Jan. 11, 2012
BERKELEY - With exactly 30 days standing between the California softball team and the first pitch of the 2012 campaign, spring practice got underway in serene Strawberry Canyon on Wednesday.
Following a team meeting at the squad's top-of-the-line locker room at the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance, the Golden Bears took to Levine-Fricke Field.
"This year is going to be an awesome one for Cal softball," junior catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt said. "It's great to finally get things going and watch them all come together."
Conditions were beyond perfect for the first practice of the season - sun streaming, no wind with a temperature of roughly 65 degrees, which made standing in the sun or shade more than comfortable.
"Practice is where the magic beings!" senior third baseman Jace Williams said. "We are ready for grind time. Go Bears!"
After a relaxing winter break spent in various locales, the Bears returned to Berkeley this week. Wednesday's practice was the first one since fall practices concluded prior to finals week.
"I am very excited to get the 2012 season going!" sophomore utility Ashley Decker said. "We have an extremely talented team, and I am confident that we will perform even better than last year."
The 2012 squad is comprised of five seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores and five freshmen. Key amongst the returners will be All-Americans Valerie Arioto, Jolene Henderson and Jamia Reid. Also coming back for the 2012 season are All-Pacific Region honorees Jace Williams and Britt Vonk along with All-Pac-10 Team members Elia Reid and Ashley Decker.
Diane Ninemire is set for her 25th season at the helm of the Bears with John Reeves, Tammy Lohmann and Angie Jacobs rounding out the coaching staff, which earned 2011 Pacific Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors.
CalBears.com will be posting a release or feature every day until the 2012 season begins on Feb. 10. Check back Thursday to read about Cheyenne Cordes' recent accolade. To see all 30-for-30 releases and features in one place, please click here.