HONOLULU, Hawaii – The California softball squad dropped both of its games in a Saturday doubleheader, falling to James Madison 3-0 and Hawaii 6-2 at the Jack in the Box Spring Fling in Honolulu. Cal’s record drops to 9-9 with the pair of losses.
The Bears fell flat in their first game against James Madison, tallying only three hits and one walk but striking out eight times. Things looked promising at the top of the first when freshman Kylie Reed and junior Breana Kostreba each made solid contact, but were left stranded to end the inning. Cal got another hit across at the top of the second with a single by sophomore Jasmin Mejia, but Mejia was also left on.
The Bear vs. Duke back-and-forth continued through four and a half innings, with the only hit coming off a single up the middle by James Madison at the bottom of the second, until the Dukes finally broke through at the bottom of the fifth. It started with a miscommunication in left field during a fly ball that led to a fielding error which put Tahli Moore on second. The door busted open when Niki Prince homered with Moore on base to nab a 2-0 lead for JMU. The momentum carried the Dukes to one more run thanks to a bunt single by Hannah Hayes, who moved to second base on a wild pitch before a double by Erica Field drove her home.
With the loss, freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch is now 3-2 in the circle after pitching 4.2 innings while allowing all four JMU hits and three walks but striking out four with only one earned run. Freshman Stephanie Trzcinski pitched the final 1.1 innings, striking out one without allowing a hit, run or walk.
Things looked dicey at the bottom of the first as Hawaii managed to load the bases, but sophomore Nisa Ontiveros deftly worked the Bears out of the jam with back-to-back swinging strikeouts.
The Bears took control with a 2-0 lead at the top of the second, starting with a leadoff solo homer by senior Jordan Wallace. Junior Mary Lee headed to the plate and keyed a double for her first career hit. Lee headed to third on a wild pitch and finally came home on a single down the right line by Reed.
Cal found itself in another bases-loaded situation at the bottom of the third, and this time, the Rainbow Wahine were able to capitalize. With runners on via a single, double and a hit batter, Sharla Kliebenstein was also hit by a pitch to force Keiki Carlos home. Kaile Nakao followed Kliebenstein's at bat with a sac fly to center field to score pinch runner Kiani Wong, and the scoring continued with an RBI single from Ulu Matagiese. The Bears called for a pitching change and replaced Ontiveros with Trzcinski, and with two runners still on, Sarina Jaramillo knocked a long ball over left field and the Bears fell behind 6-2 and the score stuck for the rest of the game.
Ontiveros drops to 6-4 with the loss, allowing seven hits and five runs with two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Trzcinski pitched 3.1 innings, allowing one hit and one run with a walk and two strikeouts.
The Bears are set for one more game at the Jack in the Box Spring Fling, set for Sunday against James Madison beginning at 10 a.m. HT/1 p.m. P.T.
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