March 2, 2012
FULLERTON, Calif. - In the first-ever meeting between the California and Southern Miss softball teams, the No. 1/2 Golden Bears gave the Golden Eagles a taste of the Golden State with an 8-0 mercy win on Friday afternoon. Bolstered by an Ashley Decker three-run shot in the bottom of the second, Cal tallied six runs in the second stanza to overpower Southern Miss.
With the first day of play at Cal State Fullerton's DeMarini Invitational complete for Cal, the Bears now stand at 14-0 on the season while the Eagles are now 4-6.
Thanks to her first career home run, Decker tallied a game-high three RBI.
"I had no idea it was going over the fence until I heard everyone yelling and cheering," Decker said. "I was in shock! It felt amazing!"
Jolene Henderson pitched four innings of scoreless ball for her eighth win of the year, allowing just one hit and striking out nine. Southern Miss' Gabby Luciani took the loss, giving up four earned runs, nine hits and two walks.
The Bears scored once in the first, third and fourth innings as well as posting a five-run second inning.
"Overall, we came out pumped up and ready to go," Taylor Vincent said. "The scores really reflect our focus and determination.
"It felt really great to be in the batter's box," Vincent said of her first hit of 2012. "On the base paths, I was trying to emulate Jamia."
Bottom of the First - Southern Miss 0, Cal 1:
Bottom of the Second - Southern Miss 0, Cal 6:
Ashley Decker connected for her first homer of the year, scoring Jolene Henderson and Victoria Jones. With two outs, the Bears put the screws to the Golden Eagles for Cordes reached on a fielding error by the second baseman and stole second, where she scored from when Valerie Arioto doubled to center. Arioto came around to score thanks to a Jace Williams single.
Bottom of the Third - Southern Miss 0, Cal 7:
Bottom of the Fourth - Southern Miss 0, California 8:
Taylor Vincent led off the inning with a single to third - her first hit of the 2012 season - stole second, cruised to third on a fielding error and scored on a wild pitch.
Next Time on the Diamond:
Cal closes its DeMarini Invitational tour with a 9 a.m. game against East Carolina and an 11:15 a.m. match-up with Northwestern. Both games will be played at the Anderson Family Field on the Cal State Fullerton campus.