May 11, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. -
WHAT'S ON TAP FOR CAL SOFTBALL: No. 4 California (43-11 overall, 10-8 Pac-10) hits the road for its final Pac-10 series this weekend, traveling north to No. 19 Oregon State on Friday for a 2 p.m. game at the OSU Softball Complex. The Bears then head down the road to Eugene for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader with No. 12 Oregon at Howe Field, set to begin at 12 noon. Cal opened its Pac-10 schedule this season hosting the Oregon schools, losing to Oregon, 0-4, before splitting with Oregon State, 4-1 and 2-4.
SCOUTING THE NO. 19 OREGON STATE BEAVERS: No. 19 Oregon State is coming off a 1-2 weekend in the desert. The Beavers defeated Arizona State, 6-0, before falling to No. 1 Arizona twice, 2-0 and 3-0. Following the series, Oregon State's overall record fell to 40-23 and 4-14 in the Pac-10. Senior P Monica Hoffman struck out four in Sunday's loss, raising her season total to 233, the second-best mark in OSU history, while sophomore 1B Vanessa Iapala hit her team-leading 14th double of the season. No. 7 Stanford will play a doubleheader with the Beavers on Saturday to wrap-up the regular season.
A LOOK AT THE NO. 12 OREGON DUCKS: The Bears will conclude their regular season schedule with a doubleheader against the No. 12 Oregon Ducks (37-17 overall, 9-9 Pac-10) on Saturday at Howe Field. Oregon is on a four-game Pac-10 losing streak, broken up by a doubleheader victory over visiting Portland State last Wednesday. The Ducks dropped three games in Arizona over the weekend, a 5-0 decision at No. 1 Arizona, plus 1-0 (9) and 3-0 losses at Arizona State. Junior P Ani Nyhus (20-11, 1.60 ERA) was selected by Softball Canada last week to join the national team for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. A two-time Pac-10 pitcher of the week, Nyhus is the fifth pitcher in Oregon history to record 20 wins in a season and is eight strikeouts shy of tying the Ducks' season strikeout record (180) set by Amy Harris last season.
BEARS SWEEP WEEKEND COMPETITION AT HOME: For the first time this season, California swept its Pac-10 competition over a three-game weekend set, defeating No. 3 UCLA on Friday, 2-1, before taking two games with No. 6 Washington, 3-1 and 8-0 (6), on Saturday and Sunday. The Bears won all three Pac-10 games against UW this year. Friday's Fox Sports Net-televised win over UCLA proved a huge confidence-builder for the Bears. Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the sixth, Cal capitalized on a leadoff walk and two consecutive wild pitches to tie the contest, and junior 2B Jessica Pamanian's RBI double to center field provided the game-winning run. Cal's bats took the momentum heading into Saturday's opener against the Huskies, scoring three runs on six hits, while junior P Kelly Anderson (22-8) scattered two hits over seven innings, striking out six en route to her 22nd win of the season. Sunday showcased even more Cal offense as the Bears tallied eight runs on 12 hits. Senior 1B Roni Rodrigues launched a second inning one-out home run over the left field wall in her final home game. Sophomore C Haley Woods also homered against Washington, her team-leading 14th of the year, while sophomore P Kristina Thorson (21-3) cruised to her 21st win, giving up just one hit to the Huskies' leadoff batter in the first.
TWO 20+ WIN PITCHERS DELIVER FOR CALIFORNIA: With sophomore P Kristina Thorson (21-3) picking up her 20th and 21st wins of the season last weekend, California gained its second 20+ game pitcher. Junior P Kelly Anderson threw one game last weekend, improving to 22-8. Thorson's overall ERA now stands at 0.90, with 161 strikeouts and 22 earned runs allowed, while Anderson touts a 1.31 ERA, 126 strikeouts and 34 earned runs. Only once before in program history has Cal had two 20+ game winners in its rotation. In 2001, Jocelyn Forest finished 27-9 and Nicole DiSalvio went 21-8. Forest went on to become the College World Series Most Outstanding Player and a second team All-American on the 2002 NCAA champion squad during her senior season.
SELECTION SUNDAY ANNOUNCEMENT LIVE ON ESPNews: The NCAA Division I Softball bracket and its 64-team field will be announced live on ESPNews Sunday between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. PT. The eight regional host sites were previously revealed. They are: Tucson, Ariz. (Arizona); Waco, Texas (Baylor); Los Angeles (UCLA); Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State); Athens, Ga. (Georgia); Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan); Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska); and Stanford, Calif. (Stanford). Each site will feature eight teams playing a double-elimination format between Thursday, May 20 and Sunday, May 23.
THEY FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED: Not exactly like flying jets, but as far as stealing bases goes, they're pretty fast. Sophomore LF Lindsay James and junior 3B Vicky Galindo have each stolen seven bases in Pac-10 games to tie for the conference-games-only lead, while junior SS Chelsea Spencer has swiped six more. Overall, the trio has gone supersonic 59 times, and the number rises to 73 if you throw in junior CF Kaleo Eldredge. Galindo leads the Bears with 22 steals overall, good for fourth among her league peers. James has 21 (fifth in Pac-10), Spencer 16 (seventh) and Eldredge 14 (ninth). Together, the four account for all but 16 of Cal's stolen bases this season and demonstrate how they are able to get themselves into scoring position, crossing the plate for 63 percent of the Bears' runs.
A SHORTSTOP WITH A HOT BAT AND BLACK HOLE FOR A GLOVE: Junior SS Chelsea Spencer demonstrated her defensive skills last weekend, diving every which way to make show-stopping grabs and opponent-demoralizing plays. That speed at short has also shown itself on the bases, where she has racked up 16 stolen bases. But don't discount this player's bat, because she knows what she's doing at the plate, too. Spencer is batting .355, second on the team, with 55 hits, eight doubles, seven home runs and 31 RBIs. Her .542 slugging percentage is second-best on the team behind sophomore C Haley Woods' .626, and her .408 on-base percentage is bettered only by junior 3B Vicky Galindo (.421) and junior CF Kaleo Eldredge (.456). However, the interesting piece of all of this is that among Pac-10 shortstops, Spencer's batting average is tops.
BEAR NOTES AND OTHER INTERESTING SOFTBALL MUSINGS: Sunday's win over No. 6 Washington was Cal's 19th shutout victory of the season ... the Bears' have won five straight Pac-10 regular season games, a feat not accomplished by Cal since 1999 when the Bears put together a six-game streak to end the regular season, continuing on to win their NCAA regional series and play in the first of five consecutive College World Series ... in its 43 victories this season, California is averaging 5.7 runs per game and 12.35 total bases per game while allowing a mere 0.86 runs per game and 4.88 bases per game ... Cal is 14-4 in away games this season, having only lost three at Pac-10 schools (two at No. 3 UCLA and one at No. 1 Arizona). The Bears are batting .312 in those 18 games, with 92 runs and averaging 9 hits per game ... Cal is 9-2 in one-run ballgames, 6-4 in two-run games, 21-2 when it scores five runs or more and 1-2 in extra inning games ... not playing favorites, the Bears are spreading the offense around this season, scoring their most runs (46) in the fourth inning but also putting up 45 in the first and third. In those same innings, Cal's opponents have only scored 30 runs. The seventh inning is Cal's lowest scoring (19), followed by the second (28), while the fifth is the inning Cal has allowed the most runs against it (17).