time in her career she earned the award and the fourth time this season that a SMC player has been honored by the conference (Jessica Lemmon- 2/27, 3/26, 4/2).

As a team, Saint Mary's is second in the conference with a .296 batting average and tied for third in the PCSC with 30 home runs this season. After her outstanding week, R. Sabatini boosted her average to a team-best .400 this season and also leads the team with 30 RBI. Michelle Mounts is second on the team with a .382 average and leads the team with 28 runs scored and 12 doubles. Leadoff hitter Brittany Sabatini (.328) exploded this past Sunday for three home runs to put her season total at a team-high eight, which is third all-time in a single season at Saint Mary's. Jenna Smith (2007-10) holds the SMC single season home run record of 11 set in 2008.

The Saint Mary's pitching staff has a 3.71 ERA and is holding opponents to a .279 batting average. The two Gael starters, Jessica Lemmon (10-9, 3.23 ERA) and Britany Linton (8-7, 4.13 ERA), both went 2-0 last weekend against the Roadrunners and did not allow an earned run on day two of the series. Lemmon has appeared in a team-high 29 games with 117.0 innings pitched and has held opponents to just a .244 average this season, while Linton has started a team-high 18 games.

Santa Clara enters the series with an 8-37 overall record and a 2-10 mark in PCSC play. Last weekend the Broncos were swept on the road against San Diego and most recently dropped a 10-2 five-inning game to No. 1 California on Wednesday. Santa Clara's only two conference wins this season came in surprising fashion when the Broncos opened PCSC play with a series split against preseason favorite LMU.

The Broncos rank last in the PCSC with a .237 batting average as a team this season but Santa Clara is fifth in the league with 25 home runs. Alyssa Jepsen leads SCU at the plate with a .370 average (47-for-127) this season, while Briana Knight is hitting .252 (34-for-135) with a team-leading seven home runs and 27 RBI.

Santa Clara has used four pitchers this season and they have combined for a 6.50 ERA, while opponents are hitting .315 against them. Carissa Theis (3-10, 5.57 ERA) leads the team in ERA and has allowed 91 hits and 45 earned runs with 58 strikeouts. Jessica Turner (2-10, 6.48 ERA) has pitched a team-high 93.0 innings this season and has allowed 114 hits with 61 walks and 44 strikeouts.

The Gaels are 77-45 against Santa Clara all-time, while the teams have split games earlier this season.

Following the games against Santa Clara, Saint Mary's will host their final regular season PCSC series next weekend against LMU. The Gaels and Lions will play doubleheaders on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 at Cottrell Field.