May 18, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Senior ace Jolene Henderson scorched through seven innings to throw her fourth career no-hitter and keep Cal's postseason alive, leading the Bears to a 6-0 romp over Valparaiso Saturday evening on Alumni Field in the Ann Arbor Regional.
"I thought we had a great performance today by the total team. We came up with some timely hits with runners in scoring position," Cal head coach Diane Ninemire said. "Jolene threw a no-hitter and we scored six runs, and we're extremely excited to have the opportunity to play tomorrow."
Henderson tossed seven strikeouts in a near-perfect performance, marred only by one Cal error. It was her first no-no since March 17, 2011 against Cleveland State, and her second no-hitter in the postseason. She threw a perfect game on May 21, 2010 in an 8-0, five-inning victory against Bucknell at the Columbus Regional.
"I didn't think about the no-hitter the entire game. I could care less about a no-hitter or a perfect game or anything. I just want to get the win," Henderson said. "I think our defense was working today and they did great behind me. I can't say enough good things about them."
The team tallied 11 hits, scoring all six earned runs against Sierra Pico (11-10). Pico failed to strike out a Golden Bear batter while allowing seven walks and eight hits. The Crusaders also used pitchers Amanda Bolton and Taylor Weissenhofer. Bolton allowed one hit, while southpaw Weissenhofer allowed two with four strikeouts. Freshman Khala Taylor went 3-for-5 and junior Britt Vonk went 2-for-3, and six other Cal players saw success against the Valpo pitching staff.
After a pair of infield singles by Taylor and Ziegenhirt, D. Henderson walked to load the bases. A walk by sophomore Breana Kostreba forced Taylor in for the first run. Jones, who owned a team-leading four RBI entering the Valpo game, added another two RBI to her total with a single to give Cal a 3-0 lead after the first half inning.
Vonk started the Bears with a perfect bunt at the top of the third to get on base, and a sacrifice bunt and ground out helped her to third. She came home on a single to center field by Alvarez to add to the Golden Bear lead.
At the top of the fifth, Cal added two insurance runs starting with a leadoff double by Kostreba. Vonk bunted again and got all the way to third after the pitcher's throw to first for the out went past the first baseman and into left field. Kostreba scored on the errant throw. Jones drew a walk to get on base, scoring on a single to center field by Taylor.
Cal must win two games against Michigan to continue its postseason in Super Regional play against the winner of the Baton Rouge Regional. The Golden Bears meet the Wolverines first at 1 p.m. ET and will play again at a tentatively scheduled time of 3:30 p.m. with a win. ESPN3 will show a live broadcast of both games.