March 16, 2013
HONOLULU - The No. 5/4 California softball team's 22-game win streak came to an end Saturday as Syracuse handed the Golden Bears their third loss of the season in bracket play at the Chevron Spring Fling in Honolulu. Syracuse (9-13) defeated Cal (23-3) 8-1 to move on to the championship game.
The Orange put up runs in five different innings, including three home runs. Previous to Saturday's game, the Golden Bears had allowed just three home runs through 25 games.
Cal managed to score only once in the bottom of the seventh for one run and four hits. All three California freshmen in the batting lineup - Jasmin Mejia and Khala Taylor - contributed hits along with junior Victoria Jones to go 1-for-3 in the game. Though the Golden Bears had no trouble connecting with the ball, most of their hits landed straight into the gloves of the Syracuse defenders, and three errors by Cal proved to be costly.
Syracuse's Lindsay Taylor tossed all seven innings, allowing four hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Cal started freshman ace Nisa Ontiveros, who pitched four innings with five runs on five hits and two walks while fanning three batters. Sophomore Nikki Owens came in to relieve Ontiveros at the top of the fifth for three runs, three hits and two strikeouts.
The very first at-bat of the game was a leadoff double by Syracuse's Shirley Daniels, who advanced to third after No. 2 in the order Morgan Nandin singled to left field. Batter No. 3, Jasmine Watson, sacrificed her at-bat with a fly ball out to center field to score Daniels and give the Orange an early lead. A homer by Veronica grant at the top of the second upped Syracuse's score by another run.
The Orange upped its lead to five runs with another three scores at the top of the fourth. Danielle Chitkowski singled through the left side and moved to second on a walk by Ashley Dimon. With runners on first and second, Daniels homered to right center for three RBI.
After a pitching change at the top of the fifth for the Bears, Syracuse tacked on its third home run of the day to lead 6-0.
Two errors by the California defense at the top of the seventh allowed Syracuse to score another two runs. Nandin got on base off a throwing error by sophomore Cheyenne Cordes at short, followed by a single from Watson through the left side. In the same play, Watson advanced to second as Nandin moved to third on a fielding error by Taylor in left field. Korena Fenton came in to pinch run for Watson at second, and with runners in scoring position Corinne Ozanne hit one through the left side. Ozanne made it all the way to second thanks to a throwing error by Taylor as both Fenton and Nandin scored to lift Syracuse to eight runs.
Cal prevented a full shutout with a score in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Breana Kostreba got on base with a fielder's choice that sent sophomore Danielle Henderson to the dugout, then advanced to second on a single by Mejia. Junior LaRisa Jones came in to pinch run for Mejia, and both Kostreba and Jones advanced one base each on a passed ball. The Bears finally put up a run as Kostreba scored on a single up the middle by Alvarez.
The Bears return home to Levine-Fricke Field next to host Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. PT on Wednesday before opening Pac-12 play with a home series against Utah next weekend.
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