May 28, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 11-seeded California softball team fell victim to a pair of two-run homers from the No. 6-seeded and host Georgia and dropped the opening game of the Athens Super Regional, 7-0, to the Bulldogs on Friday afternoon.
The best of three series continues Saturday with the Bears (44-18) and Bulldogs (47-11) meeting again for game two at noon ET. If the Bears win, game three will begin at roughly 2:30 p.m. ET to determine which team advances to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series.
The Bulldogs struck first with a two-run home run from Alissa Goler and an error allowed another to cross in the fist, giving Georgia an early 3-0 lead.
Georgia held the three-run advantage until the bottom of the fifth, when catcher Kristyn Sandberg had a two-run homer, further distancing UGA, 5-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, shortstop Laura Trout doubled to the wall in right-center and moved to third thanks to an Ashley Pauly sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Taylor Schlopy got aboard when she was hit by a pitch and then stole second to give Georgia runners at second and third with one away. Both Trout and Schlopy came around to score when left fielder Megan Wiggins singled past second base, upping the Bulldogs' lead to 7-0.
Valerie Arioto pitched the complete game for the Bears, taking the loss to move to 21-9, while Georgia's Sarah McCloud earned her 12th win of the season. Arioto gave up seven hits while the Bears worked McCloud for three. The Bears committed two errors while the Bulldogs were flawless.
The game began with Jamia Reid slapping a pop-up to second baseman Ashley Pauly's territory. With a leaping catch, Pauly brought down the ball and sent Reid back to the dugout. Shannon Thomas sent the ball flying into right field, roughly a yard in front of Brittney Hubbard, for a base hit. Valerie Arioto sat back and earned herself a walk, her 78th of the season, to put two runners on. With a full count, sophomore third baseman Jace Williams connected on a rising liner, but Georgia shortstop Laura Trout made the grab to end the inning with two Bears stranded.
Leadoff hitter Taylor Schlopy had a four-pitch walk to begin the bottom of the first. After a sending a ball just foul of the left-field line, left fielder Megan Wiggins hit a grounder at Jolene Henderson, who scooped it up and applied the tag to Wiggins while Schlopy moved to third. With a 1-1 count, third baseman Alisa Goler the ball flying into center field for a two-ruin shot.
Still in the bottom of the first, catcher Kristyn Sandberg doubled to right-center. Designated player Ashley Razey hit a grounder to short, where Taylor Kelly made the stop, spun to throw to first, but her throw went awry, allowing Sandberg to score as she rounded third and Razey to reach. Arioto struck out Hubbard to close the inning with Cal's deficit at three.
Leading off in the top of the second, center fielder Frani Echavarria singled through the right side for Cal's second hit of the game. Designated player Vernae Seville hit one up the middle, which tipped off of pitcher Sarah McCloud's glove. That tip took the speed off the ball and shortstop Trout grabbed it for the out and threw to Brianna Hesson at first to get Echavarria, who was somewhere between first and second.
Kelly walked but it was of no avail for sophomore right fielder Elia Reid lined out to center.
The bottom of the third began with back-to-back hits for the Bulldogs, one from Wiggins and another from Goler. Jace Williams made a sliding catch to rob Hesson of a liner and then threw to Henderson at first to get Goler. Wiggins took off for third when the throw from Ziegenhirt back to Arioto went into the dirt. Arioto pegged Sandberg to put runners on the corners. Razey fired a shot right back at Arioto, who caught it and made the throw to first to get the final out of the inning.
Lindsey Ziegenhirt had a double to get things started for the Bears in the top of the fourth. Williams walked and to put runners at first and second. Sevilla hit a grounder at short, where Trout bobbled it, but she recovered in enough time to get Ziegenhirt out at third. Taylor Kelly hit a liner at Trout, who made the grab and then threw to second to get Williams, who was doubling back to the base.
Goler walked and was replaced by Sarah Sikes as a pinch runner at first. Sikes stole second and then came around to score when Sandberg homered over the left-field wall, giving UGA a 5-0 lead. Razey walked and Macie Couey filled in as pinch runner Hubbard gave the Bears a scare when she sent a high fly ball towards right, but Elia Reid was there to make the catch. In the midst of Trout's at bat, Lindsey Ziegenhirt threw to Taylor Kelly, who successfully applied the tag to Couey, who was attempting to steal, to end the inning.
Jolene Henderson came in to hit for the Bears to start the top of the seventh and she flied out in foul territory to left fielder Megan Wiggins. Jordan Wallace, pinch hitting for Taylor Kelly, doubled with a hit to the wall in right-center. Shannon Houston immediately placed Wallace at second. Houston advanced to third when Elia Reid flied out to Schlopy on the warning track in center. Jamia Reid popped up to first to end the game.