April 2, 2013
TUSCON, Ariz. – The No. 5/4 California softball team used six home runs spread between two games to win a twinbill against No. 19/22 Arizona at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tuscon, Ariz. Tuesday. The Bears beat the Wildcats 6-2 in the first game and 5-1 in the nightcap.
Senior Jolene Henderson (25-2) pitched two complete games, striking out 12 while allowing 13 hits, three runs and three walks in 14 innings. Henderson was instrumental on the opposite side of the ball as well, hitting a home run in each game to go 2-for-6 (.333) with 3 RBI. Senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt also knocked in two homers of her own, along with a triple, to go 3-for-7 (.429) for 5 RBI.
Sophomore Danielle Henderson and junior Victoria Jones joined in on the home run derby with one each. D. Henderson went 2-for-6 (.333) at the plate and Jones went 1-for-6 (.167). Junior Britt Vonk contributed several crucial advancing hits with a .500 batting average through two games (3-for-6) and one RBI.
The Bears tallied a total of 11 runs and 15 hits, with six runs and 10 hits in the first game and five runs and five hits in the second game. The team held Arizona to a .232 batting average. The Wildcats used Estela Pinon (8-4), who whiffed four, in the first game, and Shelby Babcock (11-5) in the second to strike out six batters.
Game 1: Cal 6, Arizona 2
Cal got into a jam early in the game as Arizona's first batter of the day, first baseman Hallie Wilson, reached first on an error. No. 2 batter Chelsea Suitos singled to third base to move Wilson to second. Suddenly the Bears found themselves in a tight spot as shortstop Brigette Del Ponte grounded out to first to advance the runners to scoring position before the inning ended on a ground out to second base.
As the leadoff hitter at the top of the second, D. Henderson hit a ball deep past center field for her fifth homer of the season and the first run of the day.
Arizona tacked on one run at the bottom of the fourth. The shortstop Del Ponte walked and then advanced to second on a successful sacrifice bunt by third baseman Lauren Young. Del Ponte completed her trip around the diamond via a double to right center by Kelsey Rodriguez to tie the score at 1-1.
At the top of the fifth, Cal regained the lead with a home run to left field by Jones. It was her second home run in just as many games, as she scored the game-winner and Cal's only run with a solo homer against Sacramento State on Saturday.
The bottom of the sixth started with a leadoff bunt single by Vonk, and the home run derby continued as Ziegenhirt knocked her 13th home run of the season to score Vonk for two RBI. Batterymate J. Henderson stepped up to the plate immediately after to punch a ticket home with a solo roundtripper for a 5-1 lead.
The Wildcats got in on the home run action in their portion of the sixth inning as Rodriguez homered to left field and cut Cal's lead 5-2. Prior the her home run, J. Henderson had given up just one home run through 30 games – against Florida in opening weekend.
The Bears added a final run at the top of the seventh. Cordes sent a hit through the right fielder's glove and advanced to second as right field was charged with the error. Vonk doubled to left center to supply Cordes with enough time to cross the two bags home.
Game 2: Cal 5, Arizona 1.
The blasts continued into game two as Ziegenhirt dialed long distance for the second time on Tuesday at the top of the first for an early one-run lead. The Wildcats answered with a long ball of their own from Wilson at the bottom of the first inning.
The Bears made it 5-1 at the top of the fifth as Taylor singled up the middle and provided an extra boost with a stolen base. Vonk walked and Taylor stealthily stole another base without a single Wildcat defender making the throw to third. With two runners on, Ziegenhirt hit the second triple of her collegiate career in a two RBI beauty down the right field line. With the adrenaline running high, J. Henderson once again stepped up to the plate after her longtime teammate and hit her second slammer of the evening for another two RBI.
California will close out its series against Arizona Wednesday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.
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