Four teams were lined up to play Cal over the weekend, and all four went home defeated. While the wins over Indiana (4-3), Massachusetts (4-0) and Cal Poly (2-0) were important, it was Saturday's defeat of No. 20 LSU (11-3) that particularly resonated with the team.
With five straight (and nine of the last 10) College World Series championships, the Pac-10 has illustrated its dominance over the last decade. Yet it is the SEC that generally receives much of the attention around the country, which can be attributed to the television contract that the conference has with ESPN.
Until the Pac-10 is able to secure a television contract that will feature softball more frequently (which, we're told, is in the works), Cal and the rest of the Pac-10 will simply let on-field results do the talking.
We caught up with starting infielder Jace Williams - who happens to be a blogger as well - this afternoon to talk about the weekend and, more specifically, the Pac-10-SEC rivalry. Here's what she had to say.
David Seawright: What was the highlight of your weekend?
Jace Williams: We've had some good games, some OK games, games where we didn't play well but still won, but against LSU we had a glimpse of brilliance where it showed the potential of this team. It showed where we're going and where we could go this season.
DS: What feeds the Pac-10's rivalry with the SEC?
JW: The Pac-10 is clearly the most dominant conference in softball. It's pretty impressive for a conference as a whole. The SEC wants to pipe in and say that the Pac-10 was dominant but isn't anymore, but until they win I don't see them being able to say those things.
DS: Is that why it was so special to beat LSU, a top-25 team from the SEC?
JW: It shouldn't be more special, but whenever you see an SEC team, especially after what Georgia did to us at the Super Regional last year, we really wanted to take it to them. We wanted to make a statement for our conference and us as a team.
DS: What was that statement?
JW: That we're a force to be reckoned with. We have an insane amount of athleticism on this team. Our speed is unbelievable. We showcased what our team is capable of and where we're going and what we have to look forward to this season. We really capitalized our strengths.