March 16, 2004
Berkeley, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: Tuesday, March 16 Wisconsin, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 18 Texas, Honolulu, HI 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 18 Utah, Honolulu, HI 4:00 p.m. Friday, March 19 Nittaidai (Japan), Honolulu, HI 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 20 Northwestern, Honolulu, HI 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 20 Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 21 Tokyo Women's College, Honolulu, HI 1:00 p.m.
WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 3 California (27-3) looks to complete a sterling non-conference record this week when it hosts Wisconsin on Tuesday, Mar. 16 and plays in the Hawaii Softball Invitational Mar. 18-21. Levine-Fricke Field opens its doors for only the third time this season and first game since a Jan. 31 doubleheader against Sacramento State. The field in Hawaii includes No. 21 Texas, No. 25 Northwestern, Utah, Nittaidai (Japan), Tokyo Women's College and host Hawaii.
NINEMIRE DISCIPLE RETURNS TO BERKELEY: Wisconsin head coach Karen Gallagher is entering her ninth season as skipper of the Badgers, but she is all too familiar with Levine-Fricke Field. Gallagher spent six seasons (1988-94) in Berkeley as an assistant coach under Diane Ninemire, before becoming the Badgers' first head softball coach. The Bears made three College World Series appearances during Gallagher's tenure.
ELDREDGE GOES HOME: This weekend's trip to Hawaii will be special for Kaleo Eldredge. The Bears' centerfielder returns to her old stomping grounds. She graduated from H.P. Baldwin High on Maui in 2001 and was selected to the Hawaii Chevron Invitational in 2002 as a freshman.
BEARS WIN NIST: Cal swept its tournament competition for the fourth time in five tournament appearances, claiming the NIST Championship for the second consecutive year. The Bears narrowly defeated No. 7 Washington, 5-4, in the championship game. Haley Woods dealt the big blow with a 3-run shot in the third and the Bears held on with a late insurance run. Cal defeated Minnesota, 6-2, and No. 21 Iowa, 8-2, on Saturday, and Purdue, 8-0 (5 inn.), and Virginia, 8-0 (5 inn.) on Friday to reach the championship.
WOODS NAMED ALL-TOURNAMENT: Sensing that several of her teammates might overtake her in the California home run derby, Woods went bananas at the NIST. The sophomore catcher homered in four out of five games, and added nine RBI, six runs and a .462 (6-13) batting average. With this current power surge, Woods could challenge for the California home run record of 19 set by Veronica Nelson. Leading the team in RBI with 34 and slugging percentage at .759, Woods is riding a nine-game hit streak into this week's action.
THORSON HAS PERFECT OUTING: Bears' sophomore righthander Kristina Thorson had a dream outing Mar. 12 against Virginia. Thorson retired the Cavaliers three-up, three-down for five innings, while her teammates piled on the runs. The game was called because of the run-rule, with Cal a 8-0 winner. Thorson, aided by eight strikeouts, had the first perfect game of her young career and first for the Bears since Cassie Bobrow tossed one against Illinois Feb. 24, 2002.
JOLTIN' JAMES: Lindsay James took the collar in an 0-7 day at the plate Feb. 1 against St. Mary's, while the Bears won a double header against the Gaels. James has gone on to hit safely in 25 straight games since (she missed the Feb. 20 game against Florida International). Since the beginning of the streak, she has seen her batting average rise 139 points to .370.
.400 CLUB: Thirty games into the season, Galindo is the lone Golden Bear still hitting above .400. The left-handed hitting leadoff hitter brings a .404 (42-104) batting average into this week's action, despite a cool week at the NIST. Only two Golden Bears have ever hit over .400 for a full season - Gillian Boxx (.466) in 1995 and Kendall Richards (.420) in 1994.