No. 8 California Lets Marathon Contest Slip By, 1-0, Against No. 2 UCLA
April 14, 2002
LOS ANGELES - No. 8 California (39-14, 5-4 Pac-10) lost 1-0 in the 10th inning to No. 2 UCLA (36-6, 5-3 Pac-10) Sunday afternoon before a record crowd of 1,459 at Easton Stadium in a Pac-10 conference matchup. The contest was filled with a combination of both sloppy plays and brilliant game-saving sequences as the Golden Bears and the Bruins combined for seven errors and 25 runners left on base.
UCLA junior Natasha Watley slapped a single into right field and Casey Hiraiwa, on second base with two outs, rounded third and beat Kristen Morley's throw to the plate for the winning run.
The game was summarized by the brilliant pitching performances of both the Bruins' Amanda Freed and Cal's Jocelyn Forest. Each pitcher ran into jams along the way, but both aces showed their veteran leadership as they handled threats with poise. Although Freed had the last word in the outcome, Forest gave most of UCLA's top hitters fits, striking out 11 batters on the day. The tally was the most that a Bruin opponent has struck out UCLA's batters this year. Previously, Arizona's Jennie Finch struck out eight Bruins, April 8.
Freshman Chelsea Spencer, a defensive stalwart, committed an uncharacteristic two errors. Senior third baseman Candace Harper also made an error, but both players also came up with crucial momentum swinging plays. Harper saved a potential two runs when she snagged a Tairia Mim's laser shot down the left field line with runners on second and third. Spencer ran down a foul pop up in the ninth inning, all the way from her shortstop position, catching the ball near the third base fence to record a crucial out during another UCLA rally.
Unfortunately, Cal's defensive plays only prolonged the inevitable. Toria Auelua led off the bottom of the tenth with a single to left field. Monique Mejia then laid down a bunt to move Auelua over to second. With two outs and Casey Hiraiwa pinch running for Auelua, Watley came up and delivered the final blow to lift her team over the Bears.
Forest completed solid back-to-back outings this weekend with Sunday's performance, after striking out 14 Washington batters Friday and one hit away from her fourth career no-hitter, the All-American now has recorded 14 double-digit strikeout games this season.
The last time the Bears went 10 innings was May 20, 2000 in the NCAA Regionals against Florida State when they defeated the Seminoles, 3-2, to advance to the College World Series. Cal now braces for a pair of weekend homestands against conference opponents along with a nonconference double header against St. Mary's sandwiched in between. Arizona State comes in Thursday before Cal faces the defending national champion Arizona Wildcats Saturday and Sunday to kick off the series of home games.
Softball Results at Easton Stadium
Los Angeles, CA
vs. UCLA (37-6, 5-3)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H ECalifornia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4UCLA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 9 3
Win: Freed (16-2) and NuvemanLoss: Forest, Cal (18-8) and ScottHome Runs: NoneAttendance: 1,459