May 22, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Slowly but surely, the No. 7-seeded California softball team deliberately marched its way to a 3-0 win over Louisville in the championship game of the Louisville Regional on Sunday afternoon. Thanks in no small part to two runs scored by Frani Echavarria and a seven-inning performance in the circle by Jolene Henderson, the Golden Bears advance to Super Regionals.
Cal advances to its fifth Super Regional since the Supers format was adopted in 2005. The Bears will face Kentucky, which emerged as the winner in the Ann Arbor Regional with a 2-1 win over No. 10-seeded and host Michigan. Cal and UK will face off next weekend in Lexington, Ky., with game times to be announced later.
The Bears scored once in the second, fourth and fifth. A severe weather warning delayed the game for approximately 30 minutes between the bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh.
Jolene Henderson struck out 11 Cardinals and allowed just one walk and eight hits. Louisville starter Tori Collins fanned 10 Bears and gave up two earned runs off five hits and three walks.
Frani Echavarria got on with a slight pop up that fell in no-Cardinal's territory for a hit. She motored home from second two batters later, when Elia Reid hit a grounder to third baseman Chelsea Bemis, who overthrew first base by 20 feet.
In the top of the fourth, Echavarria put it in shallow right field, where neither second base nor right fielder could get it. Victoria Jones moves her to second with a sacrifice bunt and Jordan Wallace got her to third with a ground out. A passed ball then allowed Echavarria to score the second run of the game.
First pitch times for Super Regionals have yet to be decided. Check CalBears.com later this week for details.