April 14, 1997
No. 21 Cal Visits Santa Clara, No. 5 Washington
- California (25-18, 8-8) at Santa Clara (18-39), Tuesday, April 15, 4 p.m., Santa Clara, CA
- California at Washington (28-10, 2-4), Saturday, April 19, 1 p.m., Seattle, WA
BERKELEY, Calif. - No. 21 California takes a break from its Pac-10 schedule when the Golden Bears visit Santa Clara Tuesday. The doubleheader is a makeup from a March 4 twinbill. Cal opened the 1997 by beating the Broncos, 7-0 and 2-1, and owns a 52-0 series lead. The Bears then travel to fifth-ranked Washington for a nationally-televised bout with the Huskies (Fox Sports Net, but no TV in Bay Area). Cal leads the series, 11-9, but the Huskies took the last meeting, 9-7, in the second round of the '97 College World Series.
HEAD COACH DIANE NINEMIRE:
Diane Ninemire, the winningest softball coach in Golden Bear history, is in her 10th year as head coach at Cal with a school and career record of 397-217. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, she has led Cal to nine NCAA Tournament berths and a pair of College World Series appearances (1992, '96). Ninemire is assisted by John Reeves, who is in his fourth season.
Cal went 2-2, losing two close games at No. 3 UCLA (6-5, 3-0) and sweeping a pair from Stanford (10-2, 8-7). Against the Bruins April 9, the Bears jumped on top, 5-2, in game one, but Stacey Nuveman's two-run homer in the seventh lifted UCLA to the win. In the second game, the teams battled to a scoreless tie into the sixth inning, but UCLA broke through for three runs. Cal returned to its winning ways against Stanford April 12. In the first game, senior 1B Melanie McCart went 4-for-4 with a home run and 6 RBI to lead Cal's 16-hit attack. In the second contest, McCart's RBI double in the sixth inning broke a 6-6 tie to carry the Bears to an 8-7 victory. Sophomore P Holly Yost had complete-game wins in both games.
McCART RE-WRITES CAL RECORD BOOK:
Melanie McCart's School Records
Senior 1B Melanie McCart, who went 8-for-13 (.615 average) with a double, a home run and 8 RBI last week, set or tied four school records. Her three-run homer in the first inning of game one against Stanford was her ninth of the year, tying her own mark set last season. McCart now has 27 career home runs, easily outdistancing Pam Reinoehl (19 homers from 1980-83) for Cal's all-time record. McCart hit four homers as a freshman, five more as a sophomore, and nine last season. In addition, McCart has 49 RBI this year, breaking the Cal single-season record of 47 set by Jenny Ackley in 1995. She also has 148 career RBI, passing the mark of 146 set by '96 Olympian Gillian Boxx from 1993-95. Finally, McCart, who entered the season as a career .268 batter, has raised her average to a career-best .349.
Season Home Runs Career Home Runs Season RBI Career RBI
Melanie McCart ('97) 9 Melanie McCart ('94-97) 27 Melanie McCart ('97) 49 Melanie McCart ('94-97) 148
Melanie McCart ('96) 9 Pam Reinoehl ('80-83) 19 Jenny Ackley ('95) 47 Gillian Boxx ('92-95) 146
Gillian Boxx ('95) 7 Corinne Foo ('77-80) 13 Gillian Boxx ('93) 44 Jessica Parker ('93-97) 88
OUCH, THAT HURTS:
Cal has set one of its least popular team records this year as the Bears have broken the school mark for most times hit by a pitch with 24. The old mark was 22 times hit in both 1978 and '89. Cal had its most painful weekend April 5-6 when Bear batters were hit 12 times by Oregon and Oregon State pitchers, including five times in one game against the Ducks. Individually, P Holly Yost leads the way, being hit seven times. The sophomore has been hit 10 times in her career, just one shy of Marielle Vaughn's mark of 11 established in 1989.
NINEMIRE NEARS 400TH WIN:
Diane Ninemire, in her 10th season as Cal's head coach, needs just three wins to reach the 400-victory plateau. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, she has led Cal to nine NCAA Tournament berths and two appearances in the College World Series (1992, '96). Cal teams have won at least 40 games six times under her leadership, including a school-record 48 victories in 1991.
FOUR BEARS OUT WITH INJURIES:
Cal will play the rest of the season without four members of the team who are out with injuries. The most significant is to senior P Whitney Floyd, a two-time All-American who is out with an Achilles tendon injury. Floyd was 2-2 with a 1.56 ERA this year before she was sidelined. Also a two-time first team All-Pac-10 choice, she has a career record of 61-38, including a 22-13 mark with a 1.40 ERA in '96. In addition, junior UT Valerie Nicklas is out for the year with a pair of concussions, and sophomore 3B Carlyn Rojas (shoulder surgery) and freshman SS Paige Bowie (hand surgery) will miss the entire season, too. All four players are expected to apply for medical hardships waivers after the season to gain an addition year of eligibility.
YOST SHOWS ALL-AROUND ABILITY:
Sophomore Holly Yost, who has taken over the vast majority of Cal's pitching duties with Whitney Floyd out of the lineup, is showing off her all-around skills this season. As a pitcher, Yost is 18-13 with a 2.68 ERA, 139 strikeouts and eight shutouts. She has wins over Top 25 teams UCLA, Oklahoma State and Arizona State (twice). The Pac-10 leader in inning pitched with 206.6, Yost has a streak of 40 consecutive innings pitched for the Bears, throwing complete games in each of Cal's last six contests. At the plate, Yost is third on the team with a .337 batting average. She also has 13 RBI, 13 walks and a Cal-best .444 on-base average.
ACKLEY BACK TO FRESHMAN FORM:
Sophomore DP/1B Jenny Ackley, who went through a slump in 1996 when she batted .277 with 17 RBI, seems to have regained the form of her freshman year when she was named a second team All-American. This season, Ackley is batting .344 with seven doubles and 20 RBI. She is third on the team with 12 walks and has struck out just seven times in 150 plate appearances. As a freshman in 1995, Ackley batted .353 with a then-school-record 47 RBI.
McCART ADDS PITCHING TO HER REPERTOIRE:
With P Whitney Floyd out for the year, senior 1B Melanie McCart has become Cal's second pitcher this season. So far, she has appeared in 14 games with nine starts and is 5-3 with a 3.15 ERA. McCart shut out Michigan State, 4-0, on March 21 at the Capital Classic in Sacramento. She also had wins over New Mexico, Illinois State, Creighton and Hawaii. McCart did not pitch last year, but she did appear in one game as a freshman and four games a sophomore, all in relief and compiling a 2.40 ERA in 11.7 innings.
THEFT RATE RISES IN '97:
Through Cal's first 43 games this year, the Bears have stolen 36 bases in 50 attempts. Although that total may not be high by Pac-10 standards, it is the most stolen bases for Cal since the team stole 49 in 1993. C Megumi Takasaki leads the way with seven steals in eight attempts, while LF Karen Bonini is six-for-eight. In addition, 2B Lisa Iancin and PR Meredith Mollner each have five steals.
DRAKE AT THIRD POSITION IN THREE YEARS:
Junior OF Kirsten Drake is playing her third position in three seasons with the Bears. As a freshman, Drake started at shortstop, batting .292 in 59 games. Last year, she again began at short before moving over to second base midway through the season. This year, Drake has played in 42 of 43 games in right field and is second among outfielders with four assists. At the plate, Drake is batting .264 and has a team-best 16 sacrifice bunts.