April 13, 2012
BERKELEY -It took six innings, a passed ball and a wild pitch, but the No. 1 California softball team tallied a 2-0 win over No. 13 Arizona on Friday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field. Thanks to the series-starting win, the Golden Bears improve to 38-1 overall and 10-0 in the Pac-12 while the Wildcats drop to 28-11 and 7-6 in conference play.
After Wildcat hurler Kenzie Fowler had retired seven Bears in a row, Valerie Arioto broke through with a walk to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Jace Williams followed that up with a grounder back to Fowler for a single. Fowler went to throw Arioto out at second, but the ball bounded into center field, allowing Arioto to move to third.
Arizona catcher Lini Koria could not handle the first pitch thrown to Breana Kostreba, bringing Arioto home. Elia Reid - who had replaced Williams at first - had already stolen second by the time the ball passed the plate and she rounded the base for third.
With her Bears up 1-0, Elia Reid scored when Fowler hurled such a wild pitch that Koria did not even bother trying to throw Reid out at home, which marked Cal's second run of the game.
Just prior to the Bears' scoring antics, Jamia Reid and Lindsey Ziegenhirt teamed to thwart the Arizona offense in the top of the sixth. Chelsea Suitos singled to left and Karissa Buchanan tried to score from second only to be met by Ziegenhirt at the plate thanks to an on-target throw from Reid.
Jolene Henderson (21-1) pitched the complete-game shutout, striking out 10 of the 25 batters she faced.
"I had good innings and I had bad innings," Henderson said. "But when I wasn't up, my team was right there picking me up."
On the flip side, Fowler (12-4) allowed one earned run on two hits and five walks while fanning six.
Next Time on the Diamond:
The Cal-Arizona series continues Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch on a special alumni day on April 14 at 1 p.m. The weekend closes April 15 at noon at Levine-Fricke Field on Support the Troops Day.