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No. 18 California Hosts Santa Clara; Travels back to Las Vegas
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/27/2007

Feb. 27, 2007

BERKELEY -

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Quickly The No. 18-ranked California Golden Bears (10-6) return home for a single game vs. Santa Clara (1-14) on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. before returning back to Las Vegas for the UNLV Invitational, Mar. 2-5. Cal squares off against Fresno State, Delaware, DePaul, Nebraska, and tournament host UNLV in the three-day affair.

Perfect vs. Santa Clara Cal leads the all-time series with Santa Clara, 68-0, dating back to the 1978 season. The Bears defeated the Broncos, 4-3 last season.

California in the Polls Cal dropped one spot to No. 18 in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 poll. The Bears are No. 16 in the NFCA poll which is released every Wednesday. 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.

Top 25 Poll News For the first time this season there is a unanimous choice sitting atop the 2007 ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll. The Tennessee Lady Volunteers, who have started the season with a perfect 15-0 record, were listed as the No. 1 team in the country on every voter's ballot, with 20 first-place votes. Tennessee went 6-0 this past week with impressive wins over No. 14 UCLA (6-1) and No. 23 Fresno State (5-0) to remain unbeaten. Arizona (11-3) moved up to No. 2 in this week's poll after going 2-1 in a three-game series with Texas A&M (13-2) who was ranked No. 3 last week. The Aggies dropped to No. 5 after its two losses at Arizona. Alabama continued its push up the poll to No. 3 after a perfect run through the Bama Bash this past week to run its record to 16-0. The Tide collected two shutout wins over No. 22 NC State including a 6-0 win in the championship game.

Arizona State fell from ranks of the unbeaten this week after losing to Northwestern, 5-2, but remain in the top five at No. 4. After a tough week at the Palm Springs Classic that saw Oregon State (8-5) drop three of its five games to ranked opponents, the Beavers dropped out of the top 10 to No. 13 while Oklahoma (16-0) kept its undefeated season going to move up to No. 7 in the latest poll. Michigan (14-1) cracked the top 10 this week at No. 9 after sharing the NFCA Classic title with No. 21 Georgia Tech (12-2). This is the first time Georgia Tech has entered the top 25 since June 15, 2005.

Texas (12-3) also entered the top 10 after going 4-1 at the Palm Springs Classic that included wins over No. 15 Washington, 4-0, and No. 7 Oregon State, 2-0. Oregon (15-1) made the biggest jump in this week's poll moving from No. 25 to No. 17 after going 6-0 at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego. Three other teams join Georgia Tech as first timers to the top 25 poll this week. Southern Illinois (12-3) enters the poll for the first time since May 7, 2006 at No. 22 while Hawaii (12-2) and Illinois State (11-4) make their first appearance ever in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll at No. 24 and No. 25 respectively Four teams dropped out of the Top 25 poll this week including Fresno State (8-6), Nebraska (7-5), NC State (10-5) and UMass (4-5-1). It is the first time in the history of the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll that Nebraska has not appeared in the top 25 and the first time since May 29, 2003 that Fresno State is not among the rankings.

On the Horizon California will return home on March 7 to take on Loyola-Chicago at 2 p.m. This will be the first series meeting between the two schools.

Feb. 20-25 Highlights Katie Vickers' first inning grand slam helped ignite Cal to an 11-1 victory in five innings over Maryland in the final day of the Palm Springs Classic on Sunday (Feb. 25). The Golden Bears went 3-2 in tournament play (losses were to Oklahoma and Ohio State). Vickers went 2-for-3 with five RBI on Sunday. Marissa Drewrey got the start in the circle for the Bears and picked up her fourth win after allowing one run on four hits in 3.2 innings of work. Brittany LaRosa filled in with 1.1 innings of work as well. Cal got its offense rolling in the first inning behind the big blast from Vickers. Morgan Siegel drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base after Erika Racklin's ensuing single. Christina Schallig helped load the bases after being issued a walk. Two batters later Vickers delivered the grand slam to give Cal a 4-0 lead.

Alex Sutton belted three home runs on Feb. 23 afternoon helping California earn a pair of victories over Oklahoma State and Notre Dame. Cal relied on a first inning grand slam from Sutton and prevented a seventh inning rally to top Notre Dame, 7-5, before having to rally from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Oklahoma State, 6-3, in the nightcap. In their late afternoon clash with Oklahoma State, the Cowgirls jumped out to a quick start posting three runs in the first inning, which included a Courtney Totte two-run home run off starting pitcher Brittany LaRosa. California's bats exploded in the fourth inning when Sutton connected for her second home run of the afternoon (a solo shot over the left field wall) to trim the deficit to 3-1. A few batters later, Morgan Siegel produced a single that plated pinch runner, Shannon Houston, making it 3-2, Oklahoma State. A Gina Leomiti ground out to the second baseman manufactured two more runs and the eventual lead for Cal (Taylor Kelly and Siegel scored). Bernice Masaniai added a double to center field that scored Christina Schallig, who had reached on fielding error. In all, the Bears notched five runs on four hits to take a 5-3 lead.

Sutton's first inning grand slam sparked Cal to a 7-5 victory over Notre Dame in the earlier game of the day. After Notre Dame was held scoreless in the top of the first, Cal responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning, courtesy of the Sutton blast. Siegel got things going with a single to left field with one out. Siegel then advanced to second base after Christina Schallig singled up the middle. After Masaniai was issued a walk to load the bases, Katie Vickers reached on a fielder's choice which resulted in Siegel being thrown out at home plate. Faced with two outs, Sutton planted the ball over the left field wall to give Cal a 4-0 lead.

`07 Team Quick Notes The Bears have been involved in nine games this season that have been called due to an implemented mercy rule -- Cal is 6-3 in such games ... Cal has hit at least one home run in five of its last six games ... Cal has outscored its opponents 48-23 in the first two innings this season ... The Bears are 9-0 when scoring first this season, and 10-0 when leading after four innings ... Cal has scored seven or more runs in six of their last eight games ... Katie Vickers has 11 RBI in her last seven games ... Christina Schallig has an eight-game hitting streak ... Schallig has also scored at least one run in seven of her last eight games

Sutton Drafted by New England Riptide Senior Alex Sutton was selected in the third round by the New England Riptide in February's National Professional Fastpitch draft. Players selected in the NCAA draft will be permitted to pursue any available roster spot on their assigned team after completing their college season, according to league bylaws.

"The NPF showcases the nation's best softball players, and the draft gives us the opportunity to tap into the elite softball talent from the college level and bring it to our fans," said newly appointed NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf. "We are excited at the prospect of adding the hottest college players to our teams and bringing even more electricity to our 2007 season."

Sutton, who hit .352 as a junior and was team was announced this season as one of 50 players on the Amateur Softball Association's Top-50 Preseason Watch List for Player of the Year honors, joins other Golden Bear alumnae, Jocelyn Forest and Lisa Iancin on the Riptide squad.

"She's a welcome addition to the Riptide rebuilt outfield," said Riptide General Manager Joe Adlman. "We're happy we were able to draft her when we did."

Led by Forest, New England captured the 2006 NPF Championship. Forest was named MVP of the series, pitching all 16 innings of the playoffs without allowing a run and striking out 15. The NPF season begins in June.

Sutton on Player of the Year Watch List Senior Alex Sutton 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.

The Ninemire Effect No coach in the history of California athletics has won more games than Diane Ninemire (865). 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 422-152 (.735), including a 163-48 mark (.772) 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 3-2 record with a 3.64 ERA 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 ... From Feb. 18-20 (6.1 innings pitched) LaRosa gave up just one run on two hits and two strikeouts ... LaRosa has only given up five extra base hits this season

#2 Morgan Siegel (So., Anitoch, CA): Has posted a .350 batting average this season ... has scored a team-high 18 runs and has recorded nine stolen bases ... had five stolen bases in from Feb. 18-23 ... has been issued a team-high 15 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) ... Hit .545 from Feb. 20-25 ... went 2-for-2 with two runs vs. Notre Dame on Feb. 23 ... scored two runs vs. Ohio State (2/24) and three runs vs. Maryland (2/25)

#3 Alex Sutton (Sr., Morgan Hill, CA): Hitting .308 this season with seven runs, three HR and 15 RBI ... has drawn seven walks ... has a 1.000 fielding percentage ... went 3-for-3 with three runs and four RBI vs. Utah State on Feb. 18 ... Sutton broke out in a big way at the Palm Springs Classic, Feb. 23-25 ... she blasted a grand slam in the first inning to help lift Cal to a 7-5 win over Notre Dame (2/23)... the next game Sutton delivered two solo home runs vs. Oklahoma State ... despite suffering a tough 10-7 loss to Ohio State (2/24), Sutton helped keep Cal in the contest with four RBI ... also recorded a 1.133 slugging percentage, hit 10 RBI, and scored three times in the tournament

#4 Shannon Houston (Fr., New Egypt, NJ): Has scored nine runs this season ... has been primarily used as a pinch runner ... is a perfect 8-for-8 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) ... scored a run vs. Ohio State (2/24) and went 1-for-1 vs. Maryland (2/25)

#6 Julie Meyer (Jr., Yardville, NJ): Currently hitting .172 on the season ... has two doubles, with three RBI and five runs scored ... scored three runs in two games (Feb. 18-20) ... went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run 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.): Leads the team with a .425 batting average ... also has scored 14 runs, while posting 14 RBI ... currently has an eight-game hitting streak (Feb. 18-25) ... has 11 RBI in her last eight games ... has scored at least one run in seven of her last eight 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 ... hit a team-best .571 from Feb. 20-25 ... went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI vs. Ohio State (2/24) ... went 1-for-1 with two runs and two RBI vs. Maryland (2/25)

#8 Lauren Frankiewicz (So., Vienna, VA): Has posted a 3-1 record with a 3.03 ERA this season ... leads the pitching staff with 30 strikeouts ... had 23 strikeouts from Feb. 14-23 ... allowed just one run, which came in the sixth inning, in the 6-1 win over San Diego State on Feb. 9 ... earned the win against Notre Dame (2/23) after striking out three in 6.2 innings of work

#11 Marissa Drewrey (Fr., Oakdale, CA): Is 4-3 with a 4.57 ERA ... 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 ... had a season-high three strikeouts vs. St. Mary's on Feb. 20 ... went 3-1 from Feb. 20-25 ... picked up the win after allowing one run on four hits in 3.2 innings of work vs. Maryland (2/25)

#12 Vernae Sevilla (Fr., Rancho Cucamonga, CA): Has posted a .275 batting average ... has had at least one hit in six of her last eight games (Feb. 18-25) ... has posted a .969 fielding percentage (33 PO, 29 A, 2 E) ... had three hits, two runs, and an RBI at the Campbell-Cartier Classic ... 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 ... had an RBI vs. Notre Dame (2/23) ... had two hits vs. Oklahoma State (2/23)

#13 Erika Racklin (Jr., Pittsburg, CA): Hitting .250 this season ... has scored four runs in her last three games (Feb. 24-25) ... 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 ... went 3-for-3 (season-best) with two runs vs. Maryland on Feb. 25

#16 Katie Vickers (Jr., San Diego, CA): Hitting .378 while leading the team with 19 RBI ... has had at least one hit in 13-of-16 games played this year ... had a six-game hitting streak (Feb. 18-24) ... 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 ... hit .368 from Feb. 20-25 ... went 2-for-2 with an RBI vs. Oklahoma (2/24) ... hit a first inning grand slam and finished 2-for-3 with five RBI vs. Maryland on Feb. 25

#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 .267 this season with six runs scored ... hit .300 from Feb. 20-25 with four runs, two home runs and two RBI ... hit a solo home run vs. Oklahoma on Feb. 24

#19 Jessica Moore (Jr., Santa Clara, CA): Has appeared in eight games with five plate appearances ... has two runs scored on the season

#21 Bernice Masaniai (Fr., Stanton, CA): Hitting .295 with 12 runs and nine RBI this season ... has scored at least one run in seven her last nine games ... has 10 hits and eight RBI in her last eight 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 ... went 2-for-3 with an RBI vs. Oklahoma State (2/23) ... went 1-for-3 with two RBI vs. Maryland (2/25)

#23 Taylor Kelly (Fr., Santee, CA): Has played in 12 games this season and has three stolen bases, three runs and three RBI ... 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 nine games with 10 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)


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