April 10, 2013
If the No. 9/8 Golden Bears were worn down after playing six Pac-12 games in six days and dropping a series to Oregon, they didn’t show it against Saint Mary’s. The entire team came out swinging, combining for 14 hits to topple the Gaels 10-2 in six innings on Wednesday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field.
“The win was a total team effort, not just one person or one pitcher,” said sophomore Cheyenne Cordes.
In a departure from their usual lineup, the Bears relied on sophomore Nikki Owens and freshman Nisa Ontiveros to get it done in the circle. Owens (2-0) completed her first collegiate start by allowing two runs on three hits and three walks while fanning two batters before Ontiveros relieved her in the sixth.
Eight California batters tallied hits, while six drove in at least one run and eight scored. Sophomore Danielle Henderson led the team at the plate, going 3-for-3 along with one RBI and one run, while teammate Breana Kostreba went 2-for-2 with one run and three RBI. Cordes and junior Victoria Jones went 2-for-3 with two runs each, and Cordes earned an RBI for her solo home run.
“We went out there and played our game and relied on each other,” Owens said. “We just had fun out there.”
The Bears brought two runs across in the first inning, showcasing their arsenal with a leadoff walk from Cordes that moved her to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Khala Taylor. Senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt singled to right center to bring Cordes home, then scored her own run via base hits from senior Jolene Henderson and sophomore Danielle Henderson.
The Gaels drew even at the top of the second when first baseman Sarah Lira homered to left field with a runner on.
A homer to left field by Cordes upped the score to 3-2 for the Bears at the bottom of the fourth, and the team added another three in the next inning. D. Henderson doubled, then a single by Jones plated her and moved D. Henderson to third. Next up, freshman Jasmin Mejia hit her first career triple for two RBI as D. Henderson and Jones scored. Kostreba, in to pinch hit for junior Ashley Decker, singled to the second baseman to drive in another run and make it 6-2.
Kostreba played a major role again in the sixth, starting with a two RBI single and an extra base earned on the throw that brought in pinch runners junior LaRisa Jones and sophomore Mary Lee. Freshman Vanessa Alvarez hit a clean single to right field to knock in another run by V. Jones, and a passed ball gave Kostreba plenty of time to touch the dish and deal Saint Mary’s the loss.
“We played really well today, and we need to take all the good from today’s game and use it in this week’s series against UCLA,” Cordes said. “We need to play well, but more importantly, we need to play our game.”
The Golden Bears begin their fourth Pac-12 series in Los Angeles, where they’ll meet UCLA beginning Thursday at 8 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.