April 7, 2013
The No. 5/4 California (30-6 overall, 6-3 Pac-12) softball game dropped its third game in a series against No. 10/9 Oregon (33-7 overall, 10-2 Pac-12), 9-3, to lose the series Sunday at home on Levine-Fricke Field.
The Ducks tallied runs in five of the seven innings, including four home runs, while the Bears could only get their bats moving in the fourth inning. Senior pitcher Jolene Henderson (26-5) gave up seven earned runs after allowing a season-high 15 hits plus one walk while striking out four. Oregon used game one pitcher Jessica Moore (17-3) for five innings, who struck out eight and gave up two earned runs on three walks and five hits. Cheridan Hawkins earned the save for two innings of work with three whiffed batters and only one hit.
Oregon scored first at the top of the second with a home run by the designated player Alexa Peterson, followed by another homer from leadoff batter Moore at the top of the third.
Moore had rendered the Golden Bears hitless until the bottom of the fourth. Senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt started Cal off with a walk, and reached second on an error by shortstop Courtney Ceo as Henderson reached first on a fielder's choice. Juniors LaRisa Jones and Alex Robben entered the game as pinch runners for the seniors as sophomore Danielle Henderson hit her third home run of the series to lift the Bears to a 3-2 lead.
The Ducks would score seven runs over the next three innings to put the game out of reach. At the top of the fifth, a fielding error by junior center fielder Ashley Decker would prove costly when Ceo singled with a runner already on and both capitalized on the mishap. Second baseman Kaylan Howard scored as she singled and got an extra base on the throw, then came home on a single by first baseman Kailee Cuico.
Oregon added another run when Ceo singled left fielder Allie Burger home in the top of the sixth.
A two RBI homer from catcher Janelle Lindvall added to a long ball by Cuico at the top of the seventh served the Bears a six-run deficit that Cal could not close.
This is the first conference series given up by the Bears, who swept Utah and won two against Arizona. The team is batting .291 in Pac-12 play and .281 overall.
Cal returns to conference action Thursday at 8 p.m. to open an away series against No. 12/14 UCLA in Los Angeles. Thursday's game will be televised live on ESPN2.