May 11, 1999
Saturday, May 15
This Week in Cal Softball
The 19th-ranked Cal softball team closes out the 1999 regular season by hosting No. 14 Stanford (40-21, 10-16) Saturday on Levine-Fricke Field. The doubleheader will mark the final home appearances for seven Bear seniors, and they will be honored in a pre-game ceremony. Cal and Stanford split their first twinbill this season on The Farm. The Cardinal took the opener, 5-0, before the Bears came back for a 4-3 win in game two. Overall, Cal owns a 36-6 all-time series lead.
Head Coach Diane Ninemire
Diane Ninemire, the winningest softball coach in Golden Bear history, is in her 11th year as head coach at Cal with a school and career record of 485-271. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, she has led Cal to 10 NCAA Tournament berths and a pair of College World Series appearances (1992, '96). Ninemire is assisted by John Reeves, who is in his sixth season.
Bears Post First Perfect Week of Season, Sweeping Sac State, Oregon State & Oregon
After beating Sacramento State twice (10-2, 2-0), Cal completed its first weekend sweep of Pac-10 play when the Bears beat both No. 11 Oregon State (8-6, 1-0) and No. 18 Oregon (10-6, 3-0) on the road. Cal started the week in Sacramento and put together its best inning of the year when the Bears scored eight times in the second inning of the first game. Freshman 3B Candace Harper had two hits in the inning, and 1B Kirsten Drake and DP Holly Yost both homered. At Oregon State, Harper's two-run home run in the eighth inning provided the winning margin in the 8-6 victory in game one. P Jocelyn Forest and P Nicole DiSavlio then combined on a five-hitter, and CF Amber Phillips hit her team-leading sixth home run of the year in the 1-0 nightcap victory. Cal remained on a roll in Eugene, as C Megumi Takasaki's three-run homer in the seventh inning helped lift the Bears to the 10-6 win. In game two, DiSalvio tossed a four-hit shutout for her 15th win of the season.
Cal Ranked 19th in USA Today/NFCA Poll
Cal, which entered the year unranked, has been in the Top 20 every week since the first regular-season poll was released March 3. The Bears hold down the 19th spot in the current poll, and updated rankings are announced on Wednesdays. Cal's rankings by week: Preseason (NR), March 3 (20), March 10 (16), March 17 (14), March 24 (13), March 31 (14), April 7 (14), April 14 (13), April 21 (13), April 28 (16), May 5 (19).
Bears Set Season Home Run Record
With 11 home runs in their last nine games, the Bears have smashed their season home run record. Now with 31 on the season, the old mark was 24 set in 1996. This year's squad does not have a true home run hitter, relying instead on balance throughout the lineup. Sophomore CF Amber Phillips leads the team with six, while 2B Lisa Iancin, C Megumi Takasaki and DP Holly Yost have five each. Eight of Cal's nine starters have at least one home run.
DiSalvio Back in Early Season Form
Sophomore P Nicole DiSalvio, who began the year with two no-hitters in the first two weeks of the season, seems to have regained her early season form. After being mired in an eight-game losing streak in Pac-10 play, DiSalvio is 5-0 with a save in her last seven appearances. During that stretch, she beat No. 3 Arizona, 5-1, on a two-hitter and tossed complete-game shutouts at Sacramento State and Oregon. Over those seven games, DiSalvio has a 0.39 ERA, allowing just two earned runs and 21 hits in 35.2 innings. For the year, she is 15-10 with a 1.53 ERA.
Run Production Key to Cal's Success
Although it may sound a little obvious, when Cal scores enough runs, it usually wins. More specifically, the Bears are 34-2 when they total at least three runs in a game, but just 8-17 when they score less than three runs. In Pac-10 games, the trend is even more dramatic as Cal is 10-1 when scoring three or more runs and 1-13 when scoring two or less.
Senior Day Honors Seven Cal Players
Seven Cal seniors will be honors before the Cal-Stanford doubleheader Saturday afternoon. Five of the players are four-year starters: 1B Kirsten Drake, SS Katie May, C Megumi Takasaki, OF Maiko Bristow and DP/P Holly Yost. OF Valerie Nicklas has been a key reserve for the Bears during her career, while 3B Trisha Hunt joined the team last year after transferring from Maryland.
Golden Bear Notes
Cal's 42 wins on the year represents the team's highest total since the Bears were 48-20 in 1992 ... Cal swept Oregon State and Oregon on the road last week for the first time since 1991 ... SS Katie May has broken the school career assist record with 575 ... selections for the 48-team NCAA Tournament will be announced Sunday afternoon.