No. 6 Softball Concludes Regular Season With Trip To Oregon And Oregon State
May 9, 2001
On The Horizon
This week, Cal wraps up the regular season in Oregon. Friday, the Bears take on the Oregon Ducks (27-36, 1-17) in Eugene, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Cal heads to Corvallis for a doubleheader versus the No. 14 Oregon State Beavers (40-22-1, 7-10). First pitch for game one is scheduled for 12 noon.
Discussing the Ducks
The Ducks enter this weekend with a team batting average of .263 and a team ERA of 4.26. Oregon has struggled as of late, losing 18 of its last 22 ballgames including the last 16 Pac-10 games. Last weekend, the Ducks dropped a pair to Washington and a single game to UCLA. Oregon is lead offensively by Lisa Wangler (.372 AVG.) and Alyssa Laux (.343 AVG). Anissa Meashintubby (4-1, 4.04 ERA) and Andrea Vidlund (10-8, 4.12 ERA) lead the Ducks in the circle. Oregon hosts Portland State on Wednesday, May 9, in a doubleheader before the upcoming Pac-10 weekend finale. Cal defeated the Ducks three times already this season, once on March 10 by a score of 6-0 at the NIST in San Jose, CA., and then in a two-game Pac-10 series in Berkeley, April 7 and 8, 4-0 and 9-4, respectively.
No. 14 Oregon State enters the weekend with a team batting average of .263 and a team ERA of 1.49, good enough for sixth in the Pac-10. OSU is in sixth place in the Pac-10, two games ahead of Cal. The Beavers lost three straight conference games last weekend, 2-1, to Washington, and 4-0 and 4-1, both to UCLA. Michelle Charlton leads OSU with a .308 batting average, while Crystal Draper has a team-leading 1.27 ERA and a 26-10 record in the circle. The last meeting between the two teams on April 6 was rained out and no make-up date was scheduled. Cal currently holds a 51-18 series record over the Beavers.
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 591-312 (.654%). 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.
A Look at What Transpired
The Bears continued to struggle in the Pac-10 conference over the weekend with a three-game sweep from top-ranked Arizona and No. 11 Arizona State. Friday, U of A scored four times in the fourth and added one more in the fifth to defeat Cal, 5-0. Junior Candace Harper had two hits to lead the Bears offensively. Saturday, ASU took the lead with two runs in the fourth. Cal battled back to score once in the sixth and another in the seventh to tie the game and send it into extra innings, but the Sun Devils plated a run in the ninth to break the tie and eventually take win, 3-2. Junior Jocelyn Forest, who pitched for the first time in over a week due to a rib cage injury, started for the Bears and went 5.1 strong innings before giving way to senior Nicole DiSalvio who eventually took the loss, falling to 17-6 on the year. Sunday, Cal jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by sophomore Eryn Manahan. That was all the Bears could do offensively, as ASU scored one in the sixth and four more in the seventh to defeat Cal, 5-1.
Selection Show Sunday
As if Mother's Day is not enough reason to celebrate this Sunday, the Bears hope to earn an at-large bid the 2001 postseason field of 48. The field will be announced at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. Fox Sports Net West 2, Fox Sports Net Arizona and Fox Sports Net Northwest will cover the live program. If you are unable to get one of those three stations, you may also view the show with the use of a C-Band downlink satellilte dish. The coordinates are Telstar 5, Transponder 23 (Telstar 5 is located 97 degrees west on the satellite orbital).
Bears Receive National Exposure
The Bears are finally getting the recognition that they deserve. Both Forest and sophomore Veronica Nelson have been selected by the Amateur Softball Association as two of fifty-seven of the nation's finest women's fast pitch softball players to participate in the USA Softball Women's National Team Camp, May 30-June 3 at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. USA Softball will select two 16-player teams to represent the U.S. in international competitions such as the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, the Canada Cup in Vancouver and the PanAm Qualifier in Maracay, Venenzuela during the 2001 season.
Bears Slip But Continue in the Top 10
After finishing the 2000 season with a seventh-place finish at the College Wold Series and ranked seventh in the final USA Today/NFCA Poll, the Bears began the 2001 season ranked seventh in the preseason poll. With 32 consecutive wins to begin the 2001 schedule, Cal jumped to No 5 in the Feb. 21 poll, and a week later found itself ranked fourth in the Feb. 28 poll and again on March 7. The Bears then rose to No. 3 in the March 14 poll, and stayed there for three consecutive weeks. With a Pac-10 season opening sweep to Washington (once) and UCLA (twice), the Bears dropped to fifth in the April 4 poll. After sitting at No. 4 for three consecutive weeks, the Bears fell to No. 5 last week after a 1-2 record in the Pac-10. This week, after three losses to conference foes, the Bears fall once again, this time to No. 6. Cal sits behind No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 Oklahoma.
Nelson Looks To Put Records Out of Reach
After hitting home runs in back-to-back games of a doubleheader on April 25 versus Santa Clara, Nelson, has been walked 13 time in the last six games. Nelson currently has 80 walks on the year and 167 walks in her young career, making her the career NCAA walk leader among all active athlets, and just 44 walks away from setting the NCAA career walk record which is held by Terra Beyster of Oregon State with 211 (1997-2000). Nelson also holds the distinction of setting the Cal single season and career home run record with 18 and 32, respectively.
Harper Turning Up the Heat
Dating back to the doubleheader at Sacramento State on April 11, Harper has been an offensive catalyst that the Bears hope can propell them into the postseason and beyond that, the World Series. In the last 16 games, Harper is batting a team-leading .327 with 17 hits (also tops on the team). Only behind Nelson in both categories, the thirdbaseman has a .423 slugging percentage and .379 on-base percentage. More impressive than her offensive numbers as of late is her fielding percentage. She is one of only two Cal full-time starters with a 1.000 fielding percentage (.964 overall).
The Cal softball family said goodbye to seniors Paige Bowie, Pauline Dueï¿½as, Nicole DiSalvio and Amber Phillips last Sunday at Levine-Fricke Field as they played their final game in front of the home crowd.
Golden Bear Notes ...
Forest returned to the circle on Saturday after sitting out last week with a rib cage injury and still ranks among the NCAA elite in strikeouts per seven innings (fourth - 10.7), ERA (12th - 0.67) and wins (19th - 25) ... DiSalvio ranks 34th in the NCAA with an 0.98 ERA and as a team, Cal ranks 11th in the NCAA with an ERA of 1.00 ... Dueï¿½as sits atop the Pac-10 with 19 sacrifice bunts ... As a team, the Bears rank fifth in the Pac-10 with a .275 batting average and third with a .974 fielding percentage (seventh in the NCAA) ... Cal is outscoring its opponents by a 250-84 margin ... The Bears are hitting .303 with runners on base, .246 with the bases empty and .337 with the bases loaded ... Phillips separated her nonthrowing shoulder in late March, only to return to action and reinjur the shoulder on April 21 at Arizona and has been out of action ever since, but the Bears hopes to have Phillips back by the postseason.