BERKELEY, Calif. – The Ohio State pitching staff held Cal to just three hits but the Golden Bears battled it out to earn a 2-1 victory in their home opener at Levine-Fricke Field Wednesday afternoon. With the win, Cal is back at .500 with a 10-10 record heading into Pac-12 play this weekend.
Junior Breana Kostreba knocked in both of Cal’s runs at the bottom of the third with a one-bagger just past second base to score freshmen Alleah Laxamana and Kylie Reed. Laxamana originally reached on a fielder’s choice that put lead runner senior Alex Robben out, and Reed followed with the first hit of the day. The pair moved into scoring position after sophomore Taylor Garcia grounded out before Kostreba stepped up to the plate.
The Cal pitching staff had a no-hitter until the top of the fifth inning, when the Buckeyes cut Cal’s lead in half and the Bears ran into trouble with full bases. Melaina Saalfeld hit and Anna Kirk hit back-to-back infield singles before a single to center field by Taylor Watkins moved them over. Keelia Nester hit into a fielder’s choice but Cal could not make the play at home to prevent the run. With the bases still loaded, Ohio State repeated the play with another fielder’s choice, but this time Cal was ready for another out before a ground out ended the inning and the Bears got out of the jam.
Kostreba (1-for-3) led the team with her two RBI, and Reed went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Robben tallied Cal’s final hit of the day to finish 1-for-1 with a walk.
Freshman Stephanie Trzcinski started for the Bears in the circle, pitching three innings without allowing a single hit or run and walking two while striking out two, but sophomore Nisa Ontiveros earned the win for the final 4.0 innings. Ontiveros allowed four hits and a walk while fanning three.
Cal begins Pac-12 play Friday against Stanford at 5:30 p.m. The opening series continues to Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at noon and continuing at about 2:30 p.m. Both of Saturday’s games will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks with Jessica Mendoza and Krista Blunk on the call.
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