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.