March 6, 2013
The No. 6 Golden Bears (16-2) used their first home game to showcase an explosive offense to their fans, smashing four homers for a 7-2 victory over the Pacific Tigers (13-7) Wednesday at Levine-Fricke Field.
Sophomore Cheyenne Cordes led the team to victory with two home runs, aided by a homer each from sophomore Danielle Henderson and senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt.Cordes notched her first long ball of the season, and Ziegenhirt’s homer was her tenth in 2013.
“Home runs are not a usual thing, but it’s becoming somewhat of a usual thing as far as the ability of the players on this team to hit home runs because they’re very strong and they have a good eye and keep their weight back,” said Cal head coach Diane Ninemire. “It’s not surprising that we do have a number of players who can hit a home run, and that’s what makes our team dangerous. “
The trio combined for all six of the team’s RBI. Cordes went three-for-four on the day with three RBI, while Henderson went one-for-four with two RBI and Ziegenhirt went one-for-two with one RBI. In total, the team had just eight hits but scored seven runs. Senior Jolene Henderson, junior Britt Vonk and sophomore Breana Kostreba also tallied a hit each for California.
Cordes set the tone early, giving the home crowd a show with a leadoff home run in California’s very first at-bat of its home opener.
Pacific tied it up at the top of the third, as a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt put senior Amy Moore on third. A single from fellow senior Megan Hom drove her in.
The Golden Bears answered with another home run in the bottom of the fourth with a dinger from Ziegenhirt, and before the Tigers could score again, Cal exploded in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman Khala Taylor reached first on an error by Pacific’s second baseman, and then Cordes put another ball over the fence to give the Bears a 4-1 lead. The home run derby continued as Vonk and Kostreba both reached base and Vonk scored on a throw before D. Henderson homered for two RBI.
“We’re only ever one swing away from winning a game, and that’s a great feeling to have. This team has that capability,” Ninemire said.
The Tigers put one more on the board at the top of the sixth on a score from senior pitcher Nikki Armagost after an error by Cal, but could not tie it up in the final two innings.
Pacific sophomore Dani Bonnet (2-3) was charged with the loss for her one inning of play that allowed six runs across. J. Henderson (12-2) earned the win for pitching the duration of the game, allowing nine hits and a walk while striking out seven. The victory gave the Bears their 15th-straight win since losing to then-No. 14 Florida.
“It’s so important to keep our momentum going but to continue improving. We don’t want to peak right now in preseason. We want to peak at the end. As long as we keep getting better, we’ll be fine,” Cordes said.
California’s upcoming agenda includes four games at the Fresno State Classic in Fresno, where they will take on Iowa State, San Diego State, Fresno State in Saint Mary’s beginning Friday.
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