Feb. 21, 2007
Quickly Fresh off its 9-1 win over St. Mary's on Tuesday, No. 16/17 California (7-4) travels to Palm Springs for the Palm Springs Classic, Feb. 23-25. Cal faces Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Maryland in the three-day tournament.
California in the Polls Cal fell seven spots to No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 poll and five slots to No. 16 in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll released on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. After week two of the college season five teams in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll remain unbeaten and are ranked in the Top 10 this week. The top five remains the same with Tennessee leading the way with a perfect 9-0 record but Texas A&M jumped to No. 2 while Arizona State slipped to No. 3 despite a 13-0 record. Arizona is No. 4 with a 9-2 record while Alabama ranks No. 5 with a 10-0 record. There were three newcomers to the top 10 with Stanford (9-2) moving up from No. 12 to No. 8, No. 13 Louisiana Lafayette (12-1) moved to No. 9 and No. 14 Oklahoma (10-0) jumped to No. 10. No. 25 Oregon entered the poll for the first time this season after stretching their win streak to eight games this past week while DePaul fell out of the rankings despite not playing this week. Cal was picked to finish in a sixth place tie according to the annual Pac-10 softball preseason coaches poll released in January. Both California and Washington garnered 18 points to earn the sixth place tie. Last season's NCAA Champion, Arizona, was picked to win the conference after collecting five first place votes and 47 points overall. UCLA was a close second, earning 45 points and three first place votes. Arizona State earned the third place nod with 35 points. Oregon State was picked fourth with 32 points, followed by Stanford (fifth) with 21 points. Oregon rounded out the poll with eight points.
On the Horizon California will return home on Feb. 28 to face Santa Clara at 2 p.m. Cal is a perfect 63-0 all-time vs. the Broncos dating back to the 1978 season. The Bears defeated Santa Clara, 3-0 last season.
Last Game in Review (Feb. 20) Carly Winger's walk-off home run in the bottom of the fifth inning sealed a 9-1 victory for the No. 17-ranked California Golden Bear softball team over St. Mary's on Tuesday afternoon from Levine-Fricke Field. The game was called after the fifth inning because of the implemented mercy rule. The Bears, who improve to 7-4 on the season, travel to Palm Springs, CA for the Palm Springs Classic, Feb. 23-25. Cal faces Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Maryland in the three-day tournament. "The bats came through for us again today," said head coach Diane Ninemire. "It was nice to see two home runs on our home field. We also made some great defensive plays to get out of a few jams. Marissa (Drewrey) and Brittany (LaRosa) did a good job for us. We just want to keep making progress." California established a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Christina Schallig scored from third base on an error by SMC center fielder, Lauren Mello, who dropped a fly ball hit by Katie Vickers. The Bears broke the game open with a five-run second inning thanks to a pair of key hits by Schallig and Vickers. Schallig delivered from the plate when her sacrifice fly to right field scored Julie Meyer and Shannon Houston. Morgan Siegel, who had reached base safely on fielder's choice, took advantage of the sacrifice fly and moved to third base. Once on third Siegel stole home and scored before the SMC pitcher was set to throw to Bernice Masaniai. After the Gaels made a pitching change and inserted Kate Albaugh, Vickers connected for a two-run home run over the left field wall that plated Masaniai, giving the Bears a 6-0 lead. Cal responded to St. Mary's lone run in the top of the third inning with two more in the bottom of frame. After Vernae Sevilla led off with a double and Julie Meyer was issued a walk, Schallig delivered yet again with a hard hit single to left field to score both Sevilla and Meyers, increasing the lead to 8-1. After St. Mary's had a scoreless top half of the fifth inning, Winger nailed the solo shot over the left field wall (with one out) to end the contest. Marissa Drewrey collected the victory in the circle to improve to 2-2 on the season. She allowed one run on five hits in three innings of work. Brittany LaRosa filled in the final two innings without giving up a run and striking out two. Cal improved to 41-0 all-time vs. St. Mary's
Feb. 13-19 Highlights Cal went 3-3 in last weeks action (Feb. 13-19), collecting wins against San Jose State, Florida International, and Utah State ... the Bears struggled to find their offense in the first two days of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic (Feb. 16-18), falling to Mississippi State, Colorado State, and Northwestern ... Cal responded however in a big way in the final day of the tournament defeating Florida International, 12-4 and Utah State, 13-1 ... Cal's 12-4 win over Florida International gave head coach Diane Ninemire 860 career victories ... Sunday (Feb. 18) 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 ... Cal lost three games in-a-row for the first time since the 2004 season (Feb. 16-17) ... Cal combined for 25 runs on 23 hits and 10 steals in the final day of the Desert Classic
`07 Team Notes The Bears have been involved in seven games this season that have been called due to an implemented mercy rule -- Cal is 5-2 in such games ... Cal is 6-0 this season when scoring six or more runs ... the Bears are 7-0 when scoring first, but 0-4 when their opponent scores first ... Cal has outscored its opposition, 31-8 in the first two innings this season ... after hitting its first home run of the season on Feb. 18, Cal hit two home runs vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 20 ... over the last three games the Bears are hitting .435 with 34 runs scored, 29 RBI and 11 stolen bases ... over the last three games the Cal pitching staff has posted a 1.40 ERA, allowing just three earned runs on 10 hits
Sutton on Player of the Year Watch List Senior Alex Sutton of the California softball team was announced as one of 50 players on the Amateur Softball Association's Top-50 Preseason Watch List for its sixth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award released in January.
The 2007 Preseason Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 33 schools and 11 different NCAA Division I Conferences. A complete list of the players with photos and links to their collegiate bios can be found in the "College Corner" on the USA Softball website -- www.usasoftball.com.
Sutton hit a personal-best .352 last season, led Cal in on-base percentage (.464) and finished second on the team in slugging percentage (.497), RBI (36) and doubles (12).
The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 4. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a Top-25 finalist, but once the Top-25 is named the remaining finalist must be selected from that list. Just days before the start of postseason play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 9. The final three finalists will be announced May 23 while the winner of the 2006 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2007 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The `07 Schedule The 2007 California softball schedule has the Golden Bears traveling throughout the country, facing 18 opponents that made postseason appearances in the 2006 season. Of those 18 opponents, 14 finished the season ranked in top-25 national polls (ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA). The 2007 schedule also includes 15 home games at Levine-Fricke Field, including 11 Pac-10 Conference match-ups.
In Other News... Jennifer Deering was hired as an assistant coach at Boston University this season. A member of the 2002 national championship team, Deering most recently served as the head varsity softball coach at Piedmont High School. In her first season at the helm, Deering led the 2006 Piedmont softball team to its first Bay Side Athletic League championship in thirteen years. The team also earned its first-ever North Coast Sectional first place seeding. Deering was named the East Bay Coach of the Year by the Oakland Tribune after the team went 19-4 in her tenure. Deering's responsibilities as an assistant will include working with the pitching staff and spearheading BU's recruiting efforts.
Around the Pac-10 The conference responded after a shaky first week of play by combining for a record of 38-5 in week two ... Every team is riding at least a two-game winning streak, and five teams have won at least five straight led by ARIZONA STATE which has not tasted defeat in 13 outings. OREGON (9), STANFORD and WASHINGTON (7), and ARIZONA (5) also have won at least their past five ... Arizona State remains perfect at 13-0, but must travel outside Tempe for the first time this season as they take the field at the Palm Springs Classic ... CALIFORNIA, OREGON STATE, UCLA, and Washington will join the Sun Devils in Palm Springs, Calif. for the tourney ... Oregon entered the current ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 at No. 25 this week, meaning all eight Pac-10 squads are now ranked ... ASU and Arizona rank third and fourth, respectively, followed by No. 7 Oregon State, No. 8 Stanford, No. 14 UCLA, No. 15 Washington, No. 16/17 CAL and the 25th-ranked Ducks rounding things out
The Ninemire File No coach in the history of California athletics has won more games than Diane Ninemire (862). Since her first year in the dugout in 1988, Ninemire has continually taken the Bears to new heights as one of the winningest and most successful softball programs in the nation, especially over the past eight seasons. Under the guidance of Ninemire, California has earned a place among the nation's elite. With a national championship, nine Women's College World Series trips, and 19 straight NCAA Regional appearances to her credit, it is no wonder that Cal enters every season as a national contender.
Since the 1999 season, California is an impressive 415-147 (.736), including a 160-46 mark (.776) over the last three seasons. Since 1999, Ninemire's teams have won at least 48 games each year, including five 50-win seasons.
Since Ninemire's tenure at Cal, 34 All-America, 80 all-region, and 129 all-conference certificates have been issued to Golden Bear athletes. Two of Ninemire's former players - Michele Granger and Gillian Boxx - were four-time All-Americans and helped the United States to win a Gold Medal as members of the 1996 Olympic Team in Atlanta.
The 2006 campaign was no different in terms of success. With a roster that had lost four, four-year starters, Ninemire assembled a group that produced 48 wins, an appearance in the NCAA Super Regional, and a final No. 9 national ranking. The veteran coach logged her 850th career victory on May 13 with a 10-inning victory over Washington.
'07 CALIFORNIA Player Notes #00 Brittany LaRosa (Fr., Diamond Bar, CA): Has posted a 3-1 record with a 1.73 ERA (No. 9 Pac-10) and two shutouts this season ... in her collegiate debut vs. Kansas (2/9) LaRosa allowed just two hits in five innings of work for her first complete game and shutout ... she scattered four hits in seven innings for her second win and shutout vs. UCSB on 2/10 ... in her last 6.1 innings pitched (Feb. 18-20) LaRosa has given up just one run on two hits and two strikeouts ... LaRosa has only given up three extra base hits this season
#2 Morgan Siegel (So., Anitoch, CA): Has posted a .258 batting average this season ... has scored a team-high 10 runs and has recorded seven stolen bases ... has five stolen bases in her last three games ... has been issued a team-high seven walks ... went 1-for-3 with a pair of runs in the season-opening win against Kansas (2/9) ... went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the 6-1 win over San Diego State (2/9) ... went 3-for-4 with three runs and an RBI vs. Florida International (2/18) ... scored two runs vs. Utah State (2/18)
#3 Alex Sutton (Sr., Morgan Hill, CA): Hitting .192 this season with four runs and five RBI ... scored a run vs. San Diego State (2/9) ... has drawn five walks ... has a 1.000 fielding percentage ... went 3-for-3 with three runs and four RBI vs. Utah State on Feb. 18
#4 Shannon Houston (Fr., New Egypt, NJ): Has scored seven runs this season ... has been primarily used as a pinch runner ... is a perfect 7-for-7 (team-best) in stolen bases ... had two stolen bases with a run scored at San Diego State (2/9) ... recorded three stolen bases and went 1-for-1 with three runs and two RBI vs. Florida International (2/18)
#6 Julie Meyer (Jr., Yardville, NJ): Currently hitting .238 on the season ... has two doubles, with three RBI and five runs scored ... has scored three runs in her last two games ... went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a runs scored in the season-opening win vs. Kansas (2/9) ... went 1-for-2 with two runs vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 20
#7 Christina Schallig (Fr., Carson, CA.): Off to a productive start at the plate hitting .370 this season with eight runs and 10 RBI ... currently has a three-game hitting streak (Feb. 18-20) ... has seven RBI in her last three games ... went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the 6-1 win over San Diego State (2/9) ... went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run vs. Florida International (2/18) ... scored two runs vs. Utah State (2/18) ... went 1-for-1 with four RBI vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 20
#8 Lauren Frankiewicz (So., Vienna, VA): Has posted a 2-1 record with a 1.69 ERA this season ... leads the pitching staff with 25 strikeouts ... has 20 strikeouts in her last 13 innings pitched ... allowed just one run, which came in the sixth inning, in the 6-1 win over San Diego State on Feb. 9
#11 Marissa Drewrey (Fr., Oakdale, CA): Is 2-2 with a 4.44 ERA ... has only allowed one earned run over her last six innings pitched ... had a season-high three strikeouts vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 20 ... despite suffering the loss to UMass (2/10), Drewrey was still impressive in her first collegiate start, allowing just one run on two hits with a strikeout in six innings of work
#12 Vernae Sevilla (Fr., Rancho Cucamonga, CA): Solid start to her first season at Cal posting a .280 batting average ... currently has a three-game hitting streak (Feb. 18-20) ... had three hits, two runs, and an RBI at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... also posted a 1.000 fielding percentage (15 PO, 8 A, 0 E) ... went 2-for-3 with a run scored in the season-opener vs. Kansas (2/9) ... went 2-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored vs. Utah State on Feb. 18
#13 Erika Racklin (Jr., Pittsburg, CA): Produced two hits and a run scored at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... had a stolen base a scored the game's first run in the 2-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 10 ... scored a run vs. San Jose State on Feb. 14
#16 Katie Vickers (Jr., San Diego, CA): Leads the team in batting average (.379), hits (11), and RBI (11) ... has had at least one hit in 8-of-10 games played this year ... has a current three-game hitting streak (Feb. 18-20) ... was real active at the plate at the Campbell-Cartier Classic, with five hits, three RBI, and a run scored ... was 2-for-3 and had an RBI single in the sixth inning to plate Shannon Houston to put Cal up 2-0 vs. Santa Barbara (2/10) ... went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs vs. Utah State (2/18) ... hit her first home run of the season (a two-run shot) vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 20
#17 Carly Winger (So., Orlando, FL): Hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to seal a 9-1 victory over St. Mary's on Feb. 20 ... is hitting .333 this season with three runs scored
#19 Jessica Moore (Jr., Santa Clara, CA): Has appeared in five games with five plate appearances
#21 Bernice Masaniai (Fr., Stanton, CA): Hitting .276 with nine runs and six RBI this season ... has scored at least one run in her last four games (seven total in that span) ... has five hits and five RBI in her last three games ... posted three hits with an RBI and a run scored at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... went 1-for-3 including the season's first RBI that scored Morgan Siegel in the first inning vs. Kansas (2/9) ... went 2-for-3 including a three-run home run vs. Florida International on Feb. 18 ... scored two runs vs. Utah State on Feb. 19 ... went 2-for-3 vs. SMC on Feb. 20
#23 Taylor Kelly (Fr., Santee, CA): Has played in eight games this season hitting .235 with three stolen bases ... had two hits with a run scored and an RBI at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored vs. Kansas on Feb. 9 ... went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI vs. Utah State on Feb. 18
#45 Gina Leomiti (So., San Diego, CA): Has played in six games with seven plate appearances ... came up with the season's first big hit when her two-out double in the second inning scored three runs in Cal's 8-0 victory over Kansas (2/9)