March 12, 2013
A pair of Golden Bears has swept the Pac-12 softball weekly honors for the first time this season. Sophomore Cheyenne Cordes was heralded as Player of the Week, while Jolene Henderson earned the nod as Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.
Cordes led the team in batting in week four, going 9-for-18 (.500) with four home runs, including two grand slams, three doubles and 12 RBI. Henderson pitched three crucial shutouts to move her ERA to below one for the first time this season, finishing with 0.24 ERA for the week and a total ERA of 0.98.
Pac-12 Player of the Week – Cheynne Cordes:
Cordes is coming off an impressive five-game week for No. 6 California, in which she provided several key hits to help raise the Golden Bears to a 20-2 record and a 19-game win streak. The Golden Bears hosted their home opener on March 6 against Pacific, and in the leadoff spot Cordes shined in the Bears’ very first at-bat at home in the 2013 season. She hit a solo home run at the bottom of the first to give the Bears the lead, then followed with a two RBI homer at the bottom of the fifth to total three RBI in Cal’s 7-2 win over Pacific.
Against Iowa State, Cordes took advantage of three passed balls to score at the top of the first to give the Bears an early lead, but her real contributions came with her bat once again. The sophomore doubled in her next at-bat, then came back and with bases loaded hit a long ball to left field to clean the bases. She accounted for four RBI in Cal’s 11-0 run-rule win against the Cyclones.
On Sunday against Saint Mary’s, Cordes’ bat came alive once again. As Saint Mary’s took the lead early at the top of the first, she provided a crucial single clean down the left field line to get on base in the Bears’ first inning at bat, paving the way for herself to score when senior Lindsey Ziegenhirt doubled and cut the Gaels’ lead to 2-1. Cordes helped add another run to the board in the bottom of the third after hitting a double and advancing to home on an opportune error, and she hit another double at the bottom of the fourth, allowing her to score once again. With Cal owning a slight 5-3 lead at the bottom of the fifth, Cordes capitalized on another bases loaded situation and hit another jack to seal a 9-3 win. Against Saint Mary’s, Cordes went 4-for-4 with a grand slam, two doubles and five RBI.
“I feel so blessed to be able to contribute to my team’s success. With hard work, dedication and teamwork it’s crazy to think of what the 2013 Cal Bears are capable of,” Cordes said.
Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week – Jolene Henderson:
Senior Jolene Henderson moved within 10 wins of eclipsing California’s all-time pitching wins leader Michele Granger with another five solid performances for the Golden Bears this week.
She pitched the full seven against Pacific, allowing nine hits and just one earned run while walking one and striking out seven, and on Friday, she limited the Cyclones to just one hit in Cal’s 11-0, mercy rule win against Iowa State.
Henderson’s services were crucial in two down-to-the-wire 1-0 wins against San Diego State and Fresno State in which the Cal defense had to carry a little-producing offense. Henderson allowed a total of three hits for both games, and fanned a season-high 11 batters against Fresno State. On the other side of the ball, Henderson helped the Bears to a win against Fresno State by scoring Cal’s only run against the Bulldogs – a solo shot at the top of the seventh.
Versus Saint Mary’s, Henderson came in to relieve freshman ace Nisa Ontiveros, pitching 3.1 innings with just two hits and no walks allowed while striking out four. She tallied 15 hits (with just one going for extra bases), one earned run, four walks and 29 strikeouts for the week.
“I think me earning this award is a direct reflection of the work ethic of my team. The adversity we faced this weekend and the flexibility that followed is what made us stronger,” Henderson said. “It’s always a team game, and no one can ever win alone, so it is beyond awesome and an honor to be a part of this team.”