May 27, 2004
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Four Bears were honored Wednesday night with 2004 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-America awards, the most of any team this year. The four selections are also the most in Cal softball history, and this year's selections mark the fourth year in a row Cal players have received All-America recognition.
Junior 3B Vicky Galindo received first-team All-America honors following a spectacular second season at Cal, leading the team with a .371 batting average, 51 hits, 76 runs, 17 doubles, two triples and 115 total bases while playing a critical role in the Bears' four-game Region 5 sweep at Nebraska to earn Cal's sixth consecutive invitation to the Women's College World Series.
"I thought Vicky Galindo was very deserving of first team," said California head coach Diane Ninemire. "It was a breakthrough year for us and this is a tremendous award for our program that shows we are now being respected across the country. The players all worked very hard for these honors.
"Vicky is such an awesome player, she can hurt you in so many ways and brings so much to this team in terms of getting our offense going."
Thorson improved her record to 27-3 following four-straight victories in regional play and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, throwing 28 scoreless innings while allowing just six hits, striking out 30 and walking a mere four batters. She has allowed team-lows in hits (107), runs (24), earned runs (23) and walks (26) while striking out a team-high 212. Thorson's team-leading 0.77 ERA is tops among all Pac-10 pitchers.
"Kristina Thorson has had a tremendous season so far," said Ninemire. "This is not something that has just come on at the end of the year. I'm very pleased that she's grown in so many ways this season and that she's being noticed now for it."
Eldredge joined Galindo and Thorson on the NCAA Region 5 All-Tournament team, having emerged this season as a clutch hitter for the Bears with a team-leading .460 on-base percentage and tied for the team's second-highest .350 batting average while striking out only three times all year.
Spencer's energy and speed at shortstop has proved to be an overwhelming obstacle for opposing teams this year. Her 17 stolen bases are only one measurement of this All-American's quickness, who consistently has wowed fans and teammates alike with diving grabs and lightening throws from the field. Spencer, who has started every game this season, posted the Bears' second-highest RBI total (35), doubles (9) and home runs (8) while batting .341 from the fifth spot in Cal's lineup.
The Bears will face Florida State in the final game of the Women's College World Series' opening day Thursday at 8:30 p.m. CT (6:30 p.m. PT) on ESPN2.