HONOLULU, Hawaii - California softball matched a season-high 10 runs, scoring nine in the first inning, to batter the hosting Hawaii Rainbow Wahine 10-1 in five innings in the opening game of the Jack in the Box Spring Fling in Hawaii. The Golden Bears improve to 8-7 after their first run-rule victory of 2014.
With a young pitching staff on both teams, it was clear from the get-go that the evening's winner would be the team with the most offensive firepower. The Bears delivered, outhitting the 'Bows by seven hits, 10-3, with seven Bears tallying hits. Junior Danielle Henderson went 2-for-2, including a home run, with three RBI and two walks. Freshman Kylie Reed added another three RBI in a 2-for-4 performance with two runs scored, and senior Ashley Decker went 2-for-2 with her first hits of the season.
Junior Cheyenne Cordes started the Bears off hot in her leadoff position, doubling down the left field line at the top of the first. Reed followed with a single and moved to second on the throw, putting two runners on before Henderson blasted a ball to left center and the Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
A walk by junior Breana Kostreba, single to left field by senior Victoria Jones and bunt single by Decker loaded the bases, making it six consecutive batters to reach base at the top of the first. Hawaii finally registered an out on a fielder's choice by senior Jordan Wallace that put Kostreba out at home but kept the bases loaded. Senior LaRisa Jones drew a walk to add to her RBI total, then freshman Vanessa Alvarez followed with another fielder's choice that put lead runner Decker out at home. With two outs and the bases still loaded, Cordes walked and Wallace scored for a 5-0 lead for the Bears.
In her second at-bat of the day and with a full diamond, Reed again found success, whipping a ball far into the outfield to score all three baserunners. Reed moved to third on the throw, putting her in prime position to score Cal's ninth run of the inning after Kostreba singled through the left side.
The 'Bows got on the board at the bottom of the second after center fielder Sharla Kliebenstein drew a walk and DP Sarina Jaramillo doubled to drive her home.
California added one final run at the top of the fourth. Decker doubled for her second hit of the game before Wallace hit an RBI single to second base to bring her in.
Freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch (3-1) struck out five batters and allowed four walks in her complete-game performance, while Hawaii used three pitchers to get the job done. Heather Morales (6-5) suffered the loss, allowing six of the 10 hits while walking four without tossing a single strikeout. Neither team committed an error.
The Bears play again on Thursday against Pacific at 6 p.m. PT.
Follow the Bears on social media for behind-the-scenes action leading up to the season at:
· Facebook: Facebook.com/CalSoftball
· Twitter: @CalSoftball