April 17, 2011
BERKELEY - It took 14 complete innings for the No. 17 Oregon softball team to get a run past home plate. But two scores in the top of the first on Sunday would be all the runs the Ducks would muster against No. 13 California, which beat the Oregon, 5-2, to sweep the series.
For the first time in three games, the Ducks scored, and they scored first, when designated player Kailee Cuico proved her worth with a two-out single, giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
A wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth allowed Elia Reid to score to up Cal's lead to 4-2. Ziegenhirt got her fifth homer of the year with a solo shot to center in the bottom of the sixth, bringing it to 5-2.
Cal moves to 28-8 overall, 5-4 in the Pac-10 Conference as well as 4-2 at home while Oregon now stands at 30-11 and 2-7 in the Pac-10.
Arianna Erceg started and pitched four complete, allowing two earned runs off five hits and getting one strikeout. Jolene Henderson entered the circle for the top of the fifth and kept it scoreless to notch her first save of the season.
"Today, I was a little bit more nervous than usual but once my nerves calmed down, I think I got into a good rhythm," Erceg said. "The defense behind me made it a lot easier. Scoring right away made me feel calm out there. All I wanted to do was hold them off until Jo would come in and close it out."
Oregon starter Jessica Moore lasted five full innings and one batter in the sixth before Mikayla Endicott relieved her. Moore gave up four earned runs off seven hits, fanning five. Endicott faced just one batter - Jordan Wallace in as a pinch hitter - who she beaned and was removed. Samantha Skillingstad closed the game with one strikeout in one inning.
Top 1 - Oregon 2, Cal 0:
Shortshop Courtney Ceo hit a weak grounder to Britt Vonk. Second baseman Kaylan Howard golfed it up the middle and then Samantha Pappas moved them over with a sacrifice bunt on a 2-1 count. Cuico singled down the right-field line to plate Ceo and Howard.
Bottom 1 - Oregon 2, Cal 3:
Vonk singled to third and Williams. By way of three steals - two of which were successful despite an Oregon throw down - Vonk was at third and Williams at second for Frani Echavarria, who loaded the bases when she was hit by pitch. Lindsey Ziegenhirt doubled down the right-field line, just inches fair, to clear the bases.
Bottom 5 - Oregon 2, Cal 4:
Elia Reid got the baserunning started with a hard-hit grounder to third and advanced to second when the ball bounced into foul territory. Moore let one fly to Williams, which allowed Reid to come home.
Bottom 6 - Oregon 2, Cal 5:
After fouling off four pitches, Ziegenhirt smacked the ball to the stands in center field to put the Bears up by three.
Next Week on the Diamond:
Cal welcomes Stanford for its annual rivalry series. The Big Game - or the first of three Big Games - kicks off a day earlier than usual on Thursday, April 21 at 3 p.m. The match on Friday, April 21 starts at 3 p.m., as well, before the Big Game(s) conclude Saturday, April 22 at 1 p.m. Youth in 12th grade or lower are free so come on down!