March 4, 2011
FULLERTON, Calif. - After seven innings of scoreless play, the No. 10/11 California softball team broke open the Friday morning game against Northwestern with two runs in the eighth. The Wildcats responded with two scores of their own in the bottom half of the inning and tacked on one more in the bottom of the ninth to take the 3-2 decision.
In the top of the eighth, left fielder Jamia Reid and shortstop Britt Vonk singled through the right side to plate Jordan Wallace and Jamia Reid, respectively, and give Cal a 2-0 lead. A pair of squeeze bunts scored two for Northwestern in the bottom of the eighth, continuing the extra-innings duel. The Wildcats loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, and a single to the right side from Emily Allard gave Northwestern the game-winning run.
Jolene Henderson suffered the loss, dropping her and the Bears to 9-2 on the year while Northwestern now stands at 8-5. Henderson struck out eight Wildcats and NU hurler Jessica Smith fanned nine Bears.
Jamia Reid and Vonk paced the Bears with two hits and an RBI apiece. For the Wildcats, leadoff hitter Emily Allard was their star with four hits and the win-getting RBI.
First Inning - Cal 0, Northwestern 0:
Britt Vonk tallied the first hit of the game, singling to left. She stole second but was left stranded after third baseman Jace Williams struck out looking and catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt went down swinging.
Allard singled with a bunt to third to get aboard. Ziegenhirt got her stealing with a deft throw to second baseman Ashley Decker, who applied the tag at second.
Top 2 - Cal 0, Northwestern 0:
Jolene Henderson notched a lead-off single to left. Center fielder Frani Echavarria was hit by a pitch and then she and Henderson each moved a base over on an illegal pitch. With Henderson on third and Echavarria on second, it was three up and three down. First baseman Jordan Wallace had a sky-high fly out to left, Decker struck out swinging and right fielder Elia Reid did not beat the throw to first on a chopper to first.
Bottom 4 - Cal 0, Northwestern 0:
First baseman Adrienne Monka opened the bottom half of the inning by being hit by a pitch and Lauren Ackerman came in as a pinch runner. Ackerman stole second and advanced to third when Michelle Batts grounded out to Wallace at first. With Ackerman at third and one away, right fielder Mari Majam attempted to squeeze Ackerman home, but it went foul. Henderson then shut her down with a swinging strikeout and followed that up with a backwards K to Marisa Bast to end the inning.
Seventh Inning - Cal 0, Northwestern 0:
With both teams swinging for the fences, eager to get a run and not force extra innings, neither got a runner on in the seventh. Cal had one fly out (Henderson) and two ground outs (Echavarria and Amy Bishop) while Northwestern popped it up twice (Meghan Lamberth, Jordan Wheeler) and one ground out (Kristin Scharkey).
Top 8 - Cal 2, Northwestern 0:
Holding up tie-breaker stipulations, Jordan Wallace took her spot at second to start the eighth. Decker lined out to third and Elia Reid popped up to third. Wallace advanced to third on a balk. After sending the ball down the left-field line, barely six inches on the foul side, Jamia Reid singled through the right side to plate Wallace and break open the seven-inning scoring drought. Vonk sent the ball sailing passed a diving second baseman to score Reid, who had stolen second. The scoring ended shortly thereafter when Vonk was caught stealing. The catcher threw to first in an attempted pick and Vonk headed to second but was thrown out, closing the inning with a two-run Cal lead.
Bottom 8 - Cal 2, Northwestern 2:
Scharkey went to second and shortly advanced to third when Allard doubled to left center off the first pitch of the inning. For the second time in the game, Northwestern put the squeeze on, but this time it worked. Thompson put down a bunt and was thrown out at first while Sharkey scored and Allard moved to third. After fouling her way to a full count, Monka walked. With runners at first and third, Michelle Batts laid down another squeeze bunt, scoring Allard. Henderson got Majam with a looking strikeout to end the inning.
Top 9 - Cal 2, Northwestern 2:
Vonk was placed on second and Williams fouled out to the catcher for the first out. Ziegenhirt struck out swinging and then Henderson was hit by pitch, putting runners at first and second. Echavarria connected for a hit to third, but Vonk was called out on the force.
Bottom 9 - Cal 2, Northwestern 3:
Majam went to second, and Bast moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt. Henderson hit catcher Paige Tonz, giving her a free trip to first with one away. Wheeler grounded the ball to Decker at second and the throw home was on point to get Majam out at the plate. Scharkey singled to third, where the hit was too hard for Williams to handle, loading the bases. Next up, Allard slapped the ball to the right side to score Tonz to end the game.