BERKELEY – The Golden Bear softball squad racked up nine hits to claim a much-needed victory over Santa Clara, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field. Cal improves to 22-17 with a boost of confidence heading into Thursday's series opener at No. 1 Oregon.
Though the Bears left 10 on base, senior Victoria Jones (1-for-3, one RBI), junior Cheyenne Cordes (2-for-3, two runs, two RBI) and freshman Kylie Reed (2-for-4, two RBI) all came up big with crucial hits to lead Cal to victory.
Cordes got thing started at the bottom of the first with a leadoff double to the left corner before junior Danielle Henderson drew a walk and junior Breana Kostreba singled to join her on the diamond. With the bases loaded, Jones singled to right field to score Cordes and Cal took an early 1-0 lead.
Trouble brewed for the Bears at the top of the fourth and six innings, and suddenly Santa Clara grabbed the lead. The Broncos tied the game at the top of the fourth when Stephanie Fisher, who got on base with a triple, capitalized on a dropped fly ball and ran home.
At the top of the sixth, Cal freshman pitcher Stephanie Trzcinski gave up solo home runs to Fisher and Kelly Scribner, leaving the Bears two runs behind.
When it was their turn to bat, the Bears rallied behind freshman Vanessa Alvarez's double and senior LaRisa Jones and Cordes each singled to help Alvarez make her way to home plate. Reed stepped up to the plate, and a passed ball gave way to an opportune situation with both L. Jones and Cordes in scoring position. The rookie doubled through the right side and in came L. Jones and Cordes to retake the lead.
The Bear defense banded together for the top of the seventh and Trzcinski came away with the win for 4.0 innings of work, in which she allowed eight hits and two earned runs while striking out three. Sophomore Nisa Ontiveros pitched an effective 3.0 innings in her start, allowing only one hit while fanning two. Santa Clara's Ciara Gonzales is now 3-11 for nine-hit complete-game performance.
On Thursday, Cal opens series play against top-ranked Oregon in Eugene, Ore. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. The series continues Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday at noon.
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