MORAGA, Calif. – Junior Cheyenne Cordes started the afternoon with a leadoff home run for the Cal softball squad, but wasn’t enough to overcome four long balls from St. Mary's as the Gaels defeated the Golden Bears 8-2 Wednesday at Cottrell Field in Moraga, Calif.
It took just two pitches for the Bears to get their first run on the board after Cordes shot a ball over the wall in left center. Unfortunately for Cal, the lead didn't last long as three St. Mary's batters fired three homers of their own. The first two Gael batters went down in order, but Andrea Hazel and Cassidy Szeredy followed with back-to-back home runs. Four balls but Loralie Fitzpatrick on base before the pitcher Lira sent another ball outside the fence to make it 4-1 and bring freshman Katie Sutherland-Finch to the circle to replace starting pitcher Stephanie Trzcinski.
Sutherland-Finch had slightly better luck against the Gaels but still allowed a run at the bottom of the third starting with a leadoff single from Szeredy. Fitzpatrick laid down a bunt for a single, and got an extra base out of it with a throwing error to first, forcing Szeredy to third. Szeredy finally made her way home on a single by Monika Reichhardt, and St. Mary’s led 5-1 after three innings.
The Bears gave up three runs at the bottom of the fourth, with two coming from another home run by Hazel with Brittany Sabatini already on via a single. Freshman Taylor Cotton entered the game as Cal’s third pitcher of the day, allowing another run for St. Mary’s after Fitzpatrick got on with a fielder’s choice and scored on two hits.
Cal got a small rally going at the top of the sixth when sophomore Vanessa Alvarez and senior Alex Robben each singled to get on base before freshman Kylie Reed singled up the middle to drive in Alvarez. Junior Breana Kostreba also tabbed a single and loaded the bases, but a pop fly to first base ended Cal’s hopes of clearing the diamond.
Alvarez finished the game 2-for-2 with a run scored and a walk, and Cordes finished 1-for-4 with a run and RBI thanks to her solo homer. The Bears totaled seven hits while the Gaels tallied 11.
Sarah Lira (6-5) earned her sixth win of the season and second in 2014 against the Bears, giving up just one walk but fanning no batters. Trzcinski (5-6) earned the loss with one strikeout and three hits and a walk. Sutherland-Finch struck out one in 2.2 innings and gave up three runs, while Cotton stuck out two and gave up one run in the final 2.2 innings.
The Wildcats of Arizona come to town this weekend for a series beginning Friday at 3 p.m. Cal and Arizona also meet Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. Friday’s game and Sunday’s game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks, with Krista Blunk and Tammy Blackburn on the call.
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