SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The California softball team (18-11) completed a sweep of its Marriott Round Robin opponents with a 5-3 triumph over Santa Clara Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara, Calif. The team is on an eight-game win streak after outhitting the Broncos 8-4 on top of three run-rule wins, twice against Princeton and once against Grand Canyon, at the weekend tournament.
Junior Cheyenne Cordes had barely recovered from a leadoff double before freshman Kylie Reed smacked a ball up the middle and gave her enough leeway to run home for a quick 1-0 score. Junior Danielle Henderson and senior Victoria Jones drew a pair of walks to load the bases. Junior Breana Kostreba earned a base on balls to force Reed in. The Broncos swapped pitchers, but to no avail as senior Ashley Decker hit a sac fly to center field and Henderson scored to give the Bears an opening 3-0 lead.
Decker led off the top of the fourth inning with a double to center field and then moved into scoring position on a single by senior LaRisa Jones. The speedy L. Jones unnerved the Santa Clara catcher, who tossed a low ball over to first to stop her from attempting to steal. The ball got away from Santa Clara and Decker scored on the error.
Santa Clara chipped away at Cal's lead at the bottom of the fourth when Rochelle Rivera doubled down the left line for the first Bronco hit of the day. Kelly Scribner followed up with a single up the middle to plate Rivera and finish behind 4-1 after four innings.
Senior Alex Robben, pinch hitting for freshman Alleah Laxamana, was the first Bear to get on base at the top of the sixth. Robben drew a walk then advanced to second on a ground out by L. Jones. Cordes walked to join Robben before a single to left field by Reed juiced the bases. Robben was forced in when Henderson drew the third walk of the inning and Cal again took a four-run lead, 5-1.
The Broncos got away with two more blemishes to Cal pitcher Katie Sutherland-Finch’s record with a leadoff home run by Scribner at the bottom of the seventh, and the late rally continued with a walk by Breezy Bernard. Amanda Delfino entered the game to pinch run for Bernard at first, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. A double by Krista Jensen brought Delfino home to make the score 5-3, but Sutherland-Finch still took the win to improve her record to 5-3. The freshman allowed three runs off of five hits and only one walk while fanning four batters.
Cordes, Reed and Decker each had two hits along with Kostreba and L. Jones.
Cal will host Sacramento State Wednesday at 3 p.m. on Levine-Fricke Field before the Bears travel to Corvallis, Ore. to start their second conference series, featuring Oregon State.
Follow the Bears on social media for behind-the-scenes action at: