March 13, 2004
Sunnyvale, Calif. - Rarely has this powerful Golden Bear team found itself behind in any game this season. But today, No. 3 Cal fell behind twice before showing its nerve to rally and defeat Minnesota, 6-2, and No. 21 Iowa, 8-2. Kristina Thorson recorded a win and save, while Haley Woods and Chelsea Spencer powered the offense with home runs.
The Bears fell behind for the first time all tournament against Minnesota. The Golden Gophers managed to open a two-run lead in the second against Kelly Anderson, stealing three bases in the inning.
Cal had to wait until the fourth to get a rally going, but it was worth the wait. Kaleo Eldredge got on board after she was hit by a pitch. Woods singled and Jessica Pamanian loaded the bases with Spencer coming up. The Bears shortstop came up big with a single back up the box to score two. Roni Rodrigues followed with another two-run single and the Golden Bears had put Anderson in position for her 15th win.
Spencer left little doubt in the sixth with her third home run of the season to left, scoring Woods as well. The deep fly capped an impressive game at the dish Spencer - she went 2-3 with 2 runs and 4 RBI.
Anderson left after 4 2/3 innings and in line for the win, having struck out five. Thorson came on in the fifth and was lights out, striking out four in 2 1/3 innings for her third save this year.
Cal found its resiliency tested again in the second game of the day against No. 21 Iowa. The Bears fell behind in third when the Hawkeyes scrapped a run across against Thorson. But at the first sign of trouble, Cal's bats awoke with a fury, scoring in every frame from the fourth on.
Woods continues to terrorize opposing pitchers with her big stick. The Bears' catcher turned the game around in a hurry with her ninth home run of the season in the fourth, which plated Lindsay James.
The Bears put their exclamation on the contest in the sixth with a workmanlike three-run rally. With the bases loaded, Pamanian was plunked to move each Bear station to station. Spencer followed with a sac fly moving each runner up and Rodrigues' right field fly was good enough to score one more.
Thorson improved her record to 11-0, as she struck out seven in her ninth complete game performance of the season. With 3 RBI in the game Woods improved her team-leading total to 31 on the season.
Cal moves to the championship game on Sunday, looking to claim its second consecutive NIST Championship.
Results from NIST Tournament Sunnyvale, Calif.
Minnesota 020 000 0 - 2 3 3 California 000 402 x - 6 6 3 W - Anderson (15-3); L - Marten; S -Thorson (3) Peyer, Marten (4), Monderick (5) and Higginbothom; Anderson, Thorson (5) and Woods
California 000 213 2 - 8 7 0 Iowa 001 100 0 - 2 6 1 W - Thorson 11-0; L - Arnold (6-4) Thorson and Woods; Arnold, Birocci (7) and Huse.