April 28, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - Following two run-rule losses to fifth-ranked Arizona State, No. 10 California played tough and tallied more hits than the Sun Devils but came up short with a 5-3 defeat in Sunday's series finale at Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. ASU upped its record to 42-7 overall and 13-5 in the Pac-12, while Cal falls to 35-12 and 9-9 in the conference.
The Golden Bears got their bats back in order to tally seven hits, including a pair of home runs from freshman Vanessa Alvarez (2-for-2) and sophomore Breana Kostreba (1-for-2), but the effort fell short as the defense allowed four unearned runs across. ASU's Dallas Escobedo dished out 11 strikeouts while allowing six hits, including both home runs, with just one walk in six innings before Mackenzie Popescue came in to close at the top of the seventh for one walk and a hit. Freshman Nisa Ontiveros tossed the complete game, permitting five hits and just one earned run with four walks and two strikeouts.
Arizona scored first on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Bethany Kemp with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the first inning. The defense stayed tough for the final out, and the Bears came back to the plate in the second inning looking to strike. Kostreba and Alvarez both hit solo homers at the top of the second, and for the first time in the series the Bears led 2-1 heading into the third inning.
The Bears protected the lead until the bottom of the third, when once again Cal found itself in a bases loaded situation after a leadoff single, double and a walk. The Sun Devils tied the game up on a passed ball and the errors continued as three more runs crossed the plate following a pair of fielding errors, giving ASU a 5-3 advantage.
The Blue and Gold rallied at the top of the seventh for another run. A fielder's choice put freshman Khala Taylor (1-for-3) on base as Alvarez was put out at second base. Taylor stole second and advanced to third on a ground out, then scored on an RBI single by junior Britt Vonk (2-for-4).
Cal will host Stanford in its final home series beginning Friday at 3 p.m.