BERKELEY – Junior Danielle Henderson started things off with a massive one-pitch solo home run at the bottom of the first, but the California softball team came up short in its bid to upset No. 9 Arizona, losing 7-2 Sunday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field. Arizona wins the series after posting a 15-5 win on Friday, but Cal took one Saturday 9-1 in six innings for a 21-17 record overall and 4-6 record in Pac-12 play.
Henderson’s long ball was one of only two runs the Bears were able to plate, with Cal’s second run coming at the bottom of the sixth. That score was also started by Henderson, who drew her second walk of the day to get on base before junior Mary Lee replaced her as a pinch runner. Senior Victoria Jones also drew a walk, and the pair moved a base over on a wild pitch from Arizona ace Estela Pinon. Senior Ashley Decker joined Lee and Jones on the bases with a walk of her own before freshman Alleah Laxamana grounded out to the pitcher and Lee swiftly made her way home.
By that time, Cal had already fallen behind by six runs thanks to a solo homer at the top of the second by Chelsea Goodacre, and back-to-back solo long balls at the top of the fourth by Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado. Arizona added another four runs at the top of the sixth after Kellie Fox and Goodacre used doubles to get on base before Mercado drove in both baserunners with a single up the middle. Freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch entered the circle to relieve freshman Stephanie Trzcinski, giving Mercado second base on an illegal pitch. A single by Cynthia Pelayo scored Mercado and then Hallie Wilson drove in run No. 4 of the inning with a single that plated Pelayo.
Trzcinski (6-7) was charged with the loss, allowing seven hits, six runs and a walk while striking out five in 5.1 innings. Sutherland-Finch tossed the final 1.2 innings with four hits, one run and a walk. Pinon (13-5) earned the win for the Wildcats after limiting Cal to just three hits and two runs with four strikeouts despite awarding five walks.
The Bears get four chances to improve their record this week, first with a Tuesday matchup vs. Santa Clara in Berkeley at 3 p.m. and then in a series at Oregon beginning Thursday.
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