May 20, 2004
Lincoln, Neb. --- Vicky Galindo launched a solo home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning of a scoreless game to open the flood gates as No. 2 Cal ran to a 4-0 victory over Maine at the NCAA Lincoln Regional Thursday at Bowlin Stadium.
Galindo's shot started a four-run sixth-inning charge that helped the Golden Bears improve to 47-11 and earn a spot in the 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT contest Friday against Mississippi State. Maine dropped to 28-22 on the season and will face Iowa in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday.
The home run was Galindo's sixth of the season as the Golden Bears' top hitter went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. It was the first of three straight hits off pitcher Sarah Bennis, as Lindsay James and Haley Woods belted singles to put two on before Kaleo Eldredge reached on an error that scored James. Eldredge stole second and advanced to third when pinch runner Jessica Vernaglia scored the Golden Bears' third run on a wild pitch. Eldredge then came across as Chelsea Spencer lifted a sacrifice fly to center field for a 4-0 Cal lead.
Sophomore Kristina Thorson closed the door on the Black Bears in the top of the seventh as she struck out Lauren Dulkis, forced Brittany Cheney to ground out to short and struck out Molly McKinney to end the game. Thorson went 7.0 innings allowing just two hits while striking out 10 with no walks to improve to 24-3 on the season.
Maine's only threat came from its top hitter, Jessica Brady, who bunted for a leadoff single in the top of the fourth inning to become the first Black Bear base runner. After two outs, Brady got a great jump and stole second but overslid the bag and was tagged out to end the inning. Brady did the trick again as she singled to second base in the top of the sixth for Maine's only other hit.
Cal saw its first scoring opportunity in the bottom half of the fourth, as Woods walked with two outs and moved to second when Eldredge beat out the throw for a single. But UM's Sarah Bennis got Jessica Pamanian to ground to shortstop for the final out of the inning to end the threat. Bennis finished the game allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with two walks and one strikeout.
Cal game notes: Cal has won seven straight opening-round games in NCAA Regional play and has reached the WCWS each of the past five years...Cal's last opening-round loss at a regional came in 1997 with a 7-0 setback against Fresno State...Vicky Galindo, the Golden Bears' top hitter at .363 entering the game, was the only Cal player with more than one hit as she went 2-for-3...Galindo recorded her 19th RBI of the season on a homer to right field...Kaleo Eldredge improved to 16-for-17 in stolen bases with one against UM...Chelsea Spencer was caught stealing for just the second time in 19 attempts this season...Thorson picked up her sixth straight victory, including her third since May 15...Thorson has allowed just three runs and 10 hits in the past three games.
Maine game notes: The Black Bears had turned five double plays all season but recorded a 5-2 double play in the first inning...Jessica Brady is Maine's career stolen base leader with 49 but was caught stealing one against Cal...Brady had been caught stealing just three times in 20 attempts entering the game...Brady was the only Black Bear with a base hit, collecting one in the fourth and sixth inning...Sarah Bennis, who allowed all four Golden Bear runs, came into the game without allowing an earned run in four of her last five appearances.