Softball Travels to Pacific Saturday
February 22, 1999
This Week in Cal Softball
Cal plays a pair of doubleheaders this weekend, starting with Pacific Saturday afternoon. The Tigers beat Cal, 2-0, in Berkeley last year, but the Bears own a 45-29-1 series lead. Cal returns home for its second home date of the season when Santa Clara visits Sunday. Cal is 55-0 all-time against the Broncos and beat them, 5-2, at the National Invitational Softball Tournament last March.
Head Coach Diane Ninemire
Diane Ninemire, the winningest softball coach in Golden Bear history, is in her 11th year as head coach at Cal with a school and career record of 454-254. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, she has led Cal to 10 NCAA Tournament berths and a pair of College World Series appearances (1992, '96). Ninemire is assisted by John Reeves, who is in his sixth season, and Teri Johnson, who is in her first.
Bears Put Up 4-1 Record at UNLV Softball Classic
Cal played in a tournament for the second consecutive weekend last week and came out of the UNLV Softball Classic with a 4-1 record. The Bears opened with a 10-2 victory over Loyola Marymount, keyed by 3 RBI by SS Katie May and a solo home run by CF Amber Phillips. However, Cal lost its second game of the season in a 6-2 setback to host UNLV. The next day, freshman P Jocelyn Forest blanked Utah State, 4-0, on a five-hitter, striking out a career-best 13. The Bears followed that with a 9-1 win over Bowling Green. P Holly Yost tossed a two-hitter with both Phillips and C Megumi Takasaki getting 2 RBI. Cal closed out the tournament Sunday by defeating Cal Poly, 7-3.
Cal Off to Best Start Since 1992
With an 11-2 record through the first three weeks of the season, Cal is off to its best start since 1992 when the Bears began 19-2. That squad went on to finish 47-16 and tie for fifth at the College World Series.
DiSalvio Tosses Perfect Game, No-Hitter in February
Sophomore right-hander Nicole DiSalvio couldn't have asked for a better start to the 1999 season. In pitching the first game of Cal's season-opening doubleheader against San Jose State Feb. 3, DiSalvio tossed a perfect game, shutting out the Spartans, 8-0, in a game shortened to six innings due to the mercy rule. She struck out three and did not allow a ball out of the infield. The perfect game was the ninth in Cal history and the first since Michele Granger tossed a perfect game in an 8-0 victory over Nebraska on March 21, 1993. The no-hitter was the 53rd ever at Cal and the first since Whitney Floyd performed the feat in a 1-0, 10-inning win over Oregon State on April 5, 1998.
DiSalvio continued her stellar pitching at the ASU Fiesta Bowl Tournament. In four games, she pitched 19 innings, allowed seven hits and did not give up a run. She even tossed her second no-hitter of the year in a 3-0 win over Georgia. For the season, DiSalvio is 4-1 with a 0.42 ERA. She has struck out 20 and walked just four in 33.0 innings of work.
Bears Put Up Big Offensive Numbers
After batting just .265 last season with two players hitting over .300, Cal is off to a much better start at the plate in 1999. Through 13 games, the Bears are batting .335 as a group, and eight starters are hitting .333 or higher. Amber Phillips tops the team with a .438 average (14-32), while SS Katie May improved her average from .200 to .382 in the five games last weekend by going 9-for-14 at the UNLV Softball Classic.
Bears Take to Road in February, March
Cal will play only three home dates during the first two months of the season, as the Bears are schedule to participate in four tournaments and five away doubleheaders. Cal will only play at home Feb. 3 (San Jose State), Feb. 28 (Santa Clara) and March 9 (Tulsa) during the months of February and March. The tournaments scheduled during that span are at Arizona State (Cal went 5-1), UNLV (4-1), Hawaii and Sunnyvale for the National Invitational Softball Tournament.
OF Amber Phillips hit her first career home run, a solo shot against Georgia Feb. 14; she added a second homer against Loyola Marymount Feb. 19 Cal's pitching staff has thrown seven shutouts in 13 games Kirsten Drake is starting at her fourth position in four years after playing shortstop as a freshman, second base as a sophomore, right field as a junior and now first base as a senior freshman P Jocelyn Forest has 36 strikeouts in 27.0 innings, an average of 9.33 per game.