March 7, 2013
On the heels of their 16th win, the No. 6 California Golden Bears (16-2) head to Fresno this weekend to try to bring that win count to 20. The Bears will take on Iowa State, San Diego State, Fresno State and Saint Mary’s at the three-day Fresno State Classic beginning Friday.
Friday’s matchup is a 9 a.m. game against Iowa State (9-6), and on Saturday the Bears will face San Diego State (10-9) at 3:45 p.m. and Fresno State (13-10) at 8:15 p.m. Cal will close out Sunday with a game against East Bay foe Saint Mary’s (4-11) at 11:30 a.m.
“We need to clean up on our defensive mistakes and decision making. Offensively, there were counts where we were swinging at pitches that were not ideal. We need more discipline at the plate with the pitch selection” Ninemire said after the Pacific game.
Still, the team has seen much improvement in the four weeks since opening weekend, shutting out seven opponents and winning 15 consecutive games since a 3-2 loss against Florida at the Kajikawa Classic.
“Our team is coming together and finding its own identity. They’re not comparing themselves to teams in the past. They’re starting to formulate what they’re about and what they want to be, and the players are starting to step up and take on those roles,” Ninemire said. “The players are working hard to create something very special here, and I think we’re going to have an outstanding season.”
SCOUTING REPORT: IOWA STATE (9-6)
The Cyclones spent their weekend at the Easton Classic in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they went 2-2 with a pair of wins vs. St. Johns and losses vs. No. 1 Alabama. Senior Erica Miller was responsible for driving in 10 runs in the last weekend of play, and she currently leads her team and the Big 12 conference in hitting with a .512 batting average after 22 hits in 43 at-bats. Five different Cyclones have an RBI count in the double digits - Miller (21), Jorden Spendlove (13), Sara Davison (12), Tori Torrescano (12) and Maddie Reese (10). Spendlove has also hit eight doubles, and the Golden Bears will without a doubt be wary of Brittany Gomez, who is a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen bases this season. Iowa State ranks second in offense in the Big 12 with a team batting average of .329.
SCOUTING REPORT: SAN DIEGO STATE (10-9)
Last weekend at the San Diego Classic I, San Diego State split its four games with two wins and two losses. The Aztecs beat both BYU and Utah State but suffered losses to Long Beach State and then-No. 12/10 UCLA. Besides the Bruins, SDSU has dropped five other games vs. ranked teams – more than half of its nine-loss record. The most potent member of the Aztec offense is Lorena Bauer, whose .356 batting average is boosted by seven doubles, a triple and five home runs for 18 RBI. The Aztecs split time between Danielle O’Toole and Rebecca Arbino on the mound, who combined have registered 116 strikeouts. O’Toole owns an ERA of 1.71 while Arbino’s is 1.95.
SCOUTING REPORT: FRESNO STATE (13-10)
The Bulldogs have home field advantage this week as they host the Fresno State Classic. Last weekend, Fresno State went 3-2, defeating BYU, Utah State and San Diego but losing to Long Beach State, who received votes in this week’s coaches poll, and then-No. 12/10 UCLA. Stesha Brazil has tallied six home runs already this season and stolen seven bases. The ‘Dogs rank first in the Mountain West in stolen bases with 39, 17 of which were contributed by Brenna Moss. Fresno State could use pitcher Taylor Langdon in the circle against the Golden Bears as she has given up 1.73 earned runs in 11 games played, but the Bulldogs could also look to Jill Compton, carrying a 3.28 ERA through 74.2 innings. Cal’s heavy hitters could look to capitalize on Compton’s pitches, as she has already given up 11 home runs this season.
SCOUTING REPORT: SAINT MARY’S (4-9)
The Gaels wrapped up their week with a split against UC Davis, losing the first game 5-1 before coming back to win the second game 1-0. Senior Jessica Lemmon struck out four batters and walked two in the team’s two-hit shutout for her first win of the season. Megan Smith owns the team’s highest batting average with a .297 for 11 hits in 37 at-bats, and Sarah Lira leads the team in RBI with five. With only 11 attempts at stolen bases, the Gaels are not aggressive baserunners, but Cal’s batters will be watchful as the Saint Mary’s defense has turned five double plays.