Feb. 18, 2007
LAS VEGAS - California broke out of an offensive slump and snapped its first three-game losing streak since 2004 with two crushing wins over Utah State (13-1) and Florida International (12-4) in the final day of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic hosted by UNLV on Sunday.
The tenth-ranked Bears (6-4) return home to entertain St. Mary's on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 2:00 p.m., before heading back on the road for the Palm Springs Classic, Feb. 23-25.
"We certainly got our bats back to where they should be," said head coach Diane Ninemire. "This was a good breakout day for us. Shannon (Houston) did a great job for us in the leadoff position and Morgan (Siegel) did a great job moving her over in the No. 2 slot. We are a young team and we know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but this was a good start today."
Cal certainly carried its offensive momentum from the earlier contest to the nightcap vs. Utah State with six runs in the first inning. Morgan Siegel singled with one out, stole second and advanced to third base on a throwing error by Utah State catcher, Simone Hubbard. After Christina Schallig was issued a walk, Bernice Masaniai landed a bunt single allowing Siegel to score and Schallig to proceed to third base. After Katie Vickers popped up to the second baseman for the second out, Alex Sutton doubled to right field plating both Schallig and Masaniai. Vernae Sevilla followed with a single to right field to score Sutton. Two batters later, Taylor Kelly connected for a single to score Sevilla.
The Bears poured in five more runs in the second inning to take a commanding 11-1 lead over the Aggies. Siegel remained aggressive after she reached base safely on a fielding error by the third baseman. After making her way to third base on a Schallig single to center field, Siegel stole home giving the Bears a 7-1 lead. Three straight doubles by Vickers, Sutton, and Sevilla produced the next four runs for Cal.
California added two more runs in the fourth inning both courtesy of back-to-back sacrifice flies. Sevilla's fly out to right field allowed Vickers to score, while Julie Meyer hit a fly ball that was caught in foul territory in right field permitting Sutton to score. The game was called after the fifth inning.
Cal used both Brittany LaRosa and Marissa Drewrey in the circle against Utah State, with Drewrey collecting the win, her first of the season. Sutton finished the afternoon 3-for-3 with three runs and four RBI, while Kelly, Sevilla, and Vickers each produced two hits.
In their afternoon clash with Florida International, Cal wasted little time taking an early lead with a three-run first inning. Shannon Houston led off the game with a walk, and quickly moved to second base after Siegel connected for a bunt single towards the short stop. After a double steal was called, Schallig delivered a sacrifice fly to center field allowing Houston to score and Siegel to advance to third base, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead. Masaniai then followed with a single to left field plating Siegel. Cal loaded the bases after Vickers singled and Sutton was hit by a pitch. Kelly was then issued a walk which allowed Masaniai to score.
The Bears continued their offensive production in the second inning with three more runs. Once again Houston was able to draw a walk to lead off the inning. Cal continued to be aggressive on the base pads as Houston stole second. Siegel notched her second single, moving Houston to third base. After Siegel stole second base, Schallig stepped up once again and punched a single thru the right side scoring both Houston and Siegel giving the Bears a 5-0 lead. Schallig was called out after she tried to advance to second base. Four batters later, Sevilla hit a single thru the middle plating Masaniai.
Florida International however would not go away quietly as the Panthers scored three runs in the top of the third off Cal starting pitcher, Lauren Frankiewicz, trimming the lead to 6-3. LaRosa relieved Frankiewicz with two outs and the bases loaded and got Ashley Falk to fly out to end the inning.
Cal responded in a big way once FIU scored another run in the top of the fifth with six runs in the bottom half of the inning. After Sevilla drew a walk to start the inning (Carly Winger was inserted as a pinch runner), Kelly reached safely when her sacrifice bunt was mishandled by FIU pitcher by Penny Eastman. Houston then came through with a single thru the left side plating both Winger and Kelly giving Cal an 8-4 lead. After consecutive singles by Siegel and Schallig, Masaniai crushed a three-run home run over the left field wall putting Cal up 12-4 and ending the contest because of the tournament's implemented mercy rule (Siegel's single scored Houston).
LaRosa was credited with the win, her third of the season (2.1 IP 1 H 1 R). Siegel finished 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI, while Masaniai went 2-for-3 with three runs and four RBI. Schallig had two hits and three RBI. Houston had three steals. As a team, Cal recorded 11 hits and five steals on the afternoon.
Notes... Cal's 12-4 win over Florida International gave head coach Diane Ninemire 860 career victories ... Sunday marked the first time since 2005 that Cal had back-to-back double digit run games ... Bernice Masaniai's three-run home run vs. FIU was the first home run this season for Cal ... Lauren Frankiewicz has recorded 20 strikeouts in her last three starts ... Cal combined for 25 runs on 23 hits and 10 steals in the final day of the tournament.