Upset-Minded No. 8 California Shocks No. 1 Arizona, 5-2
April 20, 2002
BERKELEY - The eighth-ranked Golden Bears came into Saturday's contest bracing to face Arizona ace and three-time first team All-American Jennie Finch, who had won 64 of her last 65 decisions. California (41-14, 7-4 Pac-10) didn't let that fact get in its way in an upset bid as the Bears tripped up the Wildcats (41-6, 8-2 Pac-10), 5-2, Saturday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field.
The win also snapped Cal's 10-game losing streak to Arizona dating back to May 1, 1999 when the Bears defeated the Wildcats, 5-1.
Without the services of staff ace and 2001 All-American Jocelyn Forest, who was absent attending to family matters, Cal used solid pitching and timely hitting to keep a potent UA squad at bay.
Starting pitcher Cassie Bobrow, who hadn't started since March 9 against Iowa, looked sharp as she utilized numerous drop balls giving Arizona batters no choice but to chop grounders into the hands of the Cal defense, which ranked second in the conference only to the 'Cats in fielding percentage.
Pamanian's long ball looked like it would be sufficient enough for a Bears' win, but the defending national champions evened things up on the strength of Jackie Coburn's two-run homer in the top of the fifth.
The Bears quickly responded to Arizona's offense, scoring the decisive runs in the home half of the inning. Junior Kristen Morley looped a single just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Lisha Ribellia. Senior Candace Harper then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Morley to second. Veronica Nelson collected her third walk of the afternoon putting runners on second and first for Scott, the team's RBI leader.
The junior catcher, who was robbed of a hit earlier, when she lined out to the third baseman, followed with a RBI double to left, bringing in the eventually game-winner. Freshman Chelsea Spencer provided Cal with insurance runs, slapping a double of her own to bring in Nelson and Scott for the 5-2 lead.
'I thought all our players just came in today and took our offense to another level,' said head coach Diane Ninemire. 'Cassie Bobrow and Kelly Anderson also did an amazing job placing their pitches to give us an opportunity to win. '
Bobrow struck out just two batters, but pitched into the fifth inning with a no-hitter intact. With the exception of the two-run job by Coburn, the Burlingame native gave up just one hit in four innings of work. Freshman Kelly Anderson, who collected her sixth win of the season, came on in relief, also striking out two Arizona batters, while scattering two hits in three innings.
'Every batter, from No. 1 to No. 9 stepped up for us today,' remarked assistant coach Kim Maher.
Cal roughed up Finch, combining for eight hits on 23 at-bats (.348) Saturday, including 2-for-3 performances from Morley and freshman Kristen Bayless.
The Bears face the 'Cats one more time this weekend as game time is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Levine-Fricke Field.
Softball Results at Levine-Fricke Field
vs. Arizona (41-6, 8-2)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H EArizona 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 4 1California 0 2 0 0 3 0 0 5 8 1
Win: Anderson, Cal (6-3) and ScottLoss: Finch, UA (24-2) and VandergeestHome Runs: Pamanian (2), Koburn (12)Attendance: 400