Feb. 28, 2010
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The No. 14/13 California softball team scored four runs in the third inning to end the weekend with a win - an 8-1 victory over Long Beach State - on Sunday afternoon in the closing moments of the Palm Springs Classic. Sophomore Jace Williams led the Golden Bears (11-4) with three RBI while junior hurler Valerie Arioto notched her fifth win of the year in the circle, allowing just two hits.
Cal wasted no time in getting down to business thanks to the first two batters of the game. For the second consecutive day, Jamia Reid had a game-beginning single and then stole second base. Shannon Thomas had a bunt single to advance Reid to third and then stole second herself. A wild pitch during Valerie Arioto's at bat plated Reid and moved Thomas to third. Arioto sacrifice flied out to center, scoring Thomas to give Cal a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
After the top of the first, no players for either squad crossed the plate until Cal's marquee top of the third inning, which began once again thanks to Jamia Reid, who singled to second and then stole second base. Though Shannon Thomas grounded out to second, the sacrifice moved Reid to third to bring up Arioto, who singled to center field and plated Reid. Lindsey Ziegenhirt singled to left center, putting Arioto at second with Jace Williams up to bat. Williams took the fifth pitch she saw and sent it into left field for a two RBI double. Jordan Wallace, in her seventh at bat as a Bear, hit a single to left to score Williams. Wallace's RBI was the first of her Cal career and further put the Bears ahead, 6-0.
The Cal pitching - Valerie Arioto pitched the complete game - and Bear infield silenced any 49er attempts in both the third and fourth, sending the Beach down in order. LBSU finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Casey Burba singled to third base and advanced to second on an identical hit by Megan Denio. Nalani St. Germain next reached on a fielder's choice with Denio advancing to second on an error at second and Burba scoring the unearned run.
Though the Bears had two hits in the fourth-sixth innings combined, the bats came alive in the seventh. Diane Leider led off and reached on an error by the pitcher and moved to second on an Arioto walk. Ziegenhirt continued to contribute, this time with a double to left center, moving Arioto to third and allowed Leider to cross the plate for the first time in a Cal uniform. Jace Williams then singled to second to score Arioto for the Bears' eighth and final run of the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Arioto got Burba to pop up, Denio to ground out and struck out St. Germain to end the inning and finalize the win for Cal.
Arioto allowed just two hits in her magnificent outing and struck out nine 49ers.
The Bears return to the friendly confines of Berkeley's Levine-Fricke Field for their first home game of the 2010 season against UC Davis on Wednesday, March 3 at 2 p.m.