March 14, 1998
SUNNYVALE -- In a that day lasted from 8 a.m. and until after 11 p.m., the 22nd-ranked Cal softball team won all four games Saturday to advance to the championship game of the National Invitational Softball Tournament.
Cal capped its effort with a 2-0 victory over No. 8 Arizona State late Saturday night, giving the Bears (14-9) a perfect 5-0 mark in the tournament.
After a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, the Bears began Saturday with an 8 a.m. game against Akron and came away with a 4-1 victory. Pitchers Whitney Floyd and Holly Yost combined on a five hitter, striking out eight. Offensively, sophomore second baseman Lisa Iancin led the way with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Freshman catcher Pauline Duenas also had an RBI single in the contest.
Cal then concluded action in its pool of the 15-team field with a 5-2 win over Santa Clara. Freshman right-hander Nicole DiSalvio scattered five hits for her fifth win of the year. The Bears played long ball to pull out the victory, with Megumi Takasaki socking a two-run homer, and first baseman Jenny Ackley providing a solo shot.
Cal moved onto championship round play with a winner's bracket game at 6 p.m. Floyd allowed just three hits and struck out eight to post her second shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Drake. Shortstop Katie May went 3-for-3 with three doubles, an RBI and a run scored.
The Bears concluded their long day with a 9:20 p.m. contest against Pac-10 rival and eighth-ranked Arizona State. Cal loaded the bases in the top of the first inning, and scored the game's initial run on a sacrifice fly by May.
The Bears added an insurance run in the fifth inning on a solo homer by third baseman Carlyn Rojas. That was more than enough for DiSalvio, who tossed a six-hitter and struck out four.
Cal faces the winner of Sunday morning's Creighton-Arizona State contest at noon for the NIST title.
National Invitational Softball Tournament
Akron 001 000 0 -- 1 5 1 California 022 000 X -- 4 5 1Williams, McCoy (6) and Metzger. Floyd, Yost (5) and Duenas. W -- Floyd (6-5). S -- Yost (1). L -- Williams (1-2)
Santa Clara 100 100 0 -- 2 5 1 California 120 011 X -- 5 10 0Barry (2-10) and Maynard. DiSalvio (5-4) and Takasaki. HR -- Takasaki (C), Ackley (C).
Drake 000 000 0 -- 0 3 1 California 011 000 X -- 2 7 0Haak (3-2) and Thompson. Floyd (7-5) and Duenas.
Arizona State 000 000 0 -- 0 6 1 California 100 010 X -- 2 4 0Breedlove (9-3) and Rodgers. DiSalvio (6-4) and Takasaki. HR -- Rojas (C).