No. 5 California Splits in First Day of Fiesta Bowl Tourney
Feb. 8, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. - Fifth-ranked Cal (3-2) opened up the Fiesta Bowl Classic with a split Friday as the Golden Bears defeated the Kansas Jayhawks (0-2) in the nightcap, 6-2, and was edged by No. 16 Fresno State, 1-0, in the morning game.
The Bulldogs (1-1) scored the lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lori Hoffman walked to lead off the inning and moved to second off of Pam West's sacrifice grounder. Leticia Pacheco singled to left center scoring Hoffman.
The Bears threatened in the first inning as freshman Kaleo Eldredge blooped to right field with one out. Candace Harper followed with a single passed the outstretched glove of the third baseman into left field. Veronica Nelson walked to load the bases, but Bulldog pitcher Jamie Southern defused the threat, forcing Kelly Anderson to ground into a double play to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, the Bears made a last ditched effort to knot the score as freshman Chelsea Spencer walked to open the inning. Eldredge moved her to second base on a sacrifice, while Harper walked. This brought up clean-up hitter Nelson, but with third base empty and a home run threat at the place, the Bulldogs walked the junior All-American. Anderson came to the plate with the bases juiced, but was doubled up when she lined to Southern, who then putout pinch runner Jessica Vernaglia at first base.
Cal reached base in every inning, but stranded 11 runners. Eldredge led the Bears going 2-for-2 with a walk and her second stolen base of the season.
Senior pitcher Jocelyn Forest struck out five and walked just one batter, but drops to 1-2 on the season.
'We left 25 runners on base against Pacific and Fresno State combined, but we finally came through against Kansas with some timely hits,' said assistant coach John Reeves. 'We're just going through a maturing process with so many young players. A lot of our freshmen are learning to play against top-flight athletes game-in and game-out. Things will come around.'
In the second game Cal scored early, giving pitcher Jen Deering two runs in the bottom of the second. Nelson led off with a homer to left center. Anderson reached base when Kansas third baseman Megan Urquhart bobbled the ball. Jessica Pamanian laid down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Roni Rodrigues over to second. After Courtney Scott took four balls, Jennifer Bayless slapped a double down the left field line to bring in Rodrigues.
Kansas pitcher Kara Pierce got into trouble again in the bottom of the third inning as she started off the stanza walking Harper. She then gave up a single to Nelson, before striking out Anderson. Pamanian drew a walk, then Scott hit a line drive, base-clearing double into the gap in left center to give Cal a 5-0 lead.
The Jayhawks responded with a two-run outburst in the top of the fifth inning as Melanie Wallach hit a homer, the first of her career, with Christi Musser on first. That's all KU could manage for the contest as Deering collected her second complete game in as many games, improving to 2-0 for the year.
Vernaglia finished off the scoring with her first career homerun in the bottom of the sixth with one out and nobody on base.
'I just tried to be patient and she through my pitch,' said Vernaglia. 'I just stayed back and just saw it.'
With the win over Kansas, the Bears avoided a three-game nonconference losing streak, which hasn't happened since Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 1998, when they lost to Oklahoma, Florida and Oklahoma State in consecutive games.
'Its too early to say anything,' said assistant coach Kim Maher. 'There was some disappointments (through this stretch), but there were also some good things.'
Cal faces Texas at 3:30 p.m. (MT) and UNLV at 5:30 p.m. (MT) in the second day of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.
Softball Result at Rose Mofford Sports Complex
vs. Fresno State 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECalifornia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0Fresno State 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 1 3 0Softball Result at Farrington Stadium
Win: Southern, FSU (1-0)Loss: Forest, Cal (1-2)Home Runs: None
vs. Kansas 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H EKansas 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0California 0 2 3 0 0 1 X 6 0 0
Win: Deering, Cal (2-0)Loss: Pierce, KU (0-1)Home Runs: Veronica Nelson, Cal (1), Jessica Vernaglia, Cal (1)