July 16, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO - Though they have played on softball's biggest stage at the Women's College World Series, some of the Golden Bears stood on one of Major League Baseball's biggest platforms for the first time when they stepped onto AT&T Park in front of 42,000 fans. Prior to Saturday's game between the San Francisco Giants and the Houston Astros, the Golden Bears were honored as part of Girl's Day at AT&T Park thanks to the Bay Area Women's Sports Imitative (BAWSI).
Before the pre-game ceremony, the Bears got to step onto the field and sit in the same dugouts that the Giants.
"It was such a fun experience, and a great feeling to be recognized at such a huge event," sophomore outfielder Ashley Decker said.
In addition to the Cal softball coaches and Cal Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, also joining the Bears was Bebe, Cal softball's Friends of Jaclyn adoptee. Already welcoming the Bears, the Giants organization took things one step further by getting Bebe a personalized jersey as a surprise. While Cal softball relished the opportunity to be honored at the game, it was spending time with Bebe that made things extra special.
"It felt really amazing being down on the field, but the best part was how loud the crowd got when they announced Bebe's name," sophomore catcher Taylor Vincent said.
Since being adopted by the team in 2010, Bebe has become an integral honorary Golden Bear and she even joined the Bears in Oklahoma City in June.
"I will never forget the smile it brought to Bebe's face to be on the field," Breana Kostreba said.
In addition to Bebe and the Bears being recognized by name, the Giants public address announcer Renel Brooks-Moon highlighted several Cal softball's 2012 accomplishments.
"It was such an honor to be recognized at the Giants game," Mary Lee said. "It was a representation of all of the hard work, support, and achievements of the program, support staff, and community. It is always special to be representing something larger than yourself and was a great experience. Bebe's presence made the event even more special since she is such an inspiration and large part of our team."
This past season, the Bears set single-season records for most runs scored (422), RBI (376), homers (84), total bases (856), and the highest fielding percentage (.979). Not only do the 58 wins this season set a new team best, but they also top the previous high of 56, which was set by the 2002 NCAA Title-winning team.
"Being honored by the Giants was an amazing, one-in-a-lifetime experience," freshman outfielder Kostreba said. "It felt great to have the teams' achievements from last year acknowledged on such a large scale."
Saturday was the fifth annual Girl's Day put on by BAWSI and the Giants. Founded in 2005 by World Cup soccer starts Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy, BAWSI creates programs and partnerships through which women athletes bring health, hope and wholeness to our community.