Feb. 12, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. - The No. 11/12 California softball team posted an early 2-0 lead over Texas A&M, but the Aggies emerged the victors, 3-2. The game, which was the first of the 2010 campaign for both squads, took place Friday morning at Farrington Stadium as part of the Kajikawa Classic hosted by Arizona State. The Golden Bears (0-1) built their lead with a two-run second inning only to fall victim to an Aggie three-run roundtripper in the top of the seventh.
Thanks to a perfect throw down from Lindsey Ziegenhirt behind the dish to Taylor Kelly at short to catch A&Ms Macie Morrow stealing, the Bears sent the Aggies down in order in the first and second innings.
Cal broke through in its half of the second. Ziegenhirt led off and smashed the third pitch she saw from A&M hurler Rebecca Arbino over the fence in right field. Next up was Shannon Thomas, who watched a ball go by before singling to third base for the Bears' second hit of the second inning. Thomas stole second and then advanced to third on a pass ball but was held up when Elia Reid grounded out to Arbino in the circle.
With one away, Kelly was up next and took a sacrifice ground out at first to score Thomas, putting Cal up 2-0. Frani Echavarria singled to third and stole before Valerie Arioto closed the two-run, three-hit inning with a ground out.
The Bears tallied one hit in both the third and fourth and two in their half of the fifth but stranded a total four baserunners, failing to bring anyone home.
It looked like a done deal until the top of the seventh, when the Aggies came out firing. Alex Reynolds began the inning earning a walk before Arioto struck out Bailey Schroeder on four pitches. Melissa Dumezich then walked, advancing Reynolds to second, and Sydney Shannon, who stepped in to pinch hit, homered to center to bring around three runs for her Aggies. After Lauren Schwirtlich singled to short, freshman pitcher Jolene Henderson stepped in for Arioto. Henderson, in her first collegiate appearance, struck out the following batters looking to close the damaging inning.
Cal could not connect in the final half inning. Echavarria grounded out to the pitcher, Arioto struck out swinging as did Jamia Reid to close the game.
Arioto started for the Bears, fanning nine batters and allowing just three hits. Henderson struck out both of the two batters she faced in the top of the seventh. Ziegenhirt and Thomas led the Bears with one run each while Kelly and Ziegenhirt each earned an RBI. Sophomore transfer Jace Williams paced the Bears with two hits.
It was the first game in a Cal uniform for Williams (third base) and freshmen Henderson (first base, pitcher) and Ziegenhirt (catcher).
The Bears next play Wisconsin on Friday afternoon as part of their five-game weekend in Arizona.