Jan. 20, 2012
BERKELEY - The 2011 campaign for the California softball team was one of the most prolific ones in recent history. After losing star senior Valerie Arioto in the second practice of the year, the outlook may have looked bleak to the outside world, but the Golden Bears mustered a season of epic proportions. Cal took second in the Pac-12, breezed through Regional competition and won its first-ever Super Regional over an SEC school to return to the hallowed grounds of Oklahoma City. With 21 days remaining until the start of the season, CalBears.com chatted with the returning Bears about their favorite memories from the 2011 season.
Valerie Arioto -
My favorite memory from the 2011 season was the opportunity to watch and learn. I grew a lot as a player and a person from watching my redshirt season.
Ashley Decker -
My favorite memory from the 2011 season was definitely making it to the World Series.
Jolene Henderson -
My favorite memory of 2011 was our Super Regional in Kentucky. I feel like my team really stepped up big in every way and took on a mentality that I had never seen before. It was in the postseason, which is the most important part. After losing that second game, we all came together and there was no way we were going to lose. That feeling is something that I want to have all year this year and something that was amazing to be a part of!! The other top memory was being in the World Series!!
Frani Echavarria -
My favorite moment would be the whole experience of being at the College World Series.
Arianna Erceg -
My favorite memory of the 2011 season was beating Kentucky in that last game of Super Regionals, which allowed us to advance to the World Series.
Angie Jacobs -
Being a part of the postseason and the World Series experience. Competing at the World Series was so exciting.
LaRisa Jones -
It was being locked in Alex Robben and Ashley Decker's hotel room during the tornado warning in Kentucky, and watching Alex hide in the bathtub like that was going to save her from the tornado.
Victoria Jones -
My favorite memory would have to be playing at the College World Series in front of that many people.
Tammy Lohmann -
Definitely the entire World Series experience of going there and seeing the girls have such a great opportunity to play on such a big stage. When I was a player, I always said I would never go and watch a game at the World Series unless I was playing in it. As a coach, I always said I would never go and watch a game at the World Series unless I was coaching in it. To have the opportunity to go to the World Series and experience it myself for the first time was amazing. It was great to finally achieve that goal.
Diane Ninemire -
I think when we swept UCLA and took two of three at Arizona. It was a big turning point for us. It helped build confidence in the girls that we could win really important games. It showed that we were reestablishing ourselves, and those wins really propelled us into the postseason.
John Reeves -
My favorite memory was the entire postseason road trip. I am still amazed how well these guys carried it off. It was a long time to travel, but there were no bumps in the road. It was one of the best road trips I've ever been on.
Elia Reid -
Hitting a homerun at the College World Series.
Jamia Reid -
My favorite memory of 2011 was making it to the College World Series and being in OKC. It was a great experience, and I can't wait for 2012 season.
Alex Robben -
My favorite memory was traveling for three weeks. It actually let me get a lot closer with my team and that is going to benefit us this year. There is no way a team is closer than ours.
Taylor Vincent -
My favorite memory of the 2011 season was winning Super Regionals in Kentucky.
Britt Vonk -
The World Series was a great experience, but my favorite part was the final game against Kentucky. There was so much pressure but we stayed cool and we won! That was a great feeling.
Jordan Wallace -
My favorite memory of the 2011 season would have to be making it the Women's College World Series.
Jace Williams -
Without a doubt the way I felt after that last out in Lexington was something I can't describe. It's my driving force for this year's season. I want to feel that all over again! Looking in the stands and seeing our group of 15 parents/fans lost amongst a sea of royal blue Kentucky fans cheering as loud as they could was insane! That Super Regional win lit my fire that has now transformed itself into a large raging bonfire!
Lindsey Ziegenhirt -
I loved the postseason. Being on the road for three weeks was challenging, but the chance to participate in the World Series was definitely worth it all. I would say it was a once in a lifetime experience, but we are all working hard to make sure we go back. By the end of my senior season, I want to be able to say it was a three times in a lifetime experience!
CalBears.com will be posting a release or feature every day until the 2012 season begins on Feb. 10. Check back Saturday to read a Q&A with Elia Reid. To see all 30-for-30 releases and features in one place, please click here.