May 30, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Junior SS Chelsea Spencer hit a tie-breaking single while freshman RF Alex Sutton followed up with a two-run single to left, giving California a 4-1 victory over LSU Sunday night to advance to the NCAA Division I Softball national championship game in the 2004 Women's College World Series. The Bears will battle the defending champion UCLA Bruins in a rematch of last year's title game.
LSU (57-12 overall) eliminated Florida State in the Tigers' first game Sunday before defeating the Bears 4-1 in their second game to force one last contest with California for the right to advance to face the Bruins, who beat Stanford 3-1 in 12 innings to advance on their side of the bracket.
Sophomore LF Lindsay James and sophomore C Haley Woods each singled before senior P Kristin Schmidt walked junior CF Kaleo Eldredge and junior 2B Jessica Pamanian to force in the game's tying run. Spencer then hit an infield single to short scoring Woods and Sutton extended the Bears' lead with her two-RBI single into left field to bring Eldredge and Pamanian across the plate.
Schmidt (38-7) put in a tremendous effort for the Tigers Sunday, throwing three games and 359 total pitches before being relieved to a standing ovation from the entire stadium and both dugouts with two outs in the seventh inning of her second game against California. Junior P Kelly Anderson, who relieved sophomore P Kristina Thorson (28-4) in the third inning of Cal's first game loss to LSU, took the start and the win in the Bear's second game, improving to 25-8 for the year.
California (53-12 overall) will get a second chance at UCLA (46-9 overall) Monday evening in the national championship game. The Bears suffered a nine-inning no-hitter from senior P Keira Goerl (30-7) for a 1-0 loss in the championship game last year. Cal is 1-2 against the Bruins this season.
LSU beat Florida State, 2-1, to advance to the semifinals against California. The Tigers then got a home run from freshman LF Leslie Klein and a two-run double from senior CF LaDonia Hughes to take the 4-1 win over the Bears, who had been on a 14-game winning streak and 2-0 in WCWS play until that loss.
California and UCLA will play for the national championship Monday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in a 7 p.m. CT duel televised live on ESPN.
California Softball Result: Game 1 LSU 012 001 0 - 4 7 1 California 100 000 0 - 1 7 1 Schmidt and Danos. Thorson, Anderson (3) and Woods. W - Schmidt 38-6. L - Thorson 28-4. HR - Klein (LSU).
Game 2 California 000 040 0 - 4 12 1 LSU 010 000 0 - 1 4 1 Anderson and Woods. Schmidt, Turner (7) and Danos. W - Anderson 25-8. L - Schmidt 38-7. HR - None.
Records: California 53-12 LSU 57-12