April 28, 1997
Cal Softball Visits Stanford, Hosts Washington in Home Finale
California (29-21, 8-11) at Stanford (24-24-1, 5-15) Wednesday April 30 1 p.m. Stanford, CA
Washington (38-10, 11-4) at California Sunday May 4 1 p.m. Strawberry Field
No. 24 California begins the final two weeks of the regular season with a doubleheader at Stanford Wednesday afternoon. Earlier this year, the Golden Bears swept the Cardinal, 10-2 and 8-7, on April 12 in Berkeley. Cal owns a 33-1 all-time series lead. Cal and Washington met just two weeks ago, with the sixth-ranked Huskies taking a rain-shortened 9-1 decision (6 innings) on April 19 in Seattle. The second game of the doubleheader was washed out. Overall, Cal has a narrow 11-10 series edge.
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 401-220. 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 twice to No. 1 Arizona (10-4, 11-0) and sweeping New Mexico State (2-0, 2-0). Against Arizona, 1B Melanie McCart hit a two-run homer in the first game of the doubleheader, her 10th of the year and giving her sole possession of Cal's single-season record. P Holly Yost tossed a pair of six-hit shutouts vs. New Mexico State. SS Katie May had two doubles in the first game, while Yost knocked in the game-winner with an RBI single in the sixth inning of game two.
Ninemire Wins 400th
Cal head coach Diane Ninemire won the 400th game of her career with the Bears 2-0 victory in game one over New Mexico State April 27. Now in her 10th season as head coach at Cal, Ninemire has a career record of 401-220. For active coaches with 10 years or less experience, Ninemire has more wins than any other head coach in NCAA Division I.
Final Home Game For Four Cal Seniors
Sunday's twinbill with Washington will mark the final home appearance for four seniors on the Cal team: OF Karen Bonini, OF Dina Frandsen, 1B Melanie McCart and 3B Jessica Parker. Together, they have led Cal to 151 wins, three NCAA Tournaments and a spot in the 1996 College World Series. The quartet will be honored in pre-game ceremonies.
Granger to Throw Out First Pitch vs. Washington
Michele Granger, a four-time first team All-American pitcher at Cal from 1990-93 and a member of the gold medal-winning 1996 U.S. Olympic team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Cal's doubleheader against Washington May 4. Holder of 16 school records, she owns NCAA marks for most strikeouts in a game (26), in a season (484) and in a career (1,640). Between games, Granger will be available to sign autographs for fans.
Mccart Re-Writes Cal Record Book
Senior 1B Melanie McCart, who is batting a career-best .317 this season, has broken four Cal records in 1997: single-season and career home runs and single-season and career RBI. McCart slugged her 10th homer of the year against Arizona April 26 to push her ahead of her mark of nine home runs set last year. For her career, McCart's 28 round-trippers are nearly 10 more than second-place Pam Reinoehl had. As for RBI, McCart has 52 this year and her career total of 151 edges out four-time All-American Gillian Boxx on Cal's all-time last.
Melanie McCart's School Records
Season Home Runs Career Home Runs Season RBI Career RBI
Melanie McCart ('97) 10 Melanie McCart ('94-97) 28 Melanie McCart ('97) 52 Melanie McCart ('94-97) 151
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) 92
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 27. 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 eight times. The sophomore has been hit 11 times in her career, tying her with Marielle Vaughn (1989) for the Cal career record.
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 knee 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 22-16 with a 2.75 ERA, a Pac-10-best 161 strikeouts and 10 shutouts. She has wins over Top 25 teams UCLA, Oklahoma State and Arizona State (twice). The Pac-10 leader in innings pitched with 244.3, Yost has pitched in 44 of Cal's 50 games this season and she will likely break the school record for appearances, which is currently held by Michele Granger with 48 games in 1993. At the plate, Yost leads the team with a .339 batting average. She also has 17 RBI, 15 walks, three home runs and a Cal-best .444 on-base average.
Ackley Close 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 come close to regaining the form she showed during her freshman year when she was named a second team All-American. This season, Ackley is batting .318 with eight doubles and 21 RBI. She is third on the team with 12 walks and has added seven sacrifices. 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 16 games with nine starts and is 5-3 with a 3.67 ERA. McCart shut out Michigan State, 4-0, on March 21 at the Capital Classic in Sacramento. She also has 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 50 games this year, the Bears have stolen 45 bases in 59 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. Freshman 2B Lisa Iancin leads the way with nine steals in 13 attempts, while C Megumi Takasaki and OF Karen Bonini have seven steals each.
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 49 of 50 games in right field and leads all outfielders with six assists. At the plate, Drake is batting .263 and has a team-best 20 sacrifice bunts.