March 30, 2004
Berkeley, Calif. -
THIS WEEK: Friday, April 2 Oregon Levine-Fricke Field, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 3 Oregon State Levine-Fricke Field, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 4 Oregon State Levine-Fricke Field, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 3 California (33-3, 0-0 Pac-10) opens conference play and a four-game homestand, when it hosts No. 19 Oregon Friday, April 2 at 2 p.m., and No. 15 Oregon State, Saturday April 3 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 4 at 1 p.m. The Golden Bears have ten Pac-10 games at home this season, while they will go on the road for 11 more.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS: Oregon (25-8, 1-0 Pac-10) plays its only game of the season in Berkeley this Friday. The Ducks opened Pac-10 play in dramatic fashion against rival Oregon State. Down 8-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Ducks erupted for six runs to win, and serve an early-season blow to their interstate foe. Oregon went 10-11 in conference play last season, tying for third place with Cal. The offense has been powered by freshman dynamo Kayleen Hudson (.377 BA, 6 HR, 19 RBI) and junior Ashley Richards (.357 BA, 7 HR, 22 RBI). The pitching staff has been competent, notching a 1.86 team ERA, without any one dominant starter. The Bears lead the all-time series over the improving Ducks by a margin of 58-28.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS: Oregon State (30-9, 0-1 Pac-10) plays two games in Berkeley this week, looking for its first conference win. Last season, the Beavers went 5-16 in conference play, finishing in last place. The Beavers have shown great improvement so far during their non-conference schedule and will look to continue the momentum in the Pac-10. Led by surprising sophomore Vanessa Iapala (.371 BA, 6 HR, 33 RBI) and senior ace Monica Hoffman (14-6, 5 SV, 0.81 ERA), the Beavers don't figure to be a pushover this season. Cal has dominated the series historically, holding a 55-22 edge.
INSIDE THE PAC-10: In arguably the toughest conference in the country, the Golden Bears have done more than hold their own. Entering conference play, several Cal players are having outstanding seasons. Haley Woods has been one of the most dominant cleanup hitters in the country. She is second in the conference in home runs with 11 and fourth in RBI with 42. Don't ask Vicky Galindo about a sophomore slump. In her second season, she is eighth in the conference in batting average at .410, second in runs scored with 35, and fourth in stolen bases with 17. On the pitching side, Kelly Anderson and Kristina Thorson's numbers speak for themselves. Anderson is second among Pac-10 hurlers in wins with 18 and seventh in ERA at 0.96. Thorson is seventh in wins with 14, fourth in ERA at 0.71 and first in saves with five.
BEARS WIN HAWAII INVITATIONAL: Cal swept its tournament competition for the fifth time in six tournament appearances in 2004, claiming the Hawaii Softball Championship as the only undefeated team. The highlight of the tournament came in a duel with the host Rainbow Wahine. With the score tied, 1-1, heading into the bottom of the seventh, Lindsay James started the inning with a two-out single. Kaleo Eldredge doubled to left for a season-high fourth hit of the game, setting the stage for Woods. The Bears premier run producer did not disappoint, lining a smash down the left field line for the first walk-off win of the season. Cal also defeated No. 21 Texas (7-1), Utah (8-3), Nittaidai (5-1), and No. 25 Northwestern (4-2).
HIT STREAK DIES AT 29: James took the collar in an 0-7 day at the plate Feb. 1 against St. Mary's, but the Bears won a double header against the Gaels. James went on to hit safely in 29 straight games (she missed the Feb. 20 game against Florida International). Against Northwestern, March 20, James went 0-4, ending the longest hitting streak in the Pac-10 this season. In the next game against Hawaii, James went 2-4, scoring the only two runs of the game and starting a brand new hitting streak.
ADAMS GETS FIRST CAREER WIN: Making just her fifth appearance and first start of the season, freshman righty Sarah Adams recorded her first collegiate win in Hawaii. Against Nittaidai (Japan), the Bears got a glance into the future, watching Adams strike out eight batters and give up one run in five innings of three-hit ball.