May 24, 1999
BERKELEY - The Cal softball team will face Arizona in the first round of the College World Series at 8:30 p.m. CT (6:30 p.m. PT) Thursday at Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.
Cal, which is making its fourth trip to the CWS, is one of five Pac-10 teams in the eight-team field. In addition to the Bears and Wildcats, UCLA, Arizona State and Washington will be in Oklahoma. Fresno State, Southern Mississippi and DePaul will join them. The double-elimination tournament lasts through May 31.
If Cal wins its opener, the Bears will play the winner of the Washington-ASU matchup Friday afternoon. If Cal loses, the Bears will face the Washington-ASU loser in an elimination game Saturday.
In its previous three CWS appearances, Cal tied for third in 1986 and tied for fifth in both 1992 and '96. The Bears are undefeated all-time in first round games, beating Northwestern, Florida State and Southwestern Louisiana in their previous opening games.
Cal reached the '99 CWS by winning its regional in Amherst, Mass., over the weekend. The third seed in the six-team regional, the Bears began with a 5-4 victory over Hofstra and a 1-0 win over host Massachusetts. After falling to top-seeded SW Louisiana, 2-1, Cal came back to defeat UMass, 2-0, in eight innings on a no-hitter by freshman right hander Jocelyn Forest.
That win set up a Sunday showdown with SW Louisiana, with the Bears needing to win twice to advance. In the first game, Cal pounded out 12 hits on its way to a 3-0 victory. Twenty minutes after that contest, the two teams faced off again with the winner taking the regional title. This time, Cal scored in five of the first six innings and cruised to an 8-1 triumph.
Cal and Arizona have met four times this season, with the teams splitting two doubleheaders. In Tucson, Cal took the opener, 4-2, before falling in the nightcap, 3-2. In Berkeley, Arizona edged the Bears, 1-0, in 10 innings before Cal came back to hit three home runs in a 5-1 victory.