CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Keeping with the theme of each of Cal’s Saturday doubleheaders through three preseason tournaments, the Golden Bears split another Saturday doubleheader with a 5-3 upset of No. 24 Notre Dame and a 13-0 loss to No. 16 Baylor at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. The Golden Bears are now 6-6 on the season.
Despite Notre Dame outhitting Cal 7-3 through 5.5 innings, the teams held each other scoreless before Cal finally broke through at the bottom of the sixth.
The flurry started with a single by Danielle Henderson, who was replaced by junior Mary Lee to pinch run at first. Senior Victoria Jones used a bunt single to move Lee over to third as Jones turned some defensive indifference into an extra base. With Jones on second and Lee on third, junior Breana Kostreba hit a fly ball above the Notre Dame pitcher, and as the ball dropped to the dirt Jones moved to third and Lee scored to put one run on the board for the Bears.
Kostreba stole second and Jones went home on the play before sophomores Jasmin Mejia and Vanessa Alvarez drew walks to load the bases. With the table set, senior LaRisa Jones hit a fielder's choice, and a throwing error by the third baseman gave both Kostreba and Mejia room to run home. With L. Jones at second and Alvarez at third, junior Cheyenne Cordes hit a sacrificy fly deep for Alvarez to score and make it 5-0 Cal entering the final inning.
Notre Dame cleared its goose egg in its final at-bats when Karley Wester singled and advanced to second on a ground out and Laura Winter walked. With two runners on, Micaela Arizmendi tabbed a homer to left center to run the score up 5-3.
Sophomore Nisa Ontiveros (4-2) earned the win in just her third career complete-game performance, fanning three with three walks and nine hits. Allie Rhodes took the loss for 5.1 innings of work with two strikeouts, four walks and six hits.
Against the No. 15-ranked Lady Bears, Cal struggled both offensively and defensively with just two hits on the day as the Golden Bears used three pitchers in the loss -- freshmen Katie Sutherland-Finch and Taylor Cotton, and junior Nikki Owens. Sutherland-Finch (2-1) started in the circle and suffered the blemish to her record after allowing five runs total. Sutherland-Finch allowed one run at the top of the first before Cotton replaced her, pitching the bulk of the game with 4.2 innings of work while whiffing four and allowing seven hits, six runs and two walks. Owens saw an inning of work and allowed one hit and two runs, and Sutherland-Finch came in to close the game to finish with 1.1 innings under her belt and seven hits, five runs and one walk allowed after Baylor's Clare Hosack hit a grand slam at the top of the seventh.
Baylor ace Whitney Canion and Liz Paul combined for the Golden Bears' first shutout loss of the season, as the pitching pair did not allow a single walk or run in 24 batters faced. Canion pitched five innings, fanning three and allowing only two hits. Paul pitched the remaining two, allowing nothing across. Henderson was the only Golden Bear with a safe hit in the game, finishing 2-for-3.
Baylor scored a run each at the top of the first and second, first with an RBI single and again with a fielder's choice for an RBI. The Lady Bears were effective. Two runs came across at the top of the fourth on a pair of RBI singles. Cal's woes continued into the fifth with Hosack scoring on an illegal pitch with the bases loaded. A sac fly made the score 6-0 after the fifth inning.
A sac fly from Hosack with two runners on made the score 7-0 at the the top of the sixth. The Lady Bears scored nearly half their runs in the final inning with a bases-loaded walk followed by a bases-loaded RBI single before Hosack's grand slam.
Henderson finished the day as the only Bear batting above .300 with a 3-for-5 performance. Alvarez (1-for-4, 1 run), Cordes (1-for-5, 1 RBI), freshman Kylie Reed (1-for-5), Kostreba (1-for-6, 1 run and V. Jones (1-for-6, 1 run) also had hits.
Cal is set to take on No. 25 Texas at 9 a.m. Sunday for its final game of the weekend.
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