SARATOGA, Calif. - Despite a difficult day at the plate, the Saint Mary's softball team was able to manage a doubleheader split on Saturday on the first day of a Pacific Coast Softball Conference series against the Broncos. The Gaels had just six hits on the day, including two in the 6-3 game two win.
Sophomore Brittany Sabatini and senior Michelle Mounts each went 2-for-4 on Saturday to lead the Gaels, while B. Sabatini accounted for three RBI and also walked three times.
The Gaels (20-21, 9-4 PCSC) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in game one in the top of the first. B. Sabatini doubled to right field to lead off the game and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Amelia McIntosh. B. Sabatini scored in the next at bat when Mounts hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put the Gaels up 1-0.
Santa Clara's (9-38, 3-11 PCSC) Briana Knight tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run over the center field fence. The Broncos threatened with two base runners following the home run, but SMC starter Jessica Lemmon and the Gael defense were able to get out of the jam.
Saint Mary's responded the following inning to regain the lead. After Christine Torrise singled to open the inning and Nicole Arce reached on an error, Mandy Camuso was hit by her team-high 21st pitch of the season to load the bases. B. Sabatini came through during the next at bat with a sacrifice fly to score Torrise from third. The Gaels had runners on first and second with one out, but grounded out twice to end the inning.
Santa Clara was not to be denied though, as Kelly Scribner hit a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the Broncos up 3-2 and leave the Gaels with three outs remaining in the game.
SMC threatened in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second with one out, but a double play ended the game and gave Santa Clara the 3-2 win.
Lemmon (10-10) was tagged with the loss after scattering seven hits, allowing three earned runs, walking one and striking out three in 6.0 innings pitched.
The Gaels managed four hits in game one against Santa Clara starter Carissa Theis. B. Sabatini, Mounts, Smith and Torrise each had a hit against Theis, while B. Sabatini and Mounts each had a RBI sacrifice fly.
Game two started in similar fashion, with the Gaels taking an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. After B. Sabatini walked to open the inning, McIntosh once again laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Sabatini over to second. B. Sabatini then advanced twice on two separate balks from SCU starter Jessica Turner to put the Gaels up 1-0.
Turner once again had an issue on the mound in the top of the second, as Kayla Gonzales scored on another balk to put SMC up 2-0. B. Sabatini added to the Gaels' lead with a two-RBI single to right field which scored Mandy Camuso and Torrise.
The Broncos chipped away at the Saint Mary's lead with single runs in the second, third, and fourth.
The Gaels added to their lead in the top of the fifth with a RBI groundout by Smith and then got an unearned run in the seventh to earn the 6-3 win.
B. Sabatini and Mounts accounted for the only two SMC hits in game two.
Freshman Sarah Lira (2-2) earned the win in game two, scattering five hits and allowing three earned runs in 4.0 innings pitched. Lemmon earned her third save of the season after entering the game in the bottom of the fifth and allowing just one hit and striking out one in 3.0 innings pitched.
The Gaels and Broncos will return to action tomorrow with another doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.