Feb. 7, 2012
Friday, Feb. 10
10:30 a.m. PT - No. 3/4 Cal vs. No. 9/14 Tennessee
Farrington Stadium (on ASU campus) - Tempe, Ariz.
Series Record with the Lady Vols - 3-0
Last Meeting with UT - W, 7-3 (2/26/05)
Saturday, Feb. 11
8 a.m. PT - No. 3/4 Cal vs. Bradley
Farrington Stadium (on ASU campus) - Tempe, Ariz.
Series Record with the Braves - 1-0
Last Meeting with BU - W, 12-3 (3/12/11)
1 p.m. PT - No. 3/4 Cal vs. Texas State
Farrington Stadium (on ASU campus) - Tempe, Ariz.
Series Record with the Bobcats - First meeting
Sunday, Feb. 12
11 a.m. PT - No. 3/4 Cal vs. Syracuse
NE Field at Tempe Sports Complex - Tempe, Ariz.
Series Record with the Orange - 2-0
Last Meeting with Syracuse - W, 8-0 in five innings (3/14/03)
BERKELEY - After seven longs months, the California softball team takes the field this Friday in Tempe, Ariz., to begin the 2012 campaign for a national title. At Arizona State's annual Kajikawa Classic, the No. 3/4 Golden Bears take on No. 9/14 Tennessee, Bradley, Texas State and Syracuse.
About the Kajikawa Classic
California joins many other teams for the traditional season-opening four-day tournament in Tempe, Ariz. The tourney, which is spread out over five different fields, begins Thursday, Feb. 9 and concludes Sunday, Feb. 12. For directions, more information and results, please consult the event's website by clicking here.
Cal Softball 2012 Breakdown
Cal vs. Tennessee
The Bears return all nine starters from last year's epic team
All-American Valerie Arioto is set for her final season in Berkeley after redshirting last year
Valerie Arioto, Jolene Henderson and Jamia Reid were all named to the top-50 watch list
Arioto currently plays for the U.S. senior team while freshman Cheyenne Cordes is on the junior national team
Cordes was named the Junior Player of the Year in January
The Pac-12 coaches predicted a second-place finish for Cal
The Bears earned their highest preseason rankings in recent history at No. 3 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 4 according to USA Today/NFCA
The last time the two teams met, which was Feb. 26, 2005, Cal was the top team in the country while Tennessee was ranked fifth
In that most recent meeting, two Bears hit two two-run homers and another drove in a two-run double to overpower the Lady Vols
The 2011 Lady Vols finished 49-12 overall and 20-8 in the SEC en route to the conference tournament title
Last year, sisters Ellen and Ivy Renfroe handled the majority of the pitching with Ellen posting a 1.50 ERA and going 26-7 while Ivy had a 2.07 ERA with a 19-4 record
Three 2011 starters hit above .400 with Raven Chavanne pacing the Lady Vols (.455), followed by Lauren Gibson (.420) and Kat Dotson (.401) - all of whom return this season
Chavanne, Gibson and Ellen Renfroe joined three Bears on the top-50 watch list
UT lost to Oklahoma State in the Knoxville Regional; the Cowgirls eventually advanced to the WCWS
Gibson plays with Cal's Valerie Arioto
on the U.S. senior national team while Cheyanne Tarango plays with Bear Cheyenne Cordes
on the junior squad
Cal vs. Bradley
In their last meeting with the Braves, the Bears set 2011 season highs for homers (4) and total bases (30) as they beat Bradley 12-3 in Fresno, Calif.
Jamia Reid, Jace Williams Jordan Wallace and Victoria Jones all homered with Jones' registering her first Cal career home run
The Braves avoided a mercy win by Cal by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the fourth
Jolene Henderson pitched the seven-inning win, allowing three earned runs of five hits while fanning seven
Bradley was picked to finish seventh in the preseason vote of the league coaches, but is one of four teams in the league to boast two preseason all-conference selections or more
Jackie Roth and Madeline Lynch-Crumrine were both named to the Missouri Valley Conference preseason
Julie Sherman is Bradley's leading returning slugger, after finishing 2011 second on the squad at .335
The Braves return all three starting pitchers from last season - Madeline Lynch-Crumrine, Mackenzie Camp and Lindsay Hufeld - whose combined ERA was 4.16
The Braves went 13-41 last season, including a 6-19 MVC record
Cal vs. Texas State
The Bobcats return six starters and all three pitchers from last year
Four Bobcats earned Southland Conference preseason honors - Anne Marie Taylor (first team), Haley Lemons (first team), Chandler Hall (second team), Anna Hernandez (second team)
Taylor posted an impressive 1.88 ERA last year with a 17-7 record while Hall was 15-15 with a 2.74 ERA
Texas State was selected to finish first in conference play
The Bobcats are coming off a 2011 season that saw them win the Southland Conference tournament and finish 35-25 after making it to the NCAA Tournament
Texas State's trip to the NCAA Tournament was its fifth in program history and the second in three years
In the first game of the Austin Regional, the Bobcats lost by an impressively slim margin (2-0) to No. 3 and home team Texas
Cal vs. Syracuse
In the team's most recent meeting, the then-No. 7 Bears beat the Orange 8-8 in March 2003
The coaches picked the Orange to finish second in the Big East despite receiving the most first-place votes
Last year, Syracuse posted a school record 45-13 record with its second consecutive Big East tournament title
The Orange lose just two starters, returning seven and adding six newcomers
With a 3-0 win over LSU at the College Station Regional last May, Syracuse registered its first-ever NCAA Tournament win
Senior hurler Jenna Caira will be a forced to be reckoned with for she was named to the top-50 watch list, was the 2011 Big East pitcher of the team and an All-Big East first teamer
Last year, Caira went 35-11 in the circle with a 1.51 ERA
After narrowly dropping the 2010 season opener - a 3-2 decision to Texas A&M - for the first time since 2007, the Bears look to continue their first day success in the game against Tennessee. In four of the past six season lid lifters, the Bears have scored 10+ runs. Last year, Cal breezed by Cal State Bakersfield, 14-1, in five innings.
Three Bears Named to Player of the Year Watch List
Though they have yet to play in a game this year, three Golden Bears were named to softball's most prestigious watch list for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. The Amateur Softball Association placed Valerie Arioto, Jolene Henderson and Jamia Reid on its top-50 list, ASA announced Wednesday. Cal is one of five institutions that lead the way with three student-athletes representatives apiece. Additionally, the Pac-12 is one of two conferences to have six schools honored. Now in its 11th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the national governing body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Preseason Rankings Rate Cal Softball as No. 3/4
After finishing the 2011 campaign as the No. 5 team in the country according to both polls and the final Women's College World Series standings, the California softball team starts 2012 as the third and fourth best teams, according to the preseason rankings released Tuesday. The ESPN.com/USA Softball poll placed the Golden Bears at No. 3 while the USA Today/NFCA standings hold Cal at No. 4.With the No. 3 laudation by the ESPN.com/USA Softball, the poll placed Cal two spots ahead of its final 2011 ranking while the USA Today/NFCA rankings have the Bears one spot of their final ranking.
Pac-12 Softball Coaches Envision Cal to Finish Second
The Pac-12 coaches forecasted California softball to finish second in the prestigious conference according to the preseason poll. The Golden Bears received two first-place votes and 58 total points to take second in the preseason poll, marking the highest predicted finish since 2005. Just three points ahead of Cal, defending national champion Arizona State garnered six first-place votes to occupy the No. 1 spot in the annual poll. Arizona, which took third, rounded out the first-place votes with one. Last year, Cal was in a tie for fourth in the preseason poll only to take second, which was the highest conference finish for the Bears since they tied for first in 2005. In eight of the past 11 seasons, the Bears have finished higher than they were predicted to in the preseason poll. In 2002, the coaches foresaw Cal finishing in a tie for sixth, but not only did the Bears take fourth, but they also went on to win the national title.
Bears Celebrate Holidays With Friends of Jaclyn Adoptee
Before departing Berkeley to spend the winter break with their families, the California softball team spent time with an important members of its Golden Bear family - Bebe Wiggs and her family. In 2010, the Golden Bears adopted Bebe, a local child with pediatric cancer, through the Friends of Jacyln Foundation. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ) is a non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families. This past December, the Cal softball team joined the Wiggs family for a holiday celebration. Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner at the newly opened Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance. Following the meal, the group headed to the softball squad's brand-new locker room for presents and a big surprise for Bebe. Prior to the dinner, the Bears and staff selected a locker that will be Bebe's for the duration. They filled it with presents for her and then gift wrapped the locker for Bebe.
USA Softball Lauds Cordes as Junior of the Year
Freshman Cheyenne Cordes joined an elite group of people when USA Softball and the Amateur Softball Association recognized her as the Athlete of the Year from the Junior Women's National Team program. Cordes helped lead the United States to the gold medal at the International Softball Federation Junior Women's World Championship, Dec. 6-17, in Cape Town, South Africa. She was the only member of the team to start in all 11 games in Cape Town and one of two athletes to play in all 11 games. While seeing time primarily at third, she also led the U.S. in hits (15), extra base hits (seven), RBI (12) and stolen bases (three).
ASA/USA Softball Names Arioto to National Squad
Senior Valerie Arioto earned herself a spot on the 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced Jan. 11. Arioto joined 11 athletes in the today's selection. An additional five athletes will be named to the squad, which will compete at the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women's World Championship, following a 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team and USA Softball Women's Elite National Team Selection Camp in June. In her rookie season with the USA Softball Women's National Team, Arioto started in 24 of 26 games played. At the plate, she was 21-for-57 (.368), hitting a team-high eight doubles, two triples and four home runs. She had 19 runs scored and 21 RBI. Arioto and her teammates who were named to the 2012 USA Softball Women's National Team helped Team USA to the gold medal at the 2011 World Cup of Softball in July in Oklahoma City and the 2011 Pan American Games in October in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Save the Date for 2002 NCAA Title Celebration
Fans, former Golden Bears and their families are invited to save the date for a California softball alumni weekend and special reunion event honoring the 2002 national championship on Saturday, April 14. In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the NCAA title, Cal softball and Bear Backers will host an event at the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance. The event will follow the 1 p.m. game against Arizona at Levine-Fricke Field. Additionally, the entire homestand versus the Wildcats will serve as an alumni weekend. As the weekend draws closer, CalBears.com will have information on how to register for the event. The 2002 NCAA championship was not only the first-ever for the Cal softball program, but it was also the first team national title won by any women's team at Cal. All season, CalBears.com will be remembering the 2002 season and catching up with members of that squad.
The Hot Corner With Jace
This season, senior Jace Williams continues to grace CalBears.com with an amazingly written blog called the Hot Corner. Published each Monday morning, barring any 10-page papers due for school, Williams will write about anything that suits her - life in Berkeley, recently played games, school, her hilarious teammates and more. Be sure to check out CalBears.com on Mondays to read all about it. You can be the first to know of new entries by following the Bears on Twitter and Facebook.
Remembering the 2011 Campaign
After starting the year ranked 12th in both national polls and slated to finish fourth in the Pac-10, the Bears ended the season second in the conference and fifth in the country after making it to the Women's College World Series
Cal closed out the year at a 45-13 clip with an impressive 15-6 conference record
The Bears won at least one game in each Pac-10 series and swept three schools - then-No.17 Oregon, Oregon State as well as then-No. 8 and defending national champion UCLA
Earning the seven seed and top billing at the Louisville Regional, Cal made its 26th appearance in the NCAA Tournament
In Louisville, the Bears outscored their opponents, 13-3, and won all three games to give Cal its 12th Regional title in the past 13 years and ninth Regional in which the Bears posted a perfect record
Cal battled Kentucky in a three-game series to win the Lexington Super Regional, marking the first victories over an SEC team in Super Regionals
The Bears lost the opening game of the WCWS to Alabama, but defeated Oklahoma State before losing to eventual runner-up Florida
Cal was ranked in the top-25 all season, reaching a season highs of No. 5 (ESPN.com/USA Softball) and No. 6 (USA Today/NFCA) during the season
The NFCA lauded Jolene Henderson and Jamia Reid as All-Americans
The Cal coaching staff was named the Pacific Regional Staff of the Year
The NFCA put Jolene Henderson, Jamia Reid, Jace Williams and Britt Vonk on its All-Pacific Region Team
Six Bears merited All-Pac-10 laurels with Henderson as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year
Jace Williams and Lindsey Ziegenhirt earned the Pac-10 All-Academic honors
Cal Coaches Ink Four Recruits for 2013 Campaign
As they have built quite a reputation in doing, the California softball coaching staff has signed four outstanding recruits to National Letters of Intent, head coach Diane Ninemire announced this fall. Vanessa Alvarez, Khala Taylor, Jasmin Mejia and Nisa Ontiveros will suit up in the Blue & Gold come the spring of 2013. A speedy trackster out of Temecula, Calif., Khala Taylor will no doubt be an asset on the base paths. At the plate, she's a triple threat who can bunt, slap and swing away. Jasmin Mejia will fill in the outfield with her great range and strong arm. She also wields a powerful bat. Nisa Ontiveros is a powerful pitcher who is expected to make an immediate contribution in the circle with her great ball movement.