May 9, 2004
BERKELEY, Calif. - There was just no slowing the Golden Bears' momentum Sunday afternoon as No. 4 California thundered past No. 6 Washington, 8-0, in six innings of Pac-10 action at Levine-Fricke Field. Senior 1B Roni Rodrigues launched a second-inning one-out home run over the left-field wall in her final home game.
Fresh off its 3-1 win over the Huskies on Saturday, California (43-11 overall, 10-8 Pac-10) wasted no time capitalizing on the prior day's confidence, putting up three quick runs in the first inning when sophomore C Haley Woods sent a rocket high and deep over the left-center wall, scoring junior 3B Vicky Galindo and sophomore LF Lindsay James with her team-leading 14th home run of the year. Galindo had led off the inning with a double down the left-field line before James followed with a single to short.
"We did a lot of good things today offensively," said California head coach Diane Ninemire, "hitting the long ball with people in scoring position and taking advantage of our speed to get runners into scoring position."
Sophomore P Kristina Thorson allowed only one hit the entire afternoon, a single to Washington's (35-15 overall, 9-8 Pac-10) first batter in the top of the first. From then on, it was cruise control for Thorson, who finished with seven strikeouts and one walk through six innings of work.
"Kristina threw a great game," said Ninemire. "She overpowered them with her rise ball and off-speed pitches to keep (Washington) off-balance. We really wanted to finish strong at home."
In the top of the second, Cal began showcasing some of its stalwart defense. Junior CF Kaleo Eldredge made a running catch over her right shoulder chasing down a long fly ball to the track and junior SS Chelsea Spencer made a crowd-pleasing dive to her right side to pull in a hard line drive, holding on as she flew into the dirt.
"It must have been incredibly disappointing for Washington," said Ninemire. "We were so quick. This team can make plays other teams can't because of its speed."
Rodrigues' homer in the second gave Cal a 4-0 lead, followed in the third by two more runs for a 6-0 advantage.
"I hope all our players can have a storybook ending like Roni's today," said Ninemire. "She should be proud."
Washington pulled junior P Ashley Boek (24-10) in the fourth after seven hits and no strikeouts. Senior P Tia Bollinger came on in relief but later gave up two runs in the sixth when Spencer doubled to left center, scoring junior LF Kristin Bayless, who led off the inning with a single to third, and Woods, who had been hit by a pitch.
California concludes its regular-season schedule at the Oregon schools next weekend.
California Softball Result: Washington 000 000 - 0 1 3 California 312 002 - 8 12 0 Boek, Bollinger and Rivera. Thorson and Woods. W - Thorson 21-3. L - Boek 24-10. Save - None. HR - Woods (Cal), Rodrigues (Cal).
Records: Washington 35-15 (9-8 Pac-10) California 43-11 (10-8 Pac-10)