May 7, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - It was a big day for No. 4 California, as the Golden Bears came on strong in the sixth inning Friday afternoon to score twice and beat No. 3 UCLA, 2-1, in Pac-10 action at Levine-Fricke Field in a Fox Sports Net broadcast. Junior 2B Jessica Pamanian doubled in the winning run to capture Cal's first regular-season win over the Bruins since 1998.
"It feels very good to get this win, especially at this time of year," said California head coach Diane Ninemire. "I'm really proud of this team."
California (41-11 overall, 8-8 Pac-10) capitalized on two sixth-inning wild pitches and a pair of back-to-back singles to claim victory. Sophomore P Kristina Thorson scattered five hits and walked one during her seven innings in the circle and recorded the win for Cal, improving her record to 20-3 while achieving her first 20-win season as a Bear, joining junior P Kelly Anderson (21-8) above the plateau this year.
Sophomore 2B Caitlin Benyi scored the Bruins' lone run in the fourth inning with a one-out home run over the left-center wall. UCLA (34-9 overall, 7-8 Pac-10) wouldn't threaten again until the seventh, but by then Thorson had long since settled into a rhythm. Senior P Keira Goerl (20-7) took the loss for UCLA.
"Kristina (Thorson) threw a great game today," said Ninemire. "She came back strong and balanced after just one unfortunate pitch in the fourth."
A leadoff walk to sophomore LF Lindsay James started California's two-run sixth. James then advanced to second on a groundout before two consecutive wild pitches sent her to third and across the plate. Junior CF Kaleo Eldredge seized on Goerl's shaken confidence, singling to short. Pamanian took care of the rest, blasting a long RBI double to the center-field wall that gave time for Eldredge to tear around the bases and slide head-first toward home, just getting her hand down on the plate ahead of the Bruins' throw.
"Winning against a quality team and pitcher like UCLA and Keira (Goerl) gives us some great momentum heading into the rest of the season," said Ninemire.
Fox Sports Net will air a tape-delayed telecast of Friday's game in various national markets, with Fox Sports Bay Area carrying the game Sunday at 4 p.m. and Monday at noon. Check local listings for additional broadcasts.
The Bears host No. 6 Washington at Levine-Fricke Field over the weekend, with games set for Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. They will be Cal's final home games of the 2004 season.
California Softball Result: UCLA 000 100 0 - 1 5 0 California 000 002 X - 2 6 0 Goerl and Zaplatosch. Thorson and Woods. W - Thorson 20-3. L - Goerl 20-7. Save - None. HR - Benyi (UCLA).
Records: UCLA 34-9 (7-8 Pac-10) California 41-11 (8-8 Pac-10)