No. 3 Softball Heads Into Pac-10 Play With Seven-Game Winning Streak
March 26, 2001
Let Pac-10 Play Begin
This Friday, Cal hosts the Washington Huskies (22-11) at 1 p.m. at Levine-Fricke Field to begin Pac-10 play. The Bears went 1-2 versus the Huskies last season, winning the opener on April 1, 2000, 2-0, and then dropping the final two games of the series by scores of 10-1 and 3-1. Saturday and Sunday, the Bears welcome the UCLA Bruins (35-0) to Berkeley. Saturday's game starts at 2 p.m., while Sunday's game has a 1 p.m. start time. UCLA holds a 53-13 series record over Cal, with the Bears last defeating the Bruins during the 1998 season, 8-1 and 6-0.
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 581-300, including a 7-0 record at the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic last weekend. 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.
Bears Bounce Back After Dropping First Game of Season
After losing their first game of the season to Iowa, 1-0, at the Capital Classic last weekend, the Bears went to Georgia for the second time in 2001, and came home with a 7-0 record and the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic title. Cal's offense came to life over the weekend, averaging over 5.5 runs per game in defeating Harvard twice, 8-0, Southeast Missouri State, 5-4, Mercer, 8-0, No. 21 Wisconsin, 4-0, Georgia State, 4-1 and North Carolina, 8-0. On the weekend, sophomore Eryn Manahan led the Bears with a .538 AVG (14-for-26) followed by junior Candace Harper's .455 AVG (10-for-22) and sophomore Veronica Nelson's .421 AVG (8-for-19) including four home runs.
Junior Jocelyn Forest earned her second Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor after going a perfect 5-0 over the weekend, including her first career perfect game. Forest allowed only four earned runs while striking out 49 opposing batters. She is currently 22-1 on the year with a 0.35 ERA and a Pac-10 leading 248 strikeouts. Forest earned the same honor three weeks ago after going 5-0 with two saves at the National Invitational Softball Tournament, Mar. 9-11. Last week, senior Pauline Dueï¿½as earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors, the first such honor in her career. Dueï¿½as earned the distinction after she batted .375 (6-for-16) on the week with two doubles, six runs and six RBI.
Golden Bear Notes ...
Cal is now 11-1 against ranked teams in 2001, including wins over No. 25 Utah, Nebraska twice, when it was No. 13 and again when it was No. 15, No. 13 DePaul, No. 6 LSU, No. 10 Cal State Fullerton, No. 12 Iowa twice, No. 24 Oregon, No. 9 Arizona State and No. 21 Wisconsin, with the lone loss coming from No. 13 Iowa ... The Bears are 6-1 in extra-inning games, 32-1 against righties and 7-0 against lefties ... Cal has scored eight runs or more eight times and 13 or more runs three times The Bears have had 10 or more hits 11 different times ... Forest's 248 strikeouts surpasses her total from all of last year (234) ... Nelson is carrying a .388 batting average, .906 slugging percentage and a .612 on-base percentage with 5 doubles, 35 RBI, 33 hits and 13 home runs, just one home run shy of the Cal season record she set last year ... With 87 walks in 2000 and another 48 already in 2001, Nelson has already set the Cal career walk record, overtaking Gillian Boxx who had 105 career walks from 1992-95 ... Manahan leads the team with 46 hits, followed by senior Paige Bowie with 37 ... ... Sophomore Kourtney Davis earned her third win on the year when she defeated Mercer, 3-2 ... Senior Nicole DiSalvio is 13-0 with 68 strikeouts in 89.0 innings ... Since joining the Bears after competing on the Cal basketball team, sophomore Jen Deering is 4-for-16 (.250) with an RBI, primarily from the designated player position ... Sophomore Mikella Pedretti's four home runs, doubles her total from last season ... The Bears offense is outscoring their opponents, 188-29, and has an overall AVG of .284 ... Cal has a conference-leading 39 wins and is second to UCLA with a .975 winning percentage.