Feb. 28, 2013
The No. 7/8 California softball team (11-2) faces its most physically challenging weekend slate yet with a pair of doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday at the Easton Invitational in Fullerton, Calif. The Golden Bears meet Northwestern and Cal Polytechnic on Friday along with Indiana and Wisconsin on Saturday.
The team will open the tournament against Northwestern (8-6) at 9 a.m. on Friday, then take a short break before playing Cal Poly (4-10-1) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday's schedule begins with another 9 a.m. game against Indiana (10-5) followed by Wisconsin (10-1) at 11:15 a.m.
"The challenge this weekend will be to keep our energy up. With two doubleheaders, it's going to be physically tough," said junior Britt Vonk.
The Bears carry a 10-game win streak into the tournament after starting the season 2-2 in opening weekend and shutting out six opponents to date. At last weekend's Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, the team held opponents to a .141 batting average with just two runs in four games, and seven Golden Bears are batting above .300. Senior ace Jolene Henderson (9-2) is pitching with a 1.19 ERA, allowing no runs against her in her last six games.
"We're having really positive energy. Everyone is confident about the game, so we're going into the weekend with good vibes," Vonk said.
Scouting Cal's Easton Invitational Opponents
Friday, March 1
9 a.m.: No. 7/8 Cal vs. Northwestern
Northwestern is coming off a 5-0 weekend at the Mary Nutter that included a win against then-No. 4 Tennessee. The Wildcats came from behind in the seventh inning three times and scoring 15 runs in the seventh inning or later. Sophomore Amy Letourneau pitched the full game against Tennessee and held opponents to a .162 batting average in three games, while senior Meghan Lamberth went 2-0 with 0.48 ERA.
1:30 p.m.: No. 7/8 Cal vs. Cal Polytechnic
The Mustangs also enter the weekend having defeated a ranked opponent, as Cal Poly beat then-No. 13 Georgia 1-0 on Feb. 22 and allowed just four hits. The team also shut out then-No. 18 Washington on Feb. 16. Of Cal Poly's 10 losses this season, the Mustangs lost by just a single run in six of them.
Saturday, March 2
9 a.m.: No. 7/8 Cal vs. Indiana
The Hoosiers went 3-2 at last weekend's NFCA Leadoff Classic, beating UMass, James Madison and Fordham while dropping games to UCF and Pacific. The team's game against UCF went into eight innings with UCF scoring a third run to claim victory. Before Indiana's 9-3 loss to Pacific, the pitching staff allowed just four runs with a 0.99 ERA. Indiana's Breanna Saucedo is a batting .524 through four games, while Kassi Farmer leads the team with 13 RBI. California run-ruled the Hoosiers at the Kajikawa Classic in opening weekend.
11:30 a.m.: No. 7/8 Cal vs. Wisconsin
The Badgers marked their best start in program history with six wins at the Diamond 9 Tournament in Florida for a 10-1 season record. Wisconsin pitchers Cassandra Darrah, Meghan McIntosh and Taylor Paige-Stewart combined for a 1.05 ERA throughout the weekend while holding opponents to a .180 batting average. Six Badgers who have played in all 11 games are batting above .300 with Mary Massei leading the team in RBI (17), home runs (4) and doubles (5).
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