May 2012 Archives
Men's golf has clinched a spot in the match play portion of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship for the first time in school history.
The Golden Bears are in the clubhouse currently tied for fourth place at the end of 54 holes of stroke play with a 19-over par total of 584 and only two teams still out on the course that can still catch or pass the Bears.
Cal fired its best round of the tournament today with a three-over par 287 team score - Max Homa (68, -3), Pace Johnson (72, +1), Michael Kim (73, +2), Joël Stalter (74, +3), Brandon Hagy (75, +4).
Stay tuned to CalBears.com for more information about the match play quarterfinals that begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. PT and the final individual standings that will be available once the course is clear this evening.
All five Cal players birdied hole number one as the Golden Bears played the hole at 12-under par (12 birdies, three pars) over the three days of stroke play at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship.
Coming down the stretch run of the third and final round of stroke play on Thursday afternoon, the Bears are 14-over par for the tournament and two-under for the day. Cal is eight shots behind leader Alabama (+8) and five shots ahead of a pair of teams currently tied for the eighth and final match play spot in Kent State and Liberty (+19). The Bears are playing with both of those squads today.
As you get ready for today's Women's College World Series opener against LSU, take a look back at Sunday's final out to capture the Berkeley Super Regional.
The Bears didn't celebrate too much after the final out as they know there is still work do be completed in Oklahoma City to win a National Championship. The student-athletes walked around the field and thank their fans one last time this season in Berkeley after the game.
ESPNW.com: Cal's pitcher enjoys sibling revelry
San Francisco Chronicle: Swimmers share one sleepy bachelor pad
BearTerritory.net: Softball sees three named All-Americans
BearTerritory.net: Renda, Flemer, Delfino named to all-conference teams
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: The Pac-12's 3,000-yard passers
ESPN Pac-13 Blog: Toughest schedules? Three from Pac-12
The men's golf team moved into a tie for eighth place following Wednesday's round at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The Golden Bears (295-289 - 584, +16) are right in the mix to advance to match play competition in the NCAA Championship after tying for the sixth-best round of the day in the second round of stroke play action Wednesday.
Our own Kyle McCrae of the Athletic Communications Office is on location with the Bears during competition at The Riviera Country Club and caught up with Max Homa and Brandon Hagy following Wednesday's round. You can follow along with the action on Thursday through the men's golf blog here as the Bears look to advance in the NCAA Championship.
Cal's first opponent in Oklahoma City will be the LSU Tigers out of the Southeastern Conference. The Bears and Tigers meet tomorrow at 12:30 (PT) at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
This isn't their first meeting of 2012, however. Back on Feb. 19, in Henderson, Nev., Cal earned a 14-3, five-inning win against LSU in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Home runs from Jace Williams, Breanna Kostreba, Jolene Henderson and Frani Echavarria guided the Bears to the victory. A six-run first inning gave Cal the early lead and the Bears responded to LSU's three-run bottom of the third with two runs of its own in the top of the fourth before ending the game with five more runs in the fifth to make it 14-3. Henderson pitched all five innings with four strikeouts and three runs allowed on six hits in the 101-pitch outing. Senior outfielder Ashley Applegate collected two of LSU's three hits in the contest, while fellow senior Brittany Mack, who surrendered six runs on six hits, was pulled after just two-thirds of an inning.
LSU, in its first season under the direction of head coach Beth Torina, comes to Oklahoma City with a 39-23 overall record. The Tigers have knocked off two national seeds in the NCAA Tournament so far in No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 9 Missouri to advance to the school's first Women's College World Series since 2004. LSU began its march to Oklahoma City in the College Station Regional, defeating Texas State, 1-0, in the opening game and knocking off host Texas A&M, 2-0, and 2-1 to capture the regional title. Next up was a trip to Columbia, Mo. and a matchup with Missouri in the Super Regionals. The Tigers opened the series with a 6-1 win last Saturday. Their first bid at the Super Regional championship and trip to Oklahoma City came up short when Missouri plated four runs in the 12th inning to pull out a 5-1 win over LSU and force a third and deciding game. LSU bounced back from the heart-breaking defeat several hours later and used a Simone Heyward (Sacramento native) three-run double (her first extra-base hit of the season) in the third inning to defeat Missouri and win the Columbia Super Regional, 3-1.
The last time LSU appeared in the WCWS was during the 2004 season when former All-American Kristin Schmidt notched the WCWS Most Outstanding Player award.
Like Cal's Jolene Henderson, LSU's Rachele Fico has been outstanding in the circle in the tournament so far. Fico has recorded four-straight wins. She retired 12 of the final 14 batters she faced in Sunday's rubber game against Missouri. Fico is complemented by Mack, who posted a career-best 17 strikeouts in her last outing in the 12-inning loss against Missouri last Sunday.
LSU is not a power hitting squad with just 13 home runs as a team this season - 10 less than Valerie Arioto has recorded by herself in 2012.
Senior left fielder Ashley Langoni has six of those home runs and 18 total extra-base hits to go along with a team-leading .265 batting average this season. Freshman right fielder and leadoff hitter A.J. Andrews is LSU's biggest threat on the base paths with 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts this season.
The strength of the Tigers is their pitching staff with Fico leading the way. She owns a 20-11 record with a 0.92 earned run average in 35 appearances, including 31 starts this spring. Fico has posted 213 strikeouts and surrendered just eight home runs in 220.1 innings in 2012. Opponents are hitting just .177 against the junior righty.
Despite the 14-3 win for Cal in the two teams' first meeting this season, the latest NCAA stats suggest tomorrow's matchup will be anything but a high-scoring contest. Cal and LSU are each ranked in the top-10 in the nation in earned run average with the Bears third with a 1.21 ERA and the Tigers ninth with a 1.51 ERA. Tomorrow's probably starters have a COMBINED 0.98 earned run average in the tournament so far. Henderson owns a 0.48 ERA (three runs in 43.2 innings) for Cal and Fico has posted a 0.50 ERA (two runs in 28 innings) for LSU in NCAA Tournament action.
Cal and LSU have met twice before in the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, splitting their two previous games. Both contests occurred in 2004 with LSU taking the first game, 4-1, and Cal taking the second meeting, 4-1, to eliminate the Tigers.
Tomorrow is a new day and we will see what happens at 12:30 (PT) on ESPN2.
Led by junior Max Homa's three-under par 32 on the front nine this morning, the men's golf team has surged up the leader board from 15th to eighth at the NCAA Championships at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Homa's round included three birdies and an up-and-down out of the bunker on nine to save par and make him bogey-free at the turn.
Homa would go on to birdie the 10th hole to move to four-under through his first 10 holes of the day, vaulting him up the player leader board 74 spots into a tie for 24th overall.
You can follow the Bears through today's round with the NCAA's live scoring link here.
Sophomore men's golfer Brandon Hagy shot an even-par 71 on Tuesday and is tied for 13th place on the individual leader board at the NCAA Men's Golf Championships at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Following yesterday's stellar round, he talked to Ryan Lavner of Golfweek Magazine, who featured the Cal sophomore with an article on the magazine's website titled, Cal's Hagy moves to the head of the class. Click here to read the article and follow along with today's second round with live scoring from the tournament. .
I just returned from a trip up to California Memorial Stadium where I got a quick tour of the new press box. It was an unbelievable view of the Bay Area from up there and will be an equally unforgettable view of the action on the field inside the stadium this fall. The walls have been installed in most of the press box as the project moves along.
Here are some of the photos I took from the press box and University Club high above Memorial Stadium.
The United States Women's National Soccer Team defeated China, 4-1, Sunday evening at PPL in Philadelphia. Former Cal standout Alex Morgan led the way for the U.S. with two goals and one assist in the match. Below are clips of each of Morgan's goals as well as her assist in Sunday's victory.
Goal in 34th minute
Goal in 50th minute
Assist on Abby Wambach goal in 83rd minute
The Bears are on their way to Oklahoma City today for the Women's College World Series. You can share in the excitement with the Official Cal softball Women's College World Series tee-shirt. Check out what it looks like below and place your order here.
Sophomore Joel Stalter of the men's golf team talks about his path to Berkeley and previews the NCAA Championships, which start this afternoon for the Golden Bears and run through Sunday, May 29 at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
San Francisco Chronicle: Spindly freshman Kim is winning over skeptics
Daily Californian (women's rowing): For second straight year, Bears finish third at NCAAs
Daily Californian (women's tennis): Susanyi falls in semis of NCAA Singles Championships
Daily Californian (men's golf): After record year, Bears try to finish out on top
Canton Repository: Browns' Schwartz takes road less traveled to Cleveland
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal heading to Women's College World Series
Bay Area News Group: Cal softball team beats Washington, advances to College World Series
Bay Area News Group: Bears heading to OKC for CWS for rematch with LSU; Cal won 14-3 in 1st meeting
BearTerritory.net: Cordes' blasts lifts Bears to WCWS
Daily Californian: Two-run homer seals Cal's berth in Women's College World Series
Sacramento Bee: Regional Digest: Cal advances to softball World Series
Bay Area News Group: Baseball: Bears fall at Stanford in season finale
BearTerritory.net: Baseball falls 5-3 to Cardinal
ESPNW.com: Alex Morgan scores two goals in US romp
ESPNW.com: U.S. women rowers set for London
CBSSports.com: Top 10 list: Toughest schedules of 2012
Cal Head coach Diane Ninemire, pitcher Jolene Henderson, shortstop Cheyenne Cordes and left fielder Jamia Reid
It was a very busy Sunday morning for Cal fans and the fun continues this afternoon and evening. The action started a little after 4 a.m. (PT) in Lucerne, Switzerland as former Cal rowing star Julie Nichols qualified for the Olympics with a fourth-place finish in the U.S. lightweight women's double sculls in the Samsung World Rowing Cup. Nichols teamed with Kristin Hedstrom as the United States held off Great Britain's Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking by just 0.09 seconds to grab fourth-place in the event this morning.
"We're so excited," said Nichols, an alternate at the 2008 Olympic Games and USRowing's 2011 Female Athlete of the Year. "It is a dream for both or us. We're looking forward to getting back to California and getting back to training and ramping up for the next race of the season."
Next up is baseball. David Esquer's squad looks for the sweep of the Cardinal over at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto at 1 p.m. (PT). The Bears took the series opener on Friday with a thrilling 5-4 victory in 18 innings, and captured the series with a 15-5 win yesterday.
KNEW 960 AM will broadcast the game live with Cal alum Roxy Bernstein on the call.
All eyes turn to Diane Ninemire's softball squad at 4 p.m. (PT) as the Golden Bears look to punch their ticket to next week's Women's College World Series with a victory over Washington. Should Cal defeat the Huskies in the 4 p.m. contest, the Bears will advance to Oklahoma City. If Washington tops Cal in the first contest, the two teams will play a second game right afterwards to decide the Berkeley Super Regional title. Cal posted a 5-0 victory over Washington in yesterday's contest.
If you weren't one of the luck folks to get a ticket to a sold-out Levine-Fricke Field today, you can catch all the action on ESPN2.
At 4 p.m. (PT) in Chester, Pa., the United States Senior Women's Soccer National Team and former Cal star Alex Morgan will take on China at PPL Park. Morgan was officially named to head coach Pia Sundhage's 18-player Olympic roster this morning. The last time the U.S. and China met, the U.S. posted a 2-0 victory to win the 2011 Four Nations Tournament in Chongqing, China. Sunday's match at PPL Park marks the second meeting between the U.S. and China at the soccer specific venue. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw on Oct. 6, 2010, with Morgan scoring her first international goal in the 83rd minute to tie up the score. You can follow the live stream by visiting ussoccer.com.
Be sure to check back here for updates throughout the day and evening... GO BEARS!
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal tops Washington, 1 win away from World Series
Bay Area News Group: Arioto's homer propels Cal past Washington
BearTerritory.net: Bears play longball in win over UW
ESPNW: Top-seeded Cal right at home
Washington Times: Washington blanked 5-0 by California in NCAA super-regional opener
Bay Area News Group: Baseball: Cal makes it two in a row over Stanford
BearTerritory.net: Cal downs Stanford in baseball, 15-5
SwimSwam.com: Cal Sprinters Gearing Up for 50 Free Trials
U.S. Rowing: Nichols and Hedstrom Qualify for London
-Improved Cal's season record to 55-5 on the season, one victory shy of the school record set in 2002
-Improved Cal's all-time record in super regionals to 5-10
-Improved Cal's home record this season to 19-3
-Was the Bears' 28th shutout of the season, which is tied for seventh-most in school history
-Was Cal's first win over Washington in the postseason. Bears were 0-2 previously vs. Huskies
-Was head coach Diane Ninemire's 1,114th career victory
Bears Get On Board Early
Shutting Out The Competition
Arioto Paints Name Throughout Record Books
Jolene Henderson Continues Dominance
Zsofi Susanyi advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Singles Tennis Championship. It is the furthest a Cal freshman has ever gone in the NCAA singles Championship.
Facts on Susanyi's achievement
- Defeated USC's 26th-ranked freshman Sabrina Santamaria, 6-2, 7-6(4)
- Will face fifth-ranked and fifth-seeded Mallory Burdette of Stanford in the semifinals (May 27)
- She as faced Burdette twice, this year. Lost each time in straight sets (6-2, 6-4 on April 21) Cal-Stanford dual and 7-6(4), 6-2 (April 27) Pac-12 singles quarterfinals
-Susanyi is 1-3 in matches against Stanford opponents
-Susanyi is 41-7 this year - the most wins by any Cal singles player
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal baseball beats Stanford 5-4 in 18 innings
San Francisco Chronicle: True-blue romance bridges softball, basketball
Bay Area News Group: Bears ready for UW in super regional
Bay Area News Group: Cal softball capsule for NCAA Super Regional series vs. Washington
BearTerritory.net: Cal outlasts No. 11 Stanford in 18-inning thriller
San Francisco Examiner: Cal hosts Washington in NCAA softball Super Regionals this
The best way to sum up what Cal's five-member senior class has meant to this program is 181-57. That is the Golden Bears' combined record over the past four seasons.
They have advanced to the Super Regional all four seasons and made an appearance in the Women's College World Series last season. The group of Valerie Arioto, Frani Echavarria, Elia Reid, Jamia Reid and Jace Williams is one that will go down in the history books as one of the best classes in school history.
While all were major contributors to the Bears' four wins and regional title this past weekend in Berkeley, one member of this esteemed class was arguably the regional's Most Outstanding Player. Valerie Arioto, Cal's National Player of the Year finalist, is the obvious choice; however teams pitched around her, issuing 13 walks in 19 plate appearance to the Golden Bear standout over Cal's five games. Echavarria was the star for Cal in the Berkeley Regional, collecting nine hits in 17 plate appearances to record a .600 batting average.
It wasn't just the Riverside, Calif. native's contact that made the difference; it was her timely hitting that helped propel the Bears to the regional title. Echavarria came up three times with the bases loaded last weekend and collected a hit all three times. No hit was bigger than the senior's grand slam to put Cal up 10-2 in the fifth inning of Sunday's first elimination game against Arkansas. She finished that contest 4-for-4 with six RBI and two runs scored.
"It was my first one in life," Echavarria said after her grand slam. "It was pretty special. As soon as I hit it, I looked up and saw it go over and I think everyone saw me celebrating. "The bases were loaded and I just did what I could to help this team," the senior said. "I wasn't expecting it to go out. It was a great feeling."
Echavarria totaled five extra-base hits in the Golden Bears' five games last weekend, including four doubles and the grand slam.
After beginning the tournament ninth in the lineup, Echavarria was moved up to the cleanup spot behind Arioto for the final two games against Arkansas on Sunday. Her hot bat not only earned her a promotion in the lineup, but also provided some protection for Arioto, who hadn't seen a ball come over the plate her way all tournament long.
Echavarria delivered for the Bears in a big way last weekend and the fans in the outfield bleachers made sure to honor the senior with loud cheers each time she took her post in center field following a big hit.
"It was a great feeling and I was happy to see it, but I am just trying to help my team get the W," Echavarria said.
Let's hope the loud cheers and "Ws" continue this weekend as the Bears look to beat Washington and punch their ticket to Oklahoma City and the Women's College World Series.
The ESPN trucks arrived at Levine-Fricke Field early this morning and are setting up their cameras as we speak as preparations continue leading up to tomorrow night's softball game between Cal and Washington on ESPN2.
If you can't make it to Berkeley this weekend, you can catch all the action on ESPN2 tomorrow at 7 p.m. (PT) and Sunday at 4 p.m. and, if necessary, 6:30 p.m. Make sure to also follow along with all the action in the Berkeley Super Regional with the live chat here for all the games.
Bay Area News Group: Track and field: Two Bears qualify for NCAA finals
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal looking to erase season of letdown at Stanford
Daily Californian (softball): Cal bears down on Super Regional competition
Seattle Times: UW softball team returns stronger after Cal-induced tailspin
Daily Californian (baseball): Baseball faces Cardinal in must-win final series
Daily Californian (men's tennis): Doubles duo last hope for Bears in NCAA Championships
Daily Californian (women's basketball): Cal women's basketball names new assistant coach
It has been a busy couple of weeks for Cal men's rowing and United States Men's Eight Head Coach Mike Teti.
Right after the Bears' second-place finish in the Pac-12 Championships on May, 13, Teti traveled to Lucerne, Switzerland to guide the U.S. Men's Eight in the Olympic Qualification Regatta. The event ended this Tuesday with the boat qualifying for the games in London this summer. There wasn't much time to celebrate the achievement, however, as Teti boarded a flight yesterday and arrived back in the Bay Area last night.
Just hours after landing, he was back at Briones Reservoir in Orinda to coach Cal's practice as the Bears prepare for the International Rowing Association National Championships in New Jersey next Thursday through Saturday, May 31 - June 2. Teti and the Bears head to the East Coast tomorrow and will train in Princeton, leading up to the IRAs.
We managed to catch up with Teti this morning at Briones Reservoir where he talked about the achievement in Switzerland with the Men's Eight Olympic boat as well as the Golden Bears' preparations for next week's National Championships.
As we get set for this weekend's NCAA Softball Super Regional against Washington, we recap each of the Golden Bears' victories from this past weekend at Levine-Fricke Field.
The final game from Sunday was the best one of them all as Cal defeated Arkansas, 7-0, to capture the Berkeley Regional title and advance to the Super Regionals. Cal needed to defeat Arkansas twice on the day to win the Berkeley Regional Championship and the Bears completed the task in impressive fashion. You can find a full recap of Cal's second triumph over Arkansas to win the regional here.
You can also re-live all the great moments from Sunday's second victory over the Razorbacks with this highlight package put together by Cal's Creative Services department.
As we get set for this weekend's NCAA Softball Super Regional against Washington, we recap each of the Golden Bears' victories from this past weekend at Levine-Fricke Field.
Next up is the first game of Sunday's regional final against Arkansas. Cal needed to defeat Arkansas twice on the day to win the Berkeley Regional Championship and advance to the Super Regionals. The Bears took care of business with a 10-2 victory in five innings in the day's first contest. Led by Frani Echavarria's four hits and six RBI (thanks to a grand slam), the Bears cruised to the easy win and forced a final game later in the evening to decide the regional title. You can find a full recap of the victory here.
You can also re-live all the great moments from Sunday's first win against the Razorbacks with this highlight package put together by Cal's Creative Services department.
The top-ranked women's rowing team is on its way to New Jersey for the NCAA Championships this weekend on Mercer Lake in West Windsor. The Golden Bears rowed to the national title on the same lake in 2006.
In preparation for the NCAA Championships this Friday through Sunday, the team left earlier this week to get acclimated to the lake and the environment before beginning competition. We talked to head coach Dave O'Neill in his office before the Bears left for New Jersey and have reports from rowers Clair Premzic and Erica Rippe from training in Pennsylvania.
As we get set for this weekend's NCAA Softball Super Regional against Washington, we recap each of the Golden Bears' victories from this past weekend at Levine-Fricke Field.
First up is the opening game of the regional against Iona from last Friday. Cal dispatched Iona with an 8-0 victory in five innings. You can find a full recap of the victory here.
You can also re-live all the great moments from last Friday's win with this highlight package from the victory over Gaels put together by Cal's Creative Services department.
I visited the California Memorial Stadium construction site this morning. I captured a bunch of photos and some video from inside the facility. Here are the latest updates, followed by the video.
As you can see, field excavation is now complete and they are underway with smoothing out or "grading" the surface. Installation has also begun on the field's drainage system underneath the field. Installation of the new aluminum benches and and hand rails is still in progress.
Work continues inside the brand new expansive press box as the installation of glass windows is nearly complete. In the next week, fans will get a better view of the new press box as scaffolding is scheduled to start being removed.
Here is video from inside California Memorial Stadium.
ESPN Pac-12 Blogger Ted Miller previews Cal's 2012 season in the following video posted on the network's website. He discusses what the Golden Bears need to do to contend for a conference title this fall.
The United States men's eight began competition in Lucerne, Switzerland on Sunday, vying for a spot in the summer Olympic Games in London. Led by U.S. Men's Eight and Cal men's rowing head coach Mike Teti, the boat also includes former Cal rowing standout coxswain Zach Vlahos.
The men's eight started the races strong, defeating New Zealand and France, posting the top speed of the event with a time of 5:34.01. They took the lead by the 500-meter mark, and extended it over the course of the race to finish more than eight seconds ahead of New Zealand and more than 17 seconds ahead of France.
The United States earned a spot in Tuesday;s final race which they need to win to secure a spot in the Olympics.
"We wanted to go out and have a clean race down the course," said Vlahos, who is leading the men's eight in his first international race at the senior level. "We wanted to make sure we executed our race plan, and to go out there and race like we do every day in practice. I think we did that."
The U.S. crew consists of Vlahos, Grant James (DeKalb, Ill.), David Banks (Potomac, Md.), Steve Kasprzyk (Cinnaminson, N.J.), Jake Cornelius (Brooktondale, N.Y.), Brett Newlin (Riverton, Wyo.), Ross James (DeKalb, Ill.), Will Miller (Duxbury, Mass.) and Giuseppe Lanzone (Annandale, Va.).
Following the Bears' NCAA Berkeley Regional championship, the softball team met the media. Here is video of senior outfielder Frani Echavarria, junior pitcher Jolene Henderson and head coach Diane Ninemire at last nights postgame news conference.
Former men's basketball standout Ryan Anderson, who played for the Golden Bears for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, was one of 13 players chose for the USA Basketball Select Team. The elite squad will compete against the USA Basketball National Team July 6-11 during its training camp at UNLV's Mendenhall Center in Las Vegas. The team will help train Team USA for the Olympic Games in London later this summer.
"The USA Select Team was a vital part of the USA Men's National Team's training in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and again in 2012 we'll utilize this team of select NBA players to help get our National Team ready for the very competitive summer that is ahead of us," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman.
"The 2012 Select Team has an excellent collection of talents. The group has outstanding speed and versatility, some excellent shooters, and some very good size," added Colangelo. "It will be great to have them involved in USA Basketball and in the National Team pipeline for our next quadrennium, 2013-16."
A starter with the NBA's Orlando Magic, Anderson was honored with the NBA Most Improved Player Award this season. He established career highs in scoring (16.1 ppg), rebounds (7.7 rpg), field goal percentage (.439) and free throw percentage this past season. He also paced the league and established personal bests in three-pointers made (166) and attempted (422) in 2011-12.
Anderson joins Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks/Harvard), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers/Duke), John Wall (Washington Wizards/Kentucky), DeJuan Blair (San Antonio Spurs/Pittsburgh), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings/Kentucky), DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors/USC), Derrick Favors (Utah Jazz/Georgia Tech), Paul George (Indiana Pacers/Fresno State), Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls/USC), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz/Butler), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs/San Diego State), and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors/Washington State) on the USA Basketball Select Team.
Earlier this season when the Magic were in the Bay Area to play the Golden State Warriors, we caught up with the former Golden Bear about his time in Berkeley. You can watch our interview here.
San Francisco Chronicle: Bears claw all the way back, rout Arkansas
Bay Area News Group: Cal overwhelms Arkansas twice to advance to NCAA softball super regional
BearTerritory.net: Echavarria, Henderson lead Bears to title
BearInsider.com: Bears Rally to Win Regional
Press-Enterprise: Echavarria moves up, Cal moves on
ESPNW.com: Hofstra hurler beams with Pride
Daily Californian: On to the next one: Cal softball advances to the Super Regional
Daily Californian: Bears nab sixth tournament win to advance to Nationals
BearTerritory.net: Krist's big day gives Bears win on senior day
Daily Californian: Bears avoid sweep in comeback thriller
Daily Californian: Baseball is more than a game of numbers to Matt Flemer
What has junior pitcher Jolene Henderson meant to Cal in the NCAA Berkeley Regional you ask? Well, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year owns a 0.51 earned run average in 17.2 innings spanning over three appearances. More importantly, the Golden Bears' pitcher is 2-0 with a pair of shutouts wins.
In Cal's NCAA Regional opening win against Iona, Henderson struck out seven and allowed just two singles without surrendering a run or a walk to register her 13th shutout victory of the season in the 70-pitch, five-inning, complete-game performance.
Henderson was thrust into action earlier than expected on Saturday. She came in on relief of senior co-starter Valerie Arioto for the fourth batter of the game with one out and two runs across in the first inning for Arkansas in Cal's first contest of the day. The junior's second pitch went for a home run, but she quickly rebounded to retire 11 of the next 13 batters. The Razorbacks did not push another run across the rest of the contest, as Henderson posted seven strikeouts to go with five hits (four singles) and one walk allowed in 6.2 innings of work.
The Bears' 3-2 defeat to Arkansas forced Cal to play again later in the evening in an elimination game. Just three hours after firing 84 pitches in long relief against Arkansas, a determined Henderson stepped back in the circle to start Cal's game against Boston University. The junior national player of the year finalist, couldn't be touched, cruising to her second shutout victory in as many days and 14th on the season. She posted 11 strikeouts and allowed just three softly-hit singles and one walk in the dominant 93-pitch performance as the Bears staved off elimination with the 8-0 win in six innings. Henderson was in control early on, striking out the side in the first and rebounding from a leadoff single in the second to retire the next three batters on strikeouts to end the frame. The junior allowed just one hit and two base runners through 5.1 innings in the win.
A front-runner for Regional Most Valuable Player honors, Henderson has recorded 25 strikeouts and surrendered just one extra-base and one run in the three games, spanning 17.2 innings with two shutout victories.
With Iona and Boston University eliminated, we are down to Cal and Arkansas for the Berkeley Regional title with the Bears needing to defeat the Razorbacks twice on Sunday to claim the crown. When head coach Diane Ninemire was asked in Saturday night's postgame news conference who will pitch for the Bears (between Arioto and Henderson) in Sunday's game(s), she responded "We will wait and see tomorrow."
If you want any indication if Henderson will be ready to pitch if called upon on Sunday after firing 177 pitches on Saturday and 247 over the past two days, she was asked how her arm felt during Saturday night's postgame news conference and quickly responded "Golden" with a smile.
Improved Cal's NCAA Postseason Record to 89-61
Improved Cal's NCAA Regional Record to 65-31
Improved Cal's season record to 52-5
Tied for the fourth-most wins in program history in a single season (also had 52 in 2005)
Improved Cal's record to 16-3 at Levine-Fricke Field this season
Became legendary Cal head coach Diane Ninemire's 1,110th career victory
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal softball team must beat Arkansas twice
Bay Area News Group: Bears rebound, cruise into regional final
BearTerritory.net: Henderson, Jones power elimination-game win
Daily Californian: Cal falls to Arkansas but survives in elimination game
ESPNW: Win two or seeds are through
Bay Area News Group: Cal men win Stanford regional, advance to NCAA championships for third straight year
Daily Californian (women's tennis): Cal's national title run ends in quarterfinals with 4-1 loss to No. 1 UCLA
Daily Californian (men's tennis): Bears fall to Cavaliers in sweet 16 loss
California: Victoria Jones, Jolene Henderson, Valerie Arioto and Head Coach Diane Ninemire
Boston University: Amy Ekart, Head Coach Shawn Rychcik, and Whitney Tuthill
Arkansas moved into today's 3 p.m. game with a 3-2 victory over Boston University in last night's opening contest here in Berkeley. The Razorbacks earned a matchup with No. 1 Cal, who defeated Iona 8-0, with the one-run win thanks to two runs in the second a score in the third.
Instead of going with one of its regular starters in Chelsea Cohen (3.44 ERA, 96 strikeouts in 189.1 innings pitched) or Kimmy Beasley (3.32 ERA, 97 strikeouts in 124.1 innings pitched) in the circle on Friday, Arkansas opened the NCAAs with Hope McLemore, who had made just one start previously this season. Nonetheless, McLemore delivered for the Razorbacks with seven innings of two-run ball that included six strikeouts. She did not record a walk to improve to 2-0 on the year.
Arkansas' top two hitters, Devon Wallace and Clarisa Navarro, combined for three hits in Friday's win over Boston University from the top of the lineup. Wallace, Arkansas' left fielder, is hitting a team best .352 with a team-leading 14 home runs from the leadoff spot. Navarro, the Razorbacks' shortstop, is batting .339 with 10 home runs from the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
The Bears and Razorbacks have met once previously, with Cal defeating Arkansas, 7-0, on March 19, 1998.
Cal and Arkansas have two common opponents this season in Tennessee and LSU. The Bears opened the season with a 13-5 victory over Tennessee on Feb. 10 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. and defeated LSU, 14-3, on Feb. 19 in the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas. The Razorbacks dropped two of three games in an SEC series with Tennessee at home in Fayetteville March 16-18, and were swept by LSU in a three-game SEC series on the road in Baton Rouge, March 30 - April 1.
Our final comparison of the two teams looks at the representation of players from each school's home state on its roster. First, we must take into consideration that California is a much larger state with a population of 37,691,912 compared to Arkansas with a population of 2,937,979. The Golden Bears have 18 California residents on its 20-person roster, while the Razorbacks have just four Arkansas residents on its 24-person roster.
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal beats Iona 8-0 in NCAA softball Regional
Bay Area News Group: Cal Bears roll over Iona in NCAA softball tournament
BearTerritory.net: Cal invokes mercy rule in regional opener
Daily Californian: Bears come up big under the lights in first round win
ESPNW.com: Who will challenge top-seed Cal?
Bay Area News Group: Gutierrez gets shot at NBA combine
BearTerritory.net: Bruins down Bears
Daily Californian: Cal continues late-season slide in loss to UCLA
Strawberry Canyon will be the place to be in Berkeley this weekend as thousands are expected to descend on Levine-Fricke Field for the NCAA Division I Softball Berkeley Regional, hosted by the California Golden Bears, the top-ranked and No. 1 overall seed in the tournament.
Fans attending today's opening games who were regular visitors to Levine-Fricke Field this season will notice some major differences to the home of the Golden Bears, however. Months of planning have transformed a stadium that was built in 1995 into a facility that meets NCAA standards for hosting the sport's postseason spectacle.
"There certainly were a number of NCAA requirements that our facility did not meet on a daily basis at this point, but as our team made it through the season as the No. 1 seed we started looking at what it would take for us to host and honor that achievement for them," said Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour.
Here is a detailed look at what goes into hosting an NCAA Softball Regional.
It begins with dedication and commitment from all parties. That includes the softball program, the administration, operations, athletic communications, sports medicine as well as numerous outside vendors. Headed by Barbour, Senior Associate Director of Athletics Foti Mellis, Director of Championships & Special Projects Jeanette Morganti, Assistant Director of Athletics for Facilities Management Mike Huff, Assistant Director of Athletics for Event Management Gordon Bayne, Facilities Manager Nick Cole, Assistant Manager of Ticket Operations Chris Celona, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Anna Oleson-Wheeler and head coach Diane Ninemire, the group held numerous meetings back in January to gauge interest and feasibility. From there, a plan was put in place.
That plan started with a formal bid submitted to the NCAA to host a regional. The long process was worked on by the administration with assistance from every facet of the athletic department which in total took several weeks to complete. On April 20, that bid was submitted to the NCAA, who reviews all bids.
It was decided early on that several temporary improvements would needed to be made to meet the standards for hosting a regional. Cal's softball team, a powerhouse in the sport for many years, competed on the road in the NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals for the past 19 years and everyone here in Berkeley wanted to give them the home field advantage they deserve this season.
Morganti has overseen the responsibilities with hosting numerous NCAA Championships here at Cal, including National Championship contests in water polo at Spieker Aquatics Complex and first and second round women's basketball tournaments inside Haas Pavilion. The one thing that has been on the venue's side in both those high profile events was the luxury of knowing years in advance that Cal would be the host.
The entire world discovered on ESPNU on Sunday night at 7 p.m. (PT) during the network's NCAA Softball Championships selection show that Berkeley would serve as an NCAA Regional host AND so did Cal. With Sunday nearly complete, all parties involved were forced to wait until Monday at 8 a.m. to begin executing all of the plans that had been drawn up. That gave everyone involved in the set up roughly 48 hours before the first of four teams would take the field for practice.
Mellis summarized the project, saying, "We had to basically build a new softball stadium in 48 hours."
An operations meeting was held at 8 a.m. with 25 bright-eyed, enthusiastic members of the Cal Department of Intercollegiate Athletics accompanied by numerous cups of coffee. Over an hour later, everyone left that meeting and began their assigned tasks.
Just 24 hours later, Levine-Fricke Field took on a whole new look. The most noticeable difference was the six banks of temporary lights that arrived at the facility. They were in place by Wednesday and Cal took to the field for its first night practice. Tonight's games will be the first ever night games played at Levine-Fricke Field.
A temporary press box was brought in behind the stands for the large turnout of media expected for the weekend's games as well as administrators accompanying their teams to Berkeley. While ESPN, the broadcast partner for the NCAA Championships, is not televising any games here this weekend, should Cal advance to the Super Regionals, the national network would be on site here next weekend for all the games.
More than seven hundred additional seats were added to the facility earlier this season beyond the left-field wall which increased the capacity of Levine-Fricke Field to more than 1,200.
The NCAA requires all signage related to sponsorships as well as any items that can create a perceived "home field advantage" removed. All signage on the outfield wall was removed and the line on the scoreboard that read "California" on the bottom was replaced by a sticker that says "home" for all the games. Levine-Fricke Field has also been dressed with the 15 NCAA Championships banners that arrived on site on Wednesday morning .
The NCAA randomly selects different sites for drug testing and, while it is not yet known if Cal will be one of those sites, a separate area must be made available specifically for this use just in case.
Brining nearly 1,300 additional people to campus requires an abundance of parking. The University has provided shuttles for fans who park in the Underhill Structure to easily transport them up the hill to the venue.
The number of people descending on Levine-Fricke Field this weekend also demands the need for additional restroom facilities. Two temporary trailers were brought in to accommodate all in attendance this weekend.
"It was full team effort," Barbour said. "Foti Mellis, the sport supervisor, really led the effort. "I am really pleased this team has an opportunity to host and for our community to have the opportunity to see them play here in Berkeley."
It is a tall task that was completed in a very short period of time by a team of professionals. Many individuals put in some very long hours this week, however it will all be worth it to see championship softball played at Levine-Fricke Field this weekend.
"It is a great honor to finally be at home," Ninemire said. "We waited many years to be able to host a regional here. It is going to be a great opportunity for our girls to be able to play at home in front of the Cal fans."
Morganti, who has overseen these events for a number of years, has one rule when putting on an NCAA Championship that she relays to each program, "If we host, we win!"
Men's Golf continues play this morning in the NCAA Regionals over at Stanford. You can follow today's round live here.
Here is a look at freshman Michael Kim's tee shot from the first tee today.
San Francisco Chronicle: Jamia Reid revs up Cal's No. 1 softball team
Bay Area News Group: Cal rugby: Why Golden Bears are not vying for collegiate title
Bay Area News Group: Seven Bay Area players selected to U.S. women's Olympic water polo team
Bay Area News Group: Cal wideout Keenan Allen selected to Phil Steele's All-America third team
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Pac-12 post-spring power rankings
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Phil Steele's preseason All-American team
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Pac-12 spring breakout players
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Most important game: California
Daily Californian (women's tennis): Cal looks ahead to rematch with No. 1 UCLA after win over Georgia Tech
We attended one of the many graduation ceremonies on campus this morning and took a bunch of photos. Here is a small sampling from one of today's commencements. We will have more photos from the ceremony later today.
Erica Varon and Shana Johnson
Danny Oh, Matt Flemer, Chadd Krist, Stephen Pistoresi, Dylan Tonneson, Maris Moore, Joey Donofrio, Kevin Miller and Dwight Tanaka
In preparation of this weekend's NCAA Softball Regionals here in Berkeley, Levine-Fricke Field is being outfitted with lights as the majority of the games will be played in the evening. Here is a quick look as lights are being installed at the stadium. We will have a full report on what it takes to host an NCAA Regional tomorrow, but for now, enjoy the photos below.
Bay Area television station KTVU came out to the Cal boat house last week and talked to Cal and United States Men's Eight head rowing coach Mike Teti as well as former Golden Bear Zach Vlahos. The boat is attempting to qualify for the summer Olympics in London with the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta this coming Sunday through next Wednesday, May 20-23 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Click here to watch the KTVU feature on Teti, Vlahos and the U.S. Men's Eight boat.
Here is video of the National Football Foundation's College Football Hall of Fame 2012 Class announcement yesterday that included former Cal quarterback Steve Bartkowski.
Bay Area News Group: Bartkowski enters college Hall of Fame; Where does he rate among Cal's best QBs?
BearTerritory.net: Former Cal QB named to college football HOF
BearTerritory.net: Podcast of Jeff Tedford's interview on Rivals Radio
Philadelphia Eagles: Rookies Left Good Impression
Ever wonder what goes on during a football practice? Well, earlier this spring we put a mike on Jeff Tedford and we bring you this inside look at spring drills as we follow the head coach around the field.
KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, profiled sisters Jolene and Danielle Henderson of the softball team. Jolene, a junior, and Danielle, a freshman, have both played important roles for the top-ranked Golden Bears this season.
Jolene is a National Player of the Year candidate heading into the NCAA Championships with a 30-2 record and 1.22 earned run average to go along with 249 strikeouts in 211.2 innings in the circle this season. Danielle has started 53 of the Bears' 54 games in her first season in Berkeley with a .299 batting average and 14 home runs (third-most on the team).
Here is the piece that aired on KPIX on Monday on the Henderson sisters.
The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame announced its 17-member 2012 Hall of Fame Class this morning, which included Cal standout quarterback Steve Bartkowski.
Bartkowski, who quarterbacked the Bears from 1972-74, was chosen from a national ballot of 76 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees.
The 2012 College Football Hall of Fame Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Class will be inducted at the 55th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2012, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City. They will be honored guests at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans on January 2, 2013 and officially enshrined in the summer of 2013.
Here is Bartkowski's bio provided by the National Football Foundation.
Another legend in a long line of prolific Pac-12 passers, Steve Bartkowski becomes the 16th California Golden Bear to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Bartkowski earned consensus All-America honors by leading the nation in passing with 2,580 yards in 1974. The gunslinger also set school single-season records during his senior campaign by attempting 325 passes and accumulating 2,387 yards of total offense. He was universally named the best quarterback in the West following his senior year after being named team MVP, First Team All-Pac-10, an All-Coast Team selection and the NorCal Player of the Year. His four 300-yard passing games set a school record and still rank among the top five in Golden Bears history.
The first pick of the 1975 NFL Draft, Bartkowski played 11 seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and one year with the Los Angeles Rams. He was named the 1975 NFL Rookie of the Year, appeared in two Pro Bowls and compiled 24,124 career passing yards.
In addition to his football exploits, Bartkowski was an All-American first baseman for the Golden Bears baseball team in 1973. He became a member of the California Sports Hall of Fame in 1990. Bartkowski also hosted the outdoors shows Backroad Adventures with Steve Bartkowski on TNN and Suzuki's Great Outdoors with Steve Bartkowski on ESPN. The Atlanta native serves on the board of directors for multiple organizations and is a member of the Christian Sportsmen Fellowship.
San Francisco Chronicle: Tyson Ross keeps A's rolling against Angels
Bay Area News Group: Arioto named Pac-12 pitcher of week
BearTerritory.net: Oh leaves Cougars breathless
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: What we learned in the Pac-12 this spring
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Biggest Pac-12 games of 2012
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Best of Pac-12 spring
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Pac-12 players to watch
Daily Californian: The Danny Oh show: Oh's 5-for-5 afternoon leads Cal to 13-8 victory
Shareef Abdur-Rahim returned to the University of California today for a special ceremony... his graduation.
The former Cal basketball star played for the Golden Bears during the 1995-96 season where he averaged 21.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He was the first freshman in Pac-12 (then Pac-10) history to win conference Player of the Year honors, and was named a Third Team All-American by the Associated Press. Abdur-Rahim also set the single-season freshman records for points, scoring average, field goals, and free throws.
He decided to leave Cal after his standout freshman campaign and was the third overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.
Abdur-Rahim, an NBA All-Star in 2002, averaged 18.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game over a 13-year NBA career with the Vancouver Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings.
Abdur-Rahim, now the Assistant General Manager for the Kings, returned to Cal to complete his sociology degree and graduated with a 3.8 grade point average. He was back on campus today for the University's commencement, sharing the special moment with his family.
We talked to Abdur-Rahim about his experiences beyond basketball and the importance of returning to school to receive his college degree in the following interview.
Baseball opened the week of Golden Bear action with a 13-8 victory over Washington State in a rare Monday matinee at Evans Diamond. Cal improved to 26-22 overall heading into a three-game series with nationally-ranked UCLA this weekend.
The Bears reached double digits on the scoreboard for the first time since an 11-8 victory at Nebraska on March 9.
Senior left fielder and lead-off hitter Danny Oh led Cal offensively with a 5-for-5 day at the plate. He reached base all six times, drawing a five-pitch walk in the eighth. The school record for hits in a single game is six, shared by four people - Cliff McClain vs. Saint Mary's (1948), Mike Hodgins vs. UCLA (1974), Frank Mattox vs. USC (3-13-82) and Lance Blankenship at Arizona State (4-26-86).
For a full recap of today's action click here.
Head coach David Esquer and Oh recap today's contest in the following postgame interviews.
San Francisco Chronicle: No. 1 Cal to host NCAA softball regional
Bay Area News Group: Bears earn No. 1 overall NCAA seed, will host Iona in Friday regional opener
Bay Area News Group: Rowing: Cal women claim 5th straight Pac-12 title
Bay Area News Group: Shareef completes academic mission
Sacramento Bee: Shareef Abdur-Rahim to receive his degree from Cal on Monday
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: California spring wrap
BearTerritory.net: 3-for-4 day from Delfino not enough as Bears fall to Wildcats
Daily Californian (softball): Bears fall in series finale, but win Pac-12 title
Daily Californian (women's tennis): Bears move on to face Yellow Jackets in NCAAs
Daily Californian (men's tennis): Cal heads to round of 16 at NCAAs
Daily Californian (baseball): Arizona sweeps Cal
The softball program captured the Pac-12 Championship with a 5-0 victory over Arizona State on Friday at Levine-Fricke Field. However, winning the league crown wasn't the biggest triumph for the Golden Bears on Friday.
The program hosted a Strike Out Cancer event in conjunction with Friday's contest. The Bears donned pink uniforms along with pink hair ribbons during the game and helped raise money for the American Cancer Society through general fan donations and proceeds from the sale of pink hair ribbons.
Junior infielder Jordan Wallace's grandmother, Fannie, who has defeated cancer twice in her life, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her granddaughter.
On this Mother's Day, we honor Jordan's grandmother Fannie. You can watch Fannie's ceremonial toss at the Bears' Strike Out Cancer Event.
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal emphasizing 7-man rugby
Bay Area News Group: Track and field: Jarvis wins Pac-12 steeple
Bay Area News Group: Softball: Bears exhale, fall to ASU
Sacramento Bee: Hendersons help make Cal softball national title contender
Bay Area News Group: Basketball: Bears sign 6-11 Danish center
BearTerritory.net: Bears drop second straight to Wildcats
Daily California: Bears' comeback falls short as Wildcats take series
The 14th-ranked men's tennis team opened NCAA Championship play with a 4-0 first-round victory over UTSA today at the Hellman Tennis Complex.
You can read a full recap of the match here.
Cal will face 22nd-ranked Texas Tech tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to the round of 16 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., on the campus of host University of Georgia. The Golden Bears and Red Raiders have split each of their last two meetings the past two years. Texas Tech defeated Cal, 4-1, on Jan. 30, 2011 in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Tournament in Lubbock, Texas. The previous year, Cal defeated the Red Raiders, 4-0, in the same ITA Kick-Off Weekend Tournament. This will be the first meeting between the two tennis powers in Berkeley.
Head coach Peter Wright and sophomore Ben McLachlan helped recap today's victory and preview tomorrow's second-round match.
The top-ranked softball team completed the regular season today against Arizona State on Senior Day at Levine-Fricke Field. The photo above of is the Golden Bears' 2012 Senior Class from left to right, Elia Reid, Valerie Arioto, Jamia Reid, Frani Echavarria and Jace Williams.
Here is video of today's Senior Day ceremony.
The California Golden Bears are your 2012 Pac-12 Conference Champions in Softball!
The top-ranked Bears clinched the league title with a 5-0 victory over second-ranked Arizona State today at Levine-Fricke Field. It is the second outright conference title won for Cal and the first since 1987. The Bears tied for first in the conference in 2005.
California also secured its 50th victory of the season and improved to 21-2 in the Pac-12 heading into tomorrow's regular-season finale.
Senior Elia Reid and freshman Danielle Henderson each drove in a pair of runs, while National Player of the Year candidate Valerie Arioto pitched the complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts on the day.
For a full recap of the game, click here. Watch the final out to clinch the conference title as well as the the trophy presentation and interviews from several Golden Bears below.
The ninth-ranked women's tennis team began their NCAA Championship run today as the Golden Bears defeated Sacramento State, 4-0, to move on to the second round tomorrow where they will face No. 41 Pepperdine (4-0 win over Purdue) at 3 p.m. at the Hellman Tennis Complex in Berkeley.
For a full recap of today's action, click here.
Head coach Amanda Augustus and sophomore Alice Duranteau, who clinched the winning point for the Golden Bears today, recap the match below. Duranteau, a native of Paris, even gives you a "Go Bears" in French.
Amazing. Strong. Loving.
Those are the words junior infielder Jordan Wallace uses to describe her grandmother Fannie.
Fannie has been stricken with breast cancer twice in her life and the 83-year-old has beaten the disease on both occasions. Her first bout with breast cancer came before Jordan was born. After undergoing several treatments, she went into remission and appeared to be cancer free.
Unfortunately, several years later, the cancer returned and Fannie had to have one of her breasts removed. While undergoing exhaustive treatments to rid her body of the hazardous cells, she lost her husband, Earnest, of 52 years to the same ugly disease called cancer.
"It has been rough on her," Jordan said of her beloved grandmother. "She not only had to experience it all first-hand, but she had to experience losing a man she was married to for more than 50 years. Having to live with losing the love of your life and experiencing what she went through is extremely difficult.
"I look up to her," her proud granddaughter continued. "I can't even imagine how someone can go on in life and live the way that she does. She is always happy. She is always smiling. It takes a special person to deal with the hardships that she has had to deal with and still call me and find time to send me a card to let me know she is thinking about me. It breaks my heart to think that she has had to deal with something like that because she is such an amazing person."
Fannie has persevered through it all and is once again cancer free. Jordan will get to share her grandmother's story and a special moment with the woman she admires today at Levine-Fricke Field as the Bears host a StrikeOut Cancer event in conjunction with their game against No. 2 Arizona State at 3 p.m.
Fannie will receive the team ball and be in the circle to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to today's contest.
"It is very exciting," Jordan said. "She is really looking forward to it and has been practicing throwing a ball with my dad the last couple days."
Cal softball is hosting the event in partnership with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the American Cancer Society. At that game, the Golden Bears will don pink hair ribbons and encourage all fans to wear pink. Those fans who wear pink will receive giveaways such as Silly Bandz and foam sticks.
In addition to collecting general fan donations, Cal softball will be selling pink hair ribbons as a fundraiser for the ACS.
"I know the team feels very strongly about it," Jordan said. "We have several girls on the team that have experienced cancer in their family, and this is something we wanted to do to help support the cause. By showing just a little bit of our respect and dedicating an event to this cause, this is a small way we can give back and show everyone how much this means to us."
Jordan, who is lobbying to catch that first pitch from her grandmother, will be joined by several members of her family at today's game, including her mother, father, brother, sister and two cousins.
"She is really excited for this," Jordan said. "Hopefully I don't tear up; I am not a big crier. It means a lot. I was skeptical to ask her at first because I wasn't sure she was going to want to do it. It is a lot for an older woman to throw a pitch for a sport she has never even played before. She didn't hesitate; she said I want to practice. I have to get my Cal gear on. I won't let you down. It is a really big deal to her. To see that she is excited makes me excited. It means a lot that she is able to do it."
Fannie attended the majority of Jordan's games when she was younger, but hasn't been able to make it out to her games more recently with her health issues. She makes a point to catch the Bears on television when they are on, and is always on the phone with her granddaughter after every game listening to the recap.
"She is the life of the party," Jordan said. "I love that woman so much and I would do anything for her. To see that she is so happy after so much that she has dealt with makes me want to be a better person. It makes me think about the little things and take advantage of little things like smiling, laughing and really caring about people. She means the world to me."
With Fannie on hand at Levine-Fricke Field today to show off her infectious smile and strong arm in the circle, we invite you to join her at the field and arrive early to cheer on this special woman and the Golden Bears as they do their part to strike out cancer.
Senior National Player of the Year candidate Valerie Arioto proved exactly why she is on all the national honors lists again today with a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead top-ranked Cal to a 4-2, come-from-behind, victory over No. 2 Arizona State.
Down, 2-0, in the sixth inning, Danielle Henderson and Victoria Jones each worked unfavorable counts into bases-loaded walks to bring home a pair of runs and tie the game heading into the final frame. Henderson worked a 1-2 count into a walk to bring home Jace Williams and Jones worked an 0-2 count into the base on balls to plate Breana Kostreba.
After a scoreless seventh frame from ASU, Jamia Reid led of the Bears' half of the inning with a bunt single to put the go-ahead run on. One out later, Arioto stepped to the plate and took the second pitch she saw over the right-field fence for the-game winning home run, igniting a celebration at home plate for the Bears. Watch video of Arioto rounding the bases on her home run and joining the celebration with her teammates at home plate below.
You can read a full recap of today's game along with the box score here.
With the 4-2 win over Arizona State today, Cal needs one more victory to secure the Pac-12 title. The Bears and second-place Sun Devils resume the series tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Levine-Fricke Field. Remember, tomorrow is Cal's Strike Out Cancer event, be sure to wear Pink to the game.
In a matchup of former Cal standout pitchers, Brandon Morrow and the Toronto Blue Jay's got the better of Tyson Ross and the Oakland Athletics with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday at Overstock.com Stadium.
The Sacramento Bee's Matt Kawahara recapped the duel of former Cal stars here.
Morrow improved to 4-1 on the year with a season-high 10 strikeouts in six innings of work yesterday. The fifth overall pick in the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft (by the Seattle Mariners before being traded to the Blue Jays in 2009) surrendered just one run on four hits with four walks en route to his fourth-straight victory.
The Rohnert Park, Calif.native, who starred at Cal from 2004-06, enjoyed a strong outing in his first appearance of the season back in his home state as you can see in these highlights of his performance on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ross (1-3) worked effectively into the sixth for the A's in the loss. He struck out three with three runs on five hits in 5.2 innings of work.
The Oakland, Calif. native, who was a standout at Cal from 2006-08, was a second-round selection by the A's in the 2008 draft.
Ross talked about his performance on Wednesday and about facing his former teammate with the Golden Bears in this post-game interview.
Former Cal standout LB Mychal Kendricks, who just signed a four-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles after being drafted with the 46th overall pick in last week's NFL Draft, sat down with Eagle Insider Dave Spadaro for an in-depth interview.
Among the many topics was Kendricks' soccer prowess and how he stacks up with players on the Cal men's soccer team.
Click here to watch Kendricks' first interview with the Eagles.
Cal fans should pay close attention to today's Major League Baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the Toronto Blue Jays as two former Golden Bears will duel on the mound at The Coliseum.
The A's right-handed starter is Tyson Ross and the Blue Jay's right-handed starter is Brandon Morrow. They played together on the 2006 team (see photo below) when Ross was a freshman and Morrow was a junior.
San Francisco Chronicle: Former Cal football players make career in music
Bay Area News Group: No. 1 Cal softball team might be better than 2002 NCAA champions
Bay Area News Group: All-Cal matchup in today's A's-Blue Jays game
Bay Area News Group: Pac-12 coaches await details on proposed playoff system
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Under the radar: California
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Coaches conference call recap
Yahoo Sports: College football's best passing and catching duos
On Zach Maynard's spring practices
"I thought he did a nice job. We were so far ahead from last year when he was new into the system. We were able to do much more on offense this spring, and move along much more efficiently. You could tell his experience from last season had really paid off with the speed of the game and the management of the game. He really improved through a year. Spring was very effective for him."
On the main things they addressed this spring and what still needs to be resolved going into camp
On what kind of team Cal can be in 2012
On the transition to moving to a playoff system
On if there is less room for an at-large team in a four-team format
On if a four-team format should be just champions
On The Big Game being played in the middle of the season
San Francisco Chronicle: Diane Ninemire's Cal softball team aims for top
San Francisco Chronicle: Cal looks to host softball regional
Bay Area News Group: Bears top-seeded at Stanford regional
Bay Area News Group: Cal's Desimone named Pac-12 coach of year
Bay Area News Group: Softball: No. 1 Bears sweep Beavers, set up season-ending showdown with No. 2 ASU
Bay Area News Group: Jason Kidd says he intends to play again next season
Men's water polo attacker Ivan Rackov, who was both the ACWPC National Player of the Year and the winner of the Peter J. Cutino Award in 2010, has again been selected as a finalist for the Cutino Award, the Olympic Club announced today.
Rackov joins USC's senior goalie Joel Dennerley and UCLA's junior attacker Josh Samuels as the finalists for the Cutino Award that honors the nation's top collegiate men's and women's water polo players. The award will be presented in early June at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Rackov, from Belgrade, Serbia, finished the 2011 campaign with 70 goals in 25 matches, leading the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with 2.80 goals per game. He also paced the Golden Bears with 64 assists and 58 steals. Rackov finished his four years at Cal with 235 goals, second on the school's all-time scoring list, and tallied 229 career assists and 207 career steals.
The namesake of the Cutino Award, Peter Cutino, was the Bears' legendary and beloved water polo coach from 1963-88 and is one of the greatest figures in United States water polo history. The long-time Cal and Olympic Club coach led 21 teams to national titles, including guiding the Bears to eight NCAA championships. Cutino had been the United States' coach in the Olympic Games, Pan-American Games, World Championships, World University Games, Maccabiah Games and many other international tournaments. He was also honored 17-times with the Water Polo Coach of the Year award and was elected to the United States Water Polo Hall of Fame.
Included in Cutino's championship teams were three Olympic Club teams. The Olympic Club squads of 1991 to 1993 were national champions under Cutino's tutelage and helped solidify The Olympic Club's distinguished water polo tradition. Founded in 1860, The Olympic Club of San Francisco is the oldest athletic club in the United States. The Peter J. Cutino Award is presented to the nation's top male and female collegiate water polo players, as voted on by a distinguished panel of collegiate coaches. Each winner will receive a trophy recognizing their individual achievements and a perpetual trophy will remain on display at the Olympic Club.
Winners of a Pac-12 title last week, the women's golf team will compete in the NCAA Regional Championships at the Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo. this Thursday through Saturday.
We recently visited the Met in Oakland and took in a practice where we talked to the Bears' three seniors - Daniela Holmqvist, Emily Childs, and Joanne Lee - about their careers in Berkeley.
Just two days after celebrating the year that was in Cal Athletics and honoring the many achievements on the field of play at the Oskis, the department honored the Golden Bears' tremendous achievements in the class room at Wednesday's Student-Athlete Academic Honors Luncheon inside Pauley Ballroom.
You can read a full recap of the event including all the award winners here. Be sure to watch senior women's swimming standout Shelley Harper's speech to conclude the outstanding event.
Former men's basketball standout and current Orlando Magic star Ryan Anderson has been honored as the NBA's Most Improved Player, the association announced today.
In his fourth season since the former Golden Bear was drafted 21st overall in the 2008 draft, Anderson, started 61 of 66 games during the regular season where he averaged career highs in points (16.1) and rebounds (7.7). He came into the season with a career average of 8.6 points per game.
Anderson led the NBA in 3-pointers made (166) and attempted (422). He joins Rashard Lewis as the only other power forward to lead the league in 3-pointers made.
Anderson received 260 of a possible 605 points, including 33 first-place votes from a panel of 121 sports writers and broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada. Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova (159 points, 21 first-place votes) finished second and Minnesota's Nikola Pekovic (104 points, 10 first-place votes) was third.
"It's very surreal for me to be sitting where I am today," Anderson said. "A year ago if you would have said I would be the Most Improved Player, I'd probably laugh at you in the face. This year has just been a culmination of a lot of different things and a lot of different people helping me."
"To be honest, the bigger thing that has improved is he's gotten more opportunity," Orlando Magic head coach Van Gundy said. "But he's also gotten stronger. ... Did I foresee this? I don't know. But I knew he could help us."
Anderson and his Orlando Magic team play game four of their NBA first-round playoff series with the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in Orlando with the Pacers holding a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series.
You can read more about Anderson's stellar season from OrlandoMagic.com writer John Denton here.
Earlier this season, we talked to Anderson when he we was in town to play the Golden State Warriors. Click here to watch our feature on the NBA's Most Improved Player.
In case you missed the action yesterday, you missed a good time at Sproul Plaza as men's basketball standout guard Allen Crabbe took on anyone and everyone in a game of C-A-L, otherwise known as H-O-R-S-E.
He ended the session by draining this very very very long shot next to the water fountain.
NOTE: If you think you can do the same, please watch one of his fellow students attempt the same shot right afterwards only to see his shot fall to the ground halfway to the basket.
In a celebration of another banner year in Cal Athletics, the department celebrated the tremendous achievements of its student-athletes with the second annual Oskis on Tuesday night inside Haas Pavilion. Organized by Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Council and Director of Student-Athlete Affairs, Allie Rowe, the group put on a tremendous awards show to highlight the past year's achievements.
Here is a photo gallery of the event, provided by the event's professional photographer Melissa Dudek.
As we speak, this basketball hoop is being removed from Haas Pavilion and is on its way to Sproul Plaza where guard Allen Crabbe is going to challenge anyone and everyone to a game of horse in an hour, weather pending.
Stop by Sproul Plaza at noon and take on one of the top players in the Pac-12 Conference and see where your shot stacks up with his.
In a celebration of another banner year in Cal Athletics, the department celebrated the tremendous achievements of its student-athletes with the second annual Oskis on Tuesday night inside Haas Pavilion. Organized by Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Council and Director of Student-Athlete Affairs, Allie Rowe, the group put on a tremendous awards show to highlight the past year's achievements.
Women's soccer's Danielle Brunache and football's Nick Forbes co-hosted the event held on the floor inside arena.
The first award of the evening was for the Female Newcomer of the Year. The nominees were Taylor Comeau (soccer), Danielle Henderson (softball), Zsofi Susanyi (tennis), Gabby Christman (lacrosse), Brittany Boyd (basketball) and Lara Kruggel (field hockey).
Susanyi took home the honor after leading the Golden Bears in singles wins during the regular season. She finished the regular season ranked No. 14 nationally, playing at the No. 1 and No. 2 spot in the Bears' lineup. Susanyi heads into this weekend's NCAA Tournament with a 34-7 overall record. She also owns an 26-7 record in doubles play and an 11-1 mark playing alongside Jana Juricova.
The evening's second award honored the Male Newcomer of the Year. The nominees were David Kravish (basketball), Kyle Porter (baseball), Will Hamilton (swimming) and Aleska Saponjic (water polo).
Hamilton took home the second Oski of the evening after a season where he captured an NCAA title in the 200 fly with a time of 1:40.94 to edge out teammate and 2010 NCAA 200 fly champion Tom Shields (1:41.07). Entering the NCAA Championships, Hamilton was seeded 27th in the event.
The next Oski to be handed out was Coach of the Year. The nominees were David Esquer (Baseball Head Coach), David Durden (Men's Swimming & Diving Head Coach), Teri McKeever (Women's Swimming & Diving Head Coach), Greg Meehan (Men's Swimming & Diving Associate Head Coach), Wyatt Allen (Men's Crew Assistant Varsity Coach) and Jack Clark (Rugby Head Coach).
The back-to-back NCAA Champion swimming & diving head coaches Teri McKeever and David Durden were co-winners. Each mentor led their program to an NCAA team title for the second consecutive year, garnering NCAA Coach of the Meet and Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors along the way.
The evening's next award was for Female Athlete of the Year. The nominees were Tarah Murrey (volleyball), Laysia Clarendon (basketball), Deborah Maier (cross country), Jana Juricova (tennis), Caitlin Leverenz (swimming), Jolene Henderson (softball) and Andrea Earle (field hockey).
Juricova took home the Oski for Female Athlete of the Year. She was crowned the NCAA Singles Champion last spring (following last year's Oskis) and was named ITA National Player of the Year following her stellar junior campaign in 2011 that also included a Pac-12 Doubles Championship. She was ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation this season and is currently ranked No. 7 heading into this weekend's NCAA Championships. Juricova owns a 25-6 overall singles record this spring and a 23-5 doubles mark overall and a 17-3 record with teammate Zsofi Susanyi.
Next, the Oski was handed out for Male Athlete of the Year. The nominees were Tony Renda (baseball), Tom Shields (swimming), Mychal Kendricks (football), Jorge Gutierrez (basketball) and Chris Yeager (crew).
The 2011-12 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year was the recipient of this Oski. Gutierrez became the first player in conference history to claim both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year award. His postseason activities included invitations to the NABC Reese's All-Star Team and the Portsmount Invitational Tournament. He was also an NABC All-District 20 First Team selection and was named to the USBWA All-District IX Team. Gutierrez is one of the most decorated players in program history and sits on the school's top ten lists for assists, steals, and games played; he also completed his career ranked 20th in Cal history for points scored.
Gutierrez was back on stage again, this time alongside his girlfriend Frani Echavarria of softball as the couple took home the Oski for Golden Couple of the Year.
The male and female teams of the year were the next Oskis handed out. Swimming & diving took home some more hardware as the back-to-back national champion men's and women's programs were honored.
There were many outstanding performances throughout the evening's awards show, including a variety of music acts and a jump roping exhibition, highlighting the outstanding talents of the Golden Bear student-athletes.
The final Oski of the night honored the top performance of the evening. Grace Leer of women's soccer out-shined a stellar collection of acts to take home the Oski with her performance of Adele's "Someone Like You" that drew a standing ovation from the crowd.
Other award winners included Derek Van Rheenan (Professor of the Year), Mohamed "Mo" Muqtar (Staff Member of the Year) and women's gymnastics (Video of the Year).
The second annual Oskis was a tremendous success and a great night for the student-athletes to receive some well-deserved honors. We will have photos and some video of the evening's performances tomorrow on the blog.
Cleveland Browns analyst Vic Carucci talked to former Cal standout offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz on Cleveland Browns Daily last night. The Browns selected Schwartz in the second round of the NFL Draft (37th pick overall pick) this past Friday.
You can listen to a replay of the interview here.
Former Cal star and current NFL running back Justin Forsett dropped by Haas Pavilion recently to make some phone calls to season ticket holders to thank them for their support of Cal Football.
You never know who you might get a call from in the future. GO BEARS!
Racing with the memory of Jill Costello in the back of its mind, the men's crew and women's rowing squads competed against Stanford, sweeping the Cardinal this past weekend in the Big Row at Redwood Shores.
Fourth-ranked men's crew swept all three races over rival and ninth-ranked Stanford in The Big Row this past Saturday. With the varsity eight win, the Bears retained the Schwabacher Cup for the 21st time in the last 22 years.
Head coach Mike Teti talked about the Bears' performance on Saturday.
Head coach Dave O'Neill talked about the Bears' performance on Saturday.
Bay Area News Group: Football: AFC West teams sign 3 Cal free agents
Bay Area News Group: Softball: Jolene Henderson honored by Pac-12
Bay Area News Group: Crews pull together in honor of athlete
ESPN Pac-12 Blog: Pac-12 recap of NFL Draft
Daily Californian (women's golf): Bears win Pac-12 championship in exciting finish
Email the Bear Blog at
THIS WEEK'S TOP POST
MOST RECENT POSTS