No. 8 Bears Head to Oregon to Face Beavers, Ducks
April 1, 2002
WHATS ON TAP: California (35-11, 2-1 Pac-10) heads up north to take on Oregon and Oregon State. The Golden Bears open up the road trip with a 2 p.m. game against the Beavers on Friday, then travel north to face the Ducks, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Cal had three huge games last weekend as it took two of three from cross-bay rival No. 3 Stanford to open up Pac-10 play. It marked the first time since 1999 that the Bears won a series from the Cardinal and the first time since then that Cal has beaten Stanford away from Levine-Fricke Field. Senior Jocelyn Forest defeated Cardinal ace Tori Nyberg twice last weekend, handing the junior pitcher only her second and third losses of the season.
HUMAN ERASER: Junior catcher Courtney Scott has been one of the most consistent players this season for the Bears both on offense and defense. On offense, she leads the team in batting with a .367 average and is tied in RBI with 32. On defense, not only has she committed just one error this season in 390 chances, but the Clovis native has also gunned down 10 of 18 base stealers (56%), preventing opponents from getting into scoring position on many occasions. Her fielding percentage of .997 is the best on the team among players with 50 or more chances.
NELSON RISING: All that junior Veronica Nelson needed was pitches that she could swing at. Through the first 43 games in nonconference play, the first team All-American was walked 63 times and pitches in the strike zone were hard to come by. But through the last 12 games, Nelson is hitting .478 with three homeruns and 12 RBI. Against Stanford, she went 4-for-8, including a key hit in last Saturday's 7-6 win over the Cardinal.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE: The 14th-ranked Beavers (29-9, 2-0 Pac-10) are led by juniors Clare Burnum (.366, 41 1B, 13 2B, 14 RBI, 7 SB), Brynnen Guthrie (.328, 41 1B, 4 HR, 22 RBI) and Shelly Prochaska (.320, 33 1B, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 191 PO). OSU is currently riding a five-game winning streak, including two wins over in-state rival Oregon last weekend, and have won 11 of their last 13 games. At the beginning of the year, after dropping its season opener to BYU, 4-1, the Beavers reeled off 12 consecutive wins. OSU is coached by Kirk Walker in his eighth year and has compiled a record of 244-219-3 in his time with the school. The Bears have the all-time edge over the Beavers with a 50-11 mark. OSU won the last meeting between the two teams May 12, 2001, 1-0, in extra innings.
SCOUTING OREGON: Juniors Andrea Vidlund (.400, 34 1B, 7 HR, 31 RBI, .682 SLG) and Alyssa Laux (.360, 27 1B, 5 2B), and senior Kristi Hall (.333, 21 1B, 7 2B, 2 HR, 13 RBI) lead the Ducks (18-11, 0-2 Pac-10) at the plate. Oregon goes three deep in the circle with sophomore Anissa Meashintubby (7-3) leading the way with an 1.75 ERA in 68.0 innings of work and a staff-leading 60 strikeouts. Freshman Lindsey Kontra (5-5) and senior Connie McMurren may also see action this weekend. The Ducks are led by interim head coach Brent Rincon. Cal leads the all-time series 52-27, and won the last meeting, 7-4, May 12, 2001.