Feb. 27, 2004
Columbus, Ga. - In search of their third consecutive College World Series Championship Game appearance, No. 3 California stayed undefeated (15-0) on the opening day of play at the NFCA Tournament. Playing the two weaker teams in its pool, the Golden Bears' pitching was too much in a 4-1 win over Florida Atlantic and 6-0 victory over Ohio State.
In the first game, Kristina Thorson got the ball and kept Florida Atlantic's bats quiet until the Bears could grab a lead. Cal broke through in a three-run third inning.
Alex Sutton led off with a double to center and made her way to third after Vicky Galindo's single to left. Lindsay James reached on an infield single and the bases were loaded. Kaleo Eldredge promptly reached on a fielder's choice and combined with an error on the play, Cal had its first two runs. Haley Woods followed with a single to left to make it a three-run advantage.
Thorson got into some trouble in the fifth, loading the bases. But as she often has done this season, she worked out of a jam using every pitcher's best friend - the strikeout. Thorson only struck out two but she got a crucial whiff to end the fifth with only one run across.
Kelly Anderson got the ball for game two against Ohio State. Anderson would need to pitch a shutout to better Thorson's performance and she did exactly that. The junior righthander struck out seven in seven spotless innings of three-hit work.
Eldredge supplied the offense with a home run and three RBI, as Cal put up pair of three run innings - in the second and fifth.
Cal will face tougher competition tomorrow. First the Bears get No. 13 LSU at 7 a.m. If they win that game, they advance to the Gold Championship with the winners of each of the six other pools and two at-large teams.
California 003 100 0 4 7 0 Florida Atlan. 000 010 0 1 5 3 W - Thorson 6-0 L - Freel (6-5)
Thorson and Woods; Freel and Piper
Ohio State 000 000 0 0 3 1 California 030 300 x 6 6 2 W - Anderson 9-0 L - DeVries (0-3)
Anderson and Woods; DeVries Baker (5) and Hales