Bears Shutout Portland State, 8-0; Come Back to Beat Kansas, 8-4
No. 5 California (10-4), completed the final day of the UNLV Classic, Sunday, by adding two more wins to go 6-0 and finish the tournament tied with UCLA as co-champions. In Cal's first game of the day the Bears downed Portland State, 8-0 in five innings, riding the strong pitching performances of the freshmen duo Cassie Bobrow, in just her second collegiate start, and Kelly Anderson, making an appearance in relief. In the afternoon match against Kansas (4-6), the Bears rallied for eight runs on 10 hits to win 8-4.
Bobrow came out strong in the bottom of the first by striking out the side in order, three of her six K's on the day. After the Vikings retired the side in the top of the first, the Bears came out swinging in the second inning. Freshman Chelsea Spencer got things started with a one out line drive single that moved Courtney Scott from first to third. That brought freshman Jessica Vernaglia to the plate with runners at first and third and one out. Vernaglia then singled to left field, scoring Scott from third. After junior transfer Roni Rodrigues struck out looking, freshman Jessica Pamanian smashed a double over the head of the Viking left fielder, scoring Vernaglia from third. A free pass to freshman Kaleo Eldredge and a wild pitch by Morgan Seibert advanced the Bear runners to second and third. On the same play, a couple of Viking throwing errors brought Eldredge and Pamanian home to make the lead 5-0 Bears. Junior Kristen Morley popped up to end the inning.
Bobrow was riding a no-hitter for three and two-thirds innings until Portland State catcher Rose Rutledge bounced a two-out shot over the head of Bobrow for the infield single. Rutledge's single was the Viking's only hit of the day and one of only four baserunners in the contest.
Cal went scoreless in the third and fourth innings before exploding for three more runs on four hits in the top of the fifth. Eldredge started things off with her one-out infield single that Viking third baseman Rachel Manibusan couldn't handle. Morely came to the plate and blooped a single into short left field, making it first and second with one out. Senior Candace Harper smashed an RBI single over second base to bring home Morley. Junior All-American Veronica Nelson came to the plate with runners at first and third with one out. The Bears' had the squeeze play on as Nelson laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt down the third base line to score Morley from third. To add insult to injury, Scott stood strong in the box and rocketed a towering double to left field to score Harper and bring the Bears' lead to eight.
That was all the scoring that Cal would need as the eight run mercy rule was in effect in the bottom of the fifth. Anderson replaced Bobrow in the circle and faced five Viking batters, giving up two walks, before Megumi Hackett grounded out to end the game.
In the afternoon game versus Kansas (4-6), the Bears sent All-American pitcher Jocelyn Forest to the mound for the third time this weekend. Forest's stint lasted just two batters, though, as she got smacked around by the Jayhawks' Musser sisters, Shelly and Christi, who hit a triple and a double to start things off. Jen Deering came on in relief but she didn't fair much better. Deering faced only two batters, giving up a double and single, to go down by two runs to the Jayhawks. The third Cal pitcher was the charm, as Bobrow came on and pitched seven strong innings in relief, striking out three and giving up just one walk.
After one, the Bears were down 3-0 to the Jayhawks. But the bottom of the second inning saw Cal bring 11 batters to the plate, proving to be the catalyst for the Bears sixth win in a row. With two outs and runners on second and third, Pedretti came to the plate and got nailed by a pitch to load the bases for Pamanian. Pamanian lined an RBI single under the glove of the Jayhawks' shortstop to bring home Rodrigues from third. The next batter, Eldredge, roped a single into right field scoring Pedretti and Scott to notch the score at three apiece. The Bears weren't done yet though. After an error at second base on a high hopper off of the bat of Morley, Pamanian came home to score and give Cal the lead, 4-3. Harper subsequently chased the Jayhawks' starting pitcher from the game with her RBI double to center field that scored Morley from third, 5-3 Bears.
After the Jayhawks notched one more run in the top of the fourth, the Bears came back fighting in the bottom of the inning. Eldredge led things off with a high bouncing single that squeezed passed the Jayhawks' shortstop. After Morley reached base on a Kansas throwing error, Harper came to the plate and smashed a three-run homer to deep center field, to give Cal a four run lead that they would never relinquish.
Both teams threatened to score in the ensuing innings. In the top of the fifth, Kansas had bases loaded with two outs when senior Courtney Wright grounded out to Pamanian to end the inning. In the top of the sixth the Jayhawks were in scoring position again but a nice relay play from Vernaglia to Spencer to Scott, tagged out the Kansas runner at home plate. In the bottom of the sixth, the Bears had their chance to add to the lead but Pamanian popped out to end the inning with bases loaded.
Both teams combined for 12 runs on 26 hits, stranding 19 on the base path. Senior Candace Harper went 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Cal returns to action next weekend when they face Santa Clara at 9:00 a.m. (PT) and BYU at 11:00 a.m. (PT) February 22 in the first day of the UCSB Tournament in Santa Barbara, CA.
Softball Result at Desert Breeze Complexvs. Portland State
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECalifornia 0 5 0 0 3 X X 8 7 1Portland State 0 0 0 0 0 X X 0 1 2
Win: Bobrow, Cal (2-0)Loss: Seibert, PSUHome Runs: None
Softball Result at Desert Breeze Complexvs. Kansas1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H EKansas 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 16 2California 0 5 0 3 0 0 X 8 10 1
Win: Bobrow, Cal (3-0)Loss: Milhoan, KU (0-1)Home Runs: Harper (2)