Feb. 13, 2007
Quickly: The tenth-ranked California Golden Bear softball team (3-1) returns to Berkeley for its home-opener vs. San Jose State (1-2) on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Levine-Fricke Field. The Bears then head back on the road for their second tournament of the season at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas hosted by UNLV, Feb. 16-18. As a sidenote, making her return to Levine-Fricke Field is former Golden Bear, Vicky Galindo. Galindo was hired prior to the `07 season as the assistant coach for the Spartans. Galindo, who was a two-time first team All-American at Cal, also has played professional ball with the Chicago Bandits of the NPF.
California in the Polls: Cal is ranked No. 10 for the second straight week in the ESPN/USA Softball Top-25 poll released on Feb. 13. It may have only been the first week of competition of the 2007 season, but a lot of things changed in the rankings. For the first time in the history of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 poll, the University of Tennessee is the top-ranked team in college softball after opening its season with a 4-0 record. Senior Monica Abbott led the Volunteers to a successful weekend tossing a no-hitter and recording 44 strikeouts in 17 innings of work.The most impressive performance of the week came from the Texas A&M Aggies who moved from No. 14 to No. 3 in the latest poll. The Aggies stormed through its competition at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., collecting wins over four top-25 teams including three teams previously ranked in the top-five. Arizona State is the highest ranked team from the Pac-10 in the top-25, checking in at No. 2. Cal was picked to finish in a sixth place tie according to the annual Pac-10 softball preseason coaches poll released in January. Both California and Washington garnered 18 points to earn the sixth place tie. Last season's NCAA Champion, Arizona, was picked to win the conference after collecting five first place votes and 47 points overall. UCLA was a close second, earning 45 points and three first place votes. Arizona State earned the third place nod with 35 points. Oregon State was picked fourth with 32 points, followed by Stanford (fifth) with 21 points. Oregon rounded out the poll with eight points.
On the Horizon: California will return home on Feb. 20 to face St. Mary's at 2 p.m. Cal is a perfect 40-0 all-time vs. the Gaels, including a 9-2 win last season.
Last Week in Review: Led by solid pitching in the circle and key hitting at the plate, Cal opened its 2007 campaign with a pair of commanding wins over San Diego State (6-1) and Kansas (8-0) at the Campbell-Cartier Classic hosted by SDSU on Friday evening. The Cal-KU game was called after the fifth inning because of the tournament mercy rule. In the afternoon affair with Kansas, freshman pitcher Brittany LaRosa nearly had a no-hitter in her first collegiate game, allowing just two hits and a strikeout in five innings of work. In fact KU did not get their first hit until the fourth inning. Meanwhile sophomore Gina Leomiti finished the afternoon 1-for-1 with three RBI. Vernae Sevilla produced two hits and Morgan Siegel scored two runs. The Bears pounded out 10 hits as a team. Just like earlier in the day, Cal instantly seized momentum by scoring three runs (on three errors) in the top of the first inning of game two versus the host Aztecs. Cal cruised the rest of the way for the 6-1 win. The Bears earned a split in its final two games of the tournament on Saturday afternoon. Cal fell 1-0 to UMass, before defeating UC Santa Barbara 2-0 in the nightcap. Missed opportunities doomed the Bears in their morning tilt with UMass. Cal had an early scoring chance in the top of the first inning, but could not advance Siegel from third base with two outs, as Bernice Masaniai grounded out to the short stop to end the inning. Cal had its best chance to tie the score or take the lead in the top of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and no outs. However the threat was ended when Julie Meyer lined out to the first baseman for the first out, followed by consecutive strikeouts by Carly Winger and Siegel. Cal took advantage of Gaucho miscues in the second game in the third inning when Erika Racklin, who led off with a single to left field and advanced to second on a throwing error by the second baseman, stole third base and continued to home plate on an error by the catcher to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. The Bears increased their lead to 2-0 in the sixth inning when Katie Vickers singled to left field allowing pinch runner Shannon Houston to score from second base. LaRosa was stellar once again in the circle scattering four hits over seven innings for her second win and shutout of the season. Vickers finished the contest 2-for-3 with an RBI.
2007 TEAM NOTES:
>> Quick Starts Cal has outscored its opposition a combined 11-1 in the first three innings of games played this season (4 runs in the first inning; 3 in the second and four in the third).
>> Dominant Pitching The pitching staff of Brittany LaRosa, Lauren Frankiewicz, and Marissa Drewrey have posted a combined 0.56 ERA this season, with two shutouts and seven strikeouts. Opponents are hitting just .167 this season against the trio (14-for-84).
>>Solid Defense Cal has recorded a .982 fielding percentage this season (75 PO, 37 A, 2 E)
>> And the Hitting... In their season-opening victories over Kansas and San Diego State, the Bears pounded out a combined 18 hits. Cal has 27 hits on the season, including 11 RBI. Cal however, has yet to hit a home run and only has three extra base hits this year.
SUTTON ON PLAYER of the YEAR WATCH LIST Senior Alex Sutton of the California softball team was announced as one of 50 players on the Amateur Softball Association's Top-50 Preseason Watch List for its sixth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award released in January.
The 2007 Preseason Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 33 schools and 11 different NCAA Division I Conferences. A complete list of the players with photos and links to their collegiate bios can be found in the "College Corner" on the USA Softball website -- www.usasoftball.com.
Sutton hit a personal-best .352 last season, led Cal in on-base percentage (.464) and finished second on the team in slugging percentage (.497), RBI (36) and doubles (12).
The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 4. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a Top-25 finalist, but once the Top-25 is named the remaining finalist must be selected from that list.
Just days before the start of postseason play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 9. The final three finalists will be announced May 23 while the winner of the 2006 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2007 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
THE 2007 SCHEDULE The 2007 California softball schedule has the Golden Bears traveling throughout the country, facing 18 opponents that made postseason appearances in the 2006 season. Of those 18 opponents, 14 finished the season ranked in top-25 national polls (ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA). The 2007 schedule also includes 15 home games at Levine-Fricke Field, including 11 Pac-10 Conference match-ups.
The Ninemire File
No coach in the history of California athletics has won more games than Diane Ninemire (858). Since her first year in the dugout in 1988, Ninemire has continually taken the Bears to new heights as one of the winningest and most successful softball programs in the nation, especially over the past eight seasons. Under the guidance of Ninemire, California has earned a place among the nation's elite. With a national championship, nine Women's College World Series trips, and 19 straight NCAA Regional appearances to her credit, it is no wonder that Cal enters every season as a national contender.
Since the 1999 season, California is an impressive 415-147 (.738), including a 156-43 mark (.783) over the last three seasons. Since 1999, Ninemire's teams have won at least 48 games each year, including five 50-win seasons.
Since Ninemire's tenure at Cal, 34 All-America, 80 all-region, and 129 all-conference certificates have been issued to Golden Bear athletes. Two of Ninemire's former players - Michele Granger and Gillian Boxx - were four-time All-Americans and helped the United States to win a Gold Medal as members of the 1996 Olympic Team in Atlanta.
The 2006 campaign was no different in terms of success. With a roster that had lost four, four-year starters, Ninemire assembled a group that produced 48 wins, an appearance in the NCAA Super Regional, and a final No. 9 national ranking. The veteran coach logged her 850th career victory on May 13 with a 10-inning victory over Washington.
'07 CALIFORNIA PLAYER NOTES
#00 Brittany LaRosa (Fr., Diamond Bar, CA): Has posted a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and two shutouts this season ... In her collegiate debut vs. Kansas (2/9) LaRosa allowed just two hits in five innings of work for her first complete game and shutout ... She scattered four hits in seven innings for her second win and shutout vs. UCSB on 2/10.
#2 Morgan Siegel (So., Anitoch, CA): Currently tied for first on the team in batting average (.400) ... Has scored three runs and stolen two bases ... has been issued a team-high six walks ... went 1-for-3 with a pair of runs in the season-opening win against Kansas (2/9) ... went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the 6-1 win over San Diego State (2/9).
#3 Alex Sutton (Sr., Morgan Hill, CA): Has yet to record a hit this season in 10 plate appearances, but did score a run vs. San Diego State (2/9) ... has drawn four walks ... has a 1.000 fielding percentage.
#4 Shannon Houston (Fr., New Egypt, NJ): Has scored three runs this season ... has been primarily used as a pinch runner ... is a perfect 4-for-4 (team-best) in stolen bases ... had two stolen bases with a run scored vs. San Diego State (2/9).
#6 Julie Meyer (Jr., Yardville, NJ): Currently hitting .300 on the season ... has a team-high two doubles, with a pair of RBI and a run scored ... went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a runs scored in the season-opening win vs. Kansas (2/9)
#7 Christina Schallig (Fr., Carson, CA.): Off to a productive start at the plate ... hitting .400 with a pair of runs scored ... went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the 6-1 win over San Diego State (2/9) ...
#8 Lauren Frankiewicz (So., Vienna, VA): Has posted a 1-0 record and a 1.00 ERA this season ... leads the pitching staff with five strikeouts ... allowed just one run, which came in the sixth inning, in the 6-1 win over San Diego State on Feb. 9.
#11 Marissa Drewrey (Fr., Oakdale, CA): Is 0-1 with a 1.17 ERA ... despite suffering the loss to UMass (2/10), Drewrey was still impressive in her first collegiate start, allowing just one run on two hits with a strikeout in six innings of work.
#12 Vernae Sevilla (Fr., Rancho Cucamonga, CA): Solid start to her first season at Cal ... Had three hits, two runs, and an RBI at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... also posted a 1.000 fielding percentage (15 PO, 8 A, 0 E) ... went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the season-opener vs. Kansas (2/9)
#13 Erika Racklin (Jr., Pittsburg, CA): Produced two hits and a run scored at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... had a stolen base a scored the game's first run in the 2-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 10.
#16 Katie Vickers (Jr., San Diego, CA): Was real active at the plate at the Campbell-Cartier Classic, with five hits, three RBI, and a run scored ... was 2-for-3 and had an RBI single in the sixth inning to plate Shannon Houston to put Cal up 2-0 vs. Santa Barbara (2/10).
#17 Carly Winger (So., Orlando, FL): Has played in two games with one plate appearance this season.
#19 Jessica Moore (Jr., Santa Clara, CA): Has appeared in one game with no plate appearances
#21 Bernice Masaniai (Fr., Stanton, CA): Posted three hits with an RBI and a run scored at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... went 1-for-3 including the season's first RBI that scored Morgan Siegel in the first inning vs. Kansas (2/9).
#23 Taylor Kelly (Fr., Santee, CA): Had two hits with a run scored and an RBI at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored vs. Kansas on Feb. 9
#45 Gina Leomiti (So., San Diego, CA): Came up with the season's first big hit when her two-out double in the second inning scored three runs in Cal's 8-0 victory over Kansas (2/9).