March 14, 2004
Sunnyvale, Calif. - No. 3 California sweated out a tough 5-4 victory today over No. 7 Washington to claim the NIST Championship for the second consecutive year. Haley Woods had her second monster tournament of the season, the other being the NFCA Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. She throttled opposing pitchers, homering in four out of five tournament games, with a .462 (6-13) batting average, 9 RBI and 6 Runs.
Woods put her exclamation point on the NIST when she came to the plate in the third inning. Table setters Lindsay James and Kaleo Eldredge got on board with one out in a scoreless game. Woods found a pitch to her liking and mashed it over the left field fence for a 3-0 Golden Bears lead. Cal added another run in the inning on a Jessica Vernaglia RBI single.
Kristina Thorson worked well with the lead until she stumbled in the fifth, giving up four hits, which led to three runs across for the Huskies. The major culprit was a two-run homer by Husky first baseman Sarah Hyatt. It was only the second round-tripper Thorson has given up all season.
Kelly Anderson got the call from the bullpen, looking to nail down the championship and her first save of the season. She ended the threat in the fifth with a ground out.
The Golden Bears came to the plate clinging to a 4-3 lead. Chelsea Spencer led off with a single through the left side and was sacrificed to second by Vernaglia. Then the Bears caught a break when the Huskies couldn't handle Alex Sutton's grounder, resulting in an error and Spencer scoring.
The insurance run in the fifth proved to be vital. In the sixth, the Huskies strung out a run on a single, a walk and another single. But Anderson closed the door with her third strikeout of the game in 2 1/3 innings of relief work.
In the seventh, two walks put the winning run on base with one out. But Anderson got a come-backer and fired to third baseman Vicky Galindo, who relayed to Roni Rodrigues at first for the game-ending double play.
The Bears improved to 27-3 with one more week of non-conference play left on their schedule. They welcome Wisconsin Tuesday, Mar. 16 for a Levine-Fricke matinee, starting at 2 p.m., followed by a trip to the Hawaii tournament Mar. 18-21.
Results from NIST Tournament Sunnyvale, Calif.
Washington 000 031 0 - 4 7 3 California 004 010 x - 5 10 1 W - Thorson (12-0); L - Marten; S -Thorson (3) Thorson, Anderson (5) and Woods; Boek and Rivera
Records: Cal: 27-3 Washington: 17-6