Feb. 16, 2013
LAS VEGAS - It was a successful outing for No. 8 California Saturday, who went 2-0 on the day with another outstanding team effort that ended with 18 total runs. The first game on the Golden Bears' twin bill ended with a 12-4 run-rule victory in the fifth inning over Utah Valley, followed by a 6-0 triumph against San Jose State to lift the team record to 6-2.
Cal saw home runs from three different Golden Bears, including one homer in each game from senior ace Jolene Henderson. Henderson did double-duty for the Bears as she pitched two full games, allowing just four runs and walking five while fanning 18 batters. Sophomore and younger sister Danielle Henderson also contributed her own homer to the tally, and senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt hit her third home run in four games.
Freshman Khala Taylor has been working to become a staple in the California lineup, bathing three-for-five with three runs between the two games, the most of anyone on the team. Sophomore Cheyenne Cordes led the team in RBI with four, while each Henderson sister contributed three of their own. In total, five different players owned a batting average of .500 or better in Saturday's games.
In the first-ever meeting between the Cal and Utah Valley softball programs, the Golden Bears dealt the Wolverines 12 runs off of nine hits in five innings. The Bears scored in every inning but the first, practically mass-producing runs in the second inning to start with a 7-0 lead over the Wolverines after the Bears capitalized on a string of walks from UVU's Tiffany Mills.
Junior Victoria Jones started the second inning off with a double, which was followed by a walk by freshman Jasmin Mejia and then a single from freshman Vanessa Alvarez that allowed both Jones and Mejia to score. Mejia would be the first of six walked Bear batters in the second, as immediately after Alvarez both Taylor and junior Britt Vonk also walked. With the bases loaded, Cordes singled and Cal capitalized on an opportune throwing error by Utah Valley to send home Vonk, Taylor and Alvarez.
Even with a pitching change to Utah Valley's Josi Summers, three more batters walked, eventually allowing Cordes and junior Ashley Decker to cross the plate before the Wolverines registered three outs. Utah Valley was able to cut the lead at the bottom of the second, scoring three runs on three hits before the inning ended.
The third and fourth inning featured one run each for the Bears with a score from Taylor in the third and J. Henderson's first solo home run of the season. D. Henderson also got in on the home run action in the fifth inning to drive in Cal's final three runs after Cordes and Decker each got on base.
J. Henderson chalked up another win in the Bay Area battle between Cal and San Jose State, which saw two home runs but overall less action between the two teams than the previous game. Cal scored three of its runs in the bottom of the fourth, starting when D. Henderson got on base with a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jones singled up the middle and advanced to second on the throw while D. Henderson ran home. J. Henderson thumped another bomb into center field to earn 2 RBI.
Fellow captain Ziegenhirt followed suit in the bottom of the sixth inning with her own home run to left center, and another two runs from Taylor and Alvarez came in after Cordes hit a double that just missed clearing the left field fence.
The Blue and Gold will be back at Eller Media Stadium one more time to wrap up the Easton Desert Classic against Portland State at 9 a.m. Sunday.
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