March 15, 2012
Score: No. 1/2 Cal 6, No. 6 Texas 3
HONOLULU - Thursday evening's game between No. 1/2 California and No. 6 Texas had all the makings of a postseason thriller with the Golden Bears proving unstoppable - earning a 6-3 win over the Longhorns behind two RBI outings by Valerie Arioto, Britt Vonk and Frani Echavarria.
It was a real battle of momentum with the Bears owning an impressive 22-0 record with a 3-0 win over No. 21/22 Texas A&M the day before.
The Longhorns opened their trip to paradise by ruining Hawaii's undefeated season with a 4-0 victory versus the Rainbow Wahine on March 13. Coming into its games Thursday, Texas had just one loss on the season and a team ERA of 0.93. The Bears rocked starter Blaire Luna for six earned runs on seven hits and three walks. Texas pulled Luna in the fourth, when Rachel Fox came in to silence the Bear bats, facing the minimum and striking out two.
Cal went up 4-0 before Texas could even get on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the second. Vonk tacked on two insurance runs in the fourth to push the Bears further ahead en route to the ultimate 6-3 win.
With the win, Cal improves to 23-0, and faces another challenge in No. 18/19 Hawaii in a Thursday doubleheader.
Valerie Arioto started in the circle, earning the win with 6.0 innings of work in which she allowed just one earned run. Her 10 strikeouts were just one high of her season best. Jolene Henderson relieved Arioto in the seventh, fanning two and allowing one hit.
Top of the First - Cal 2, Texas 0:
The Bears put their mark on the game right away with Arioto notching her 10th homer of the year.
Top of the Second - Cal 4, Texas 0:
Bottom of the Second - Cal 4, Texas 2:
On three hits and two Cal errors, Texas plated two in the bottom of the second to come within two at 4-2.
Top of the Fourth - Cal 6, Texas 2:
After plating two runs in the second, Echavarria set the table in the fourth with a lead-off double. With Echavarria at third and Jamia Reid at second, Vonk poked the ball through the right side for two RBI single.
Bottom of the Fifth - Cal 6, Texas 3:
Things got hairy for the Bears with errors proving costly for Cal as Texas scored one run on one hit and one Bear error.
Next Time on the Diamond:
Cal takes on host No. 18/19 Hawaii on Thursday evening.
With her 10th homer of the year, Arioto equals her sophomore season total. Arioto holds the Cal record for single-season homers with 19, set in 2010.