EUGENE, Ore. -- The Golden Bears grabbed an early 2-0 lead thanks to junior Breana Kostreba's bomb over the left field wall and added another run on a Kostreba double, but No. 1 Oregon scored 15 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to defeat Cal softball 15-3 in five innings Friday afternoon at Howe Field.
Kostreba was 2-for-3 against Oregon’s Karissa Hovinga, who allowed four total hits and three walks while tossing three strikeouts in a full game of work. Junior Cheyenne Cordes also rocked Hovinga with a double and sophomore Vanessa Alvarez hit a single.
Freshman Stephanie Trzcinski tossed a gem in the first three innings, allowing Oregon’s potent offense just one hit while striking out five. The Duck bats started firing at the bottom of the fourth, and Cal needed two more pitchers to contain them. Trzcinski allowed five runs before freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch entered, pitching one out with 10 runs before freshman Taylor Cotton replaced her and drew the final two outs. The Cal pitching staff combined to allow 13 hits.
Cordes and Kostreba helped the Bears to a 2-0 lead at the top of the third when Cordes sent a leadoff double to the left corner. Freshman Kylie Reed sac bunted Cordes to third before Kostreba launched a home run over the left field fence and rattle the Ducks.
The Bears held on for another inning until the bottom of the fourth, when Oregon scored every single one of its runs. Cal’s pitchers saw 13 batters in the order before registering the first out. Nine of the Ducks’ runs came from three home runs, with a three-run homer by Koral Costa, two-run homer by Janelle Lindvall and a grand slam by Sammie Puentes. The Ducks also scored three on a double by Janie Takeda, and a few runs on a pair of RBI singles and one illegal pitch with the bases loaded.
Despite the 13-run deficit, the Bears were not ready to give up the game so easily. Earlier in the day, head coach Diane Ninemire challenged her team with the word “believe,” asking them to believe in a win and believe in their abilities. Cal went down fighting by adding one more run to the scoreboard before being run-ruled. Junior Danielle Henderson drew a walk at the top of the fifth and was replaced at first by junior Mary Lee before Kostreba tabbed her second extra-base hit of the day – a double to right field that sent Lee all the way home.
Cal will play its final game of the series Saturday at noon on Howe Field.
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