No. 7 Softball Heads to NFCA Classic

Feb. 19, 2001

his Week in Cal Softball
The 7th-ranked Cal softball team returns to the road this weekend when the Bears play at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, GA Friday through Sunday. Cal (7-0), which went 5-0 at the UNLV Classic last weekend to share the tournament title with UCLA, opens with DePaul (4-0). The Bears are 1-1 all-time against the Blue Demons, having last defeated DePaul, 8-3, March 2, 1996. Cal then faces Nebraska, who the Bears defeated Feb. 17, 6-5 in eight innings. Following the game against Nebraska, Cal takes on Long Island (4-2). This is the Bears first meeting versus the Blackbirds. Pool play follows the three-game round robin play to determine a tournament champion.

Head Coach Diane Ninemire
Diane Ninemire, the winningest softball coach in Golden Bear history, is in her 14th year as head coach at Cal with a school and career record of 550-299, winning her first seven games this season. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Ninemire has led the Bears to 13 NCAA Tournament berths and four College World Series appearances (1992, '96, '99, 2000). She is assisted by John Reeves, who is in his eighth season, and Kim Maher, who is in her second.

Cal Sweeps Through UNLV Classic For Second Consecutive Year
After defeating UC Riverside in both games of a doubleheader Feb. 10, the Bears took to the road for the five-game UNLV Classic held in Las Vegas, NV. Cal defeated Utah in game one, 4-0, on a Jocelyn Forest three-hit shutout. The Bears came right back a couple hours later to take a one-run game from Kansas, 4-3. In day two, Cal continued its winning ways, defeating Nebraska, 6-5, and host UNLV, 3-0. Day three, Cal won its seventh consecutive game, this time over Fordham, 14-1. With five wins, the Bears earned a share of the classic title along with UCLA, which also went undefeated on the weekend.

Pitching is Holding Up Its End of the Bargain
After seven games, the Cal pitching staff has a combined ERA of 1.50, with senior Nicole DiSalvio leading the charge with a 2-0 record and a team leading 0.64 ERA. Junior Jocelyn Forest follows DiSalvio with a 4-0 record and a 1.04 ERA. Rounding out the impressive staff is sophomore transfer from Oklahoma Kourtney Davis, who is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA. The threesome has combined for 62 strikeouts, compared to 21 strikeouts by opposing teams.

Tourney Time
During the first seven weeks of the 2001 season, Cal is scheduled to compete in six tournaments. With the UNLV Classic already behind them, the Bears head to Columbus, GA this weekend for the NFCA Leadoff Classic And then returns to California for the Easton Showcase Tournament in Fullerton, CA, March 2-4. The Bears then travel to the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, CA, Mar. 9-11, the Capital Classic in Sacramento, March 15-18, and finally back to Georgia for the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic in Atlanta, GA, March 23-25.

Golden Bear Notes ...
Cal won its first 19 game last season, and have already won its first seven this season, but are set to face tough competition this weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic ... This season, Cal is 1-0 against ranked teams (having already beaten No. 12 Nebraska), and again battle Nebraska, as well as No. 10 DePaul this weekend, with the possibility of having to play against more ranked teams once bracket play begins ... Cal has eight of the nine starters from the 2000 team in the starting line-up for 2001, missing only Lisa Iancin who was lost to graduation ... Sophomore Veronica Nelson has a .562 batting average, 1.000 slugging percentage and a .708 on-base percentage with eight RBI and nine hits ... Senior Paige Bowie leads the Bears with 10 hits, including two doubles ... Sophomore Mikella Pedretti hit two home at the UNLV Classic last weekend, giving her a team-leading three on the season and one more than all of last year ... Cal is 8-for-10 in stolen base attempts ... The Bears offense is outscoring its opponents, 41-10, but have had to come from behind three times.

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