Feb. 10, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 3/3 University of California softball team (2-2) run-ruled Indiana in its final game of the Kajikawa Classic, beating the Hoosiers (1-3) 9-1 in six innings.
In a game where Cal saw two homers, Golden Bear hitters matched a season-best 14 hits in a game, while the defense played aggressively to allow just one run off of eight hits. Senior pitcher Jolene Henderson earned her first win of the young season, fanning four batters in the process.
With an outfield composed entirely of freshmen, California's underclassmen continued to impress the coaching staff this weekend. Freshman Jasmin Mejia went 3-for-3 against Indiana, scoring one run and two RBI, while fellow freshman Khala Taylor went 2-for-3 with one run. Vanessa Alvarez finished with two runs off of three hits from the weekend's four games, and freshman Nisa Ontiveros earned her first win in the circle during her debut against Cal State Northridge.
"The freshmen have done an outstanding job. They have come on really strongly with their bats," Golden Bears head coach Diane Ninemire said. "They brought life to the team that we're going to need."
Sophomore Breana Kostreba also came up big for the Golden Bears this weekend, going 5-for-12 with two solo homers, four runs and four RBI throughout the three days of competition. Both junior Victoria Jones and sophomore Danielle Henderson also hit home runs during the weekend, with Jones going 5-for-9 with three runs and two RBI.
In total, Cal allowed 13 runs from its opponents to go 2-2 in opening weekend, the team's slowest start since 2008. Still, despite the record, the Bears count the tournament as an opportunity to prime themselves for the long road ahead.
"It's good to learn from these mistakes in the beginning of the season rather than the end," J. Henderson said. "This weekend showed us that our team is really strong and we can bounce back from anything."
On Wednesday, Cal travels to Davis, Calif. for a 2 p.m. PT game against UC Davis at La Rue Field. The Golden Bears own a 20-6 series advantage over the Aggies. In 2012, the Bears beat the Aggies 11-3 in six innings.
Fans can follow Cal Softball on Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the season.