STANFORD, Calif. – The Golden Bears swept the No. 21/19 Cardinal in two games at Smith Family Stadium Saturday to win their opening Pac-12 series and improve to 12-11 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play.
Following a close game Friday evening in which Stanford took the series-opening win 14-13 with a walk-off RBI single, both teams came out ready to rock on Saturday. The first game proved to be a defensive battle with Cal ultimately taking a 2-1 win despite the Cardinal outhitting the Bears 7-4. In the second game, it was Cal’s turn to heat up the bats, using 11 hits to win 11-5 and take the series.
Freshman pitcher Stephanie Trzcinski (2-3) earned the wins for both games, pitching the full seven-inning effort in game one and coming in for the final five innings in the second game after Cal’s first three pitchers were not as effective as head coach Diane Ninemire had hoped.
Freshman Kylie Reed (4-for-8, two runs, two RBI) and senior Alex Robben (1-for-2, one run, double) both went .500 on the day, while senior Victoria Jones (2-for-5, one run, one RBI, two doubles) batted .400. Sophomores Cheyenne Cordes (2-for-9, two doubles, one run) and Danielle Henderson (1-for-8, one run, one home run) led with three RBI apiece.
Game one's defensive battle dragged out with Cal scoring runs in just the fourth and fifth inning, and Stanford capitalizing with only one run in the fourth as well.
Cal's half of the fourth started with a double down the right line by Jones, and then junior Breana Kostreba (2-for-6, one run) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her to third. Sophomore Vanessa Alvarez hit a fielder's choice but the Cardinal could not make the throw home in time and Jones scored.
At the bottom of the fourth, Stanford equalized when Bessie Noll doubled and then scored on an RBI triple by Hanna Winter.
The game-winning run came at the top of the fifth when senior LaRisa Jones scored on Cordes' RBI double, and Cal earned its first victory in Pac-12 play.
An eight-run second inning lifted the Bears to their second Pac-12 victory, highlighted by a three-run homer by Henderson. Cal also scored one run each at the top of the first, fifth and seventh innings, while the Cardinal only managed a run at the bottom of the second and four runs in the third.
The Bears scored their first run when Reed singled through the right side, moved to second on a wild pitch, then touched the dish on V. Jones' second double of the day.
The second-inning scorefest featured Alvarez scoring twice, first on a wild pitch and later on a Cardinal error. Kostreba also scored on a wild pitch, and aside from Henderson's three-RBI homer, Cordes hit her second double of the day to score junior Mary Lee and senior Ashley Decker.
The Bears got another run in at the top of the fifth, starting with a walk by Lee. The Cal second baseman moved on a fielder's choice and a wild pitch before being sent home by Reed's RBI single to third base.
Cal used a strategic sac bunt from L. Jones after Robben got on base with a double down the right line. The sacrifice moved Robben to third and then Reed followed with another RBI single through the left side.
Sophomore Nisa Ontiveros started the second game, pitching one inning and allowing five hits and one run after giving up three consecutive singles at the bottom of the second. With bases loaded, freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch came in to relieve her, striking out two batters but walking one for the lone run. A fly out to right field got the Bears out of the jam.
Sutherland-Finch started the third inning but walked two batters before being pulled in favor of freshman Taylor Cotton. Another walk loaded the bases before Noll was hit by pitch to score another for Stanford, and Trzcinski entered the circle for Cotton. The Cardinal's final three runs came off a pair of singles up the middle.
Cal is back Thursday for a doubleheader against Grand Canyon that the team scheduled recently to make up for three rained out games at UC Riverside’s Mizuno Invitational. The doubleheader is tentatively set for 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Levine-Fricke Field in Berkeley.
Follow the Bears on social media for behind-the-scenes action leading up to the season at:
· Facebook: Facebook.com/CalSoftball
· Twitter: @CalSoftball
· Instagram: @CalSoftball