May 24, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Chelsea Spencer hit a two-run home run and Vicky Galindo had three RBI to lead seventh-seeded California (47-19) to a 5-2 victory against No. 4 seed, and hometown favorite, Oklahoma (47-14) Saturday evening in an elimination game at the Women's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
The win also represented the 700th career victory for head coach Diane Ninemire. Now in her 16th season at Cal, she becomes just the 19th coach in Division I history to reach the milestone. Her career record stands at 700-355.
Cal put the pressure on Oklahoma starter Kami Keiter from the start. With two outs in the top of the first, Courtney Scott reached on a fielding error by shortstop Kelli Braitsch while Veronica Nelson and Haley Woods worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. However, the Bears were unable to bring anyone home.
Cal got on the board in the second, however, thanks to some heads-up baserunning by Spencer and the speed of Galindo. With Spencer on second base and two outs, Galindo beat out an infield single, and with first baseman Christina Enea not paying attention to her, Spencer never slowed down rounding third and came around to score.
The Bears continued to keep the pressure on with their short game. Kaleo Eldredge beat out a bunt single to open the fourth and Spencer followed with another bunt and both runners were safe as Oklahoma tried to make the play at second, but the throw pulled Braitsch off the bag. After a sacrifice bunt and a walk, the Bears had the bases loaded for the second time in the first four innings. Galindo then smacked a single to left center over a drawn-in infield to plate both Eldredge and Spencer.
After Eldredge walked with two outs in the seventh inning, Spencer launched just her second home run of the season to left field to give the Bears a pair of insurance runs.
Kristina Thorson, making her first career postseason start, faced just four batters before being replaced by Kelly Anderson in the first inning. Thorson walked Braitsch to start the game, and she would come around to score on a double to left center by Leah Gulla. Christina Enea singled to put runners on the corners and that was it for Thorson. Anderson walked the first batter she faced to load the bases but followed that up with a pair of strikeouts to get Cal out of the inning without any further damage.
Anderson allowed just one run on two hits over 6.2 innings to improve her record to 21-11.
Jennifer Stump added Oklahoma's other run with a home run to left in the fifth inning. The Sooners tried to rally in the bottom of the sixth as they got a hit and two walks to load the bases, but Anderson was able to get a groundout to close out the inning.
Spencer went 2-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored. Galindo also was 2-for-4 with three RBI. Eldredge had the only other hit for the Bears.
Over its last 66 postseason innings dating to last season, Cal pitching has combined to allow just four earned runs (six total) while the Bears have scored 41 runs during the same span.
Cal stays alive and will continue play in the World Series Sunday, May 25 when it faces conference rival Arizona, a rematch of last year's national championship game, at 10 a.m. PDT. The Bears will need to defeat the Wildcats twice to advance to Monday's title game.
NCAA Softball Results at Hall of Fame Stadium Oklahoma City, Okla.
California 010 200 2 - 5 5 0 Oklahoma 100 100 0 - 2 4 4