STANFORD, Calif. -- Despite Cal's season-high 19 hits and 13 runs, the Golden Bears lost to Stanford in heartbreaking fashion after a two-out rally at the bottom of the seventh and a walk-off single gave the Cardinal its 14th and final run. The game was Cal's (10-11, 0-1 Pac-12) 11th loss of the season and first of Pac-12 play.
Cal was ahead by one run, 9-8, entering the final inning after scoring runs in the first, second and fourth innings. Junior Danielle Henderson drew a leadoff walk to start the inning, but her base was followed with a pair of fly outs to make it two outs at the top of the seventh with only one runner on and a slight one-run cushion for the Bears. Senior Alex Robben entered the game to pinch hit for freshman Vanessa Alvarez, and Robben singled through the left side to move Henderson to second. With two runners on, senior Ashley Decker singled up the middle and Henderson wheeled it home, putting the Bears up 10-8.
The two-out rally continued with junior Mary Lee tabbing a base hit to center field to score Robben, and sophomore Taylor Garcia continued the magic by drawing a walk to fill the bases. With the top of the order on deck, junior Cheyenne Cordes and freshman Kylie Reed used back-to-back singles to score Decker and Lee, and the Bears went to the bottom of the seventh with a strong 13-8 lead.
Stanford used its own two-out rally to deal Cal the heartbreaker. Leadoff batter Kayla Bonstrom flied out to center field to start the Card's turn. Kylie Sorenson followed with a walk but things looked bleak for the Cardinal when Cassandra Roulund flied out to left field. Sorenson moved two bases on a wild pitch and illegal pitch by Cal's fourth pitcher of the evening, freshman Taylor Cotton. Erin Ashby and Bessie Noll walked to load the bases, and Hanna Winter followed with a walk of her own to earn an RBI as Sorenson crossed the dish. The string of walks continued with a walk by Jessica Plaza, and suddenly the score was 13-10 Stanford with the bases still loaded.
Sophomore Nisa Ontiveros, who started the game for the Bears, re-entered the circle to relieve Cotton. A Cal error and a two-RBI single tied up the game 13-13 and put runners on the corners with Tylyn Wells at third and Leah White at first. Bonstrom, back at the plate for her second at bat in the bottom of the seventh inning, redeemed herself from earlier with a single down the right line that opened the gap for Wells to score and hand Cal the loss.
Despite the loss, Cal got off to a good start and showcased a strong offense with hits from 10 different batters and scored two runs in the first inning, six in the second and one in the fourth. Stanford also scored runs in the first (one), second (two), third (three) and fifth (two) innings. The teams combined for 27 runs and 33 hits, with just one error for Cal and two for Stanford.
Reed led the Bears with a stellar 5-for-6 performance with two runs and two RBI, and Cordes went 4-for-6 with two runs and two RBI. Henderson (2-for-5) also had a two run and two RBI day, while junior Breana Kostreba scored two runs in a 2-for-3 performance.
Ontiveros (7-5) earned the start and the loss after giving up the game-winning hit, striking out one batter and allowing two walks with three earned runs and five hits through 13 batters in a combined 1.1 inning of work. Cotton also saw 13 batters in 2.1 innings, allowing one hit, two earned runs and five walks while tossing a strikeout. Freshmen Katie Sutherland-Finch (three hits, three earned runs, two walks) and Stephanie Trzcinski (five hits, two earned runs, two walks) also joined in the effort, combining to pitch 3.0 innings.
Stanford also used multiple pitchers in the effort, with the win ultimately going to Tylyn Wells for 0.1 innings pitched. Madi Schreyer started the game, pitching one inning and allowing six hits and six runs with two walks and two strikeouts. Sorenson did most of the work in 5.2 innings with 11 hits and five earned runs to top four walks and three batters fanned.
Cal’s opening Pac-12 series continues tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at noon and continuing at about 2:30 p.m. Both of Saturday’s games will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks with Jessica Mendoza and Krista Blunk on the call.
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