May 26, 2006
CORVALLIS, Ore. - With one out in the sixth inning, freshman Gina Leomiti roped an RBI double to left field to give the fourth-ranked California softball team a 2-1 win over seventh-ranked Oregon State in the first game of the Corvallis Super Regional, Friday. Senior Kristina Thorson threw a two-hitter and struck out 12, picking up her 36th win of the season in front of 749 at the OSU Softball Complex.
The Bears, who are the No. 10 seed in the NCAA playoffs, and Beavers, the No. 7 seed, face off again Saturday at 1 p.m. The winner of the best-of-three series will move on to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City (June 1-7).
"This was a great game today between two good Pac-10 schools," Cal head coach Diane Ninemire said. "We expected this kind of a game today, a low-scoring game, with two outstanding pitchers going against each other. We were very fortunate to get some timely hits in good situations today in order to win the game, and we are very excited to come back tomorrow with a chance to win."
The Bears took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Friedman hit an RBI single that sent junior Alex Sutton home. Sutton got on base to lead off the game after being hit by a pitch. Senior Lindsay James advanced Sutton to second on a slap bunt, and senior Haley Woods pushed both runners over another base on a sacrifice bunt.
The Beavers tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on a solo home run from senior catcher Lisa Allen. Oregon State tallied just one more hit before the end of the game, and no Beaver base runner advanced past first base after Allen's home run.
Thorson dominated the opposing batters, starting and ending the game with three consecutive strikeouts. The senior right-hander faced just two batters over the minimum. Oregon State's Brianne McGowan (27-7) kept Cal's batters off-balance through much of the game, giving up just two hits before the sixth inning.
Friedman finished 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI to lead the Bears. James, Vickers and Leomiti tallied Cal's other three hits. Though Sutton didn't record a hit, she got on base three times, getting hit by a pitch once and walking twice.