Forest Strikes Out 13 in 4-2 Victory Over No. 1 Seed Cal State Fullerton in NCAA Regional Semifinal
May 18, 2002
FRESNO, Calif. - No. 3 seed California advanced to the championship game of the NCAA West Regional Saturday afternoon at Bulldog Diamond as the Golden Bears (51-19) defeated No. 1 Cal State Fullerton (52-12), 4-2, in the semifinals.
Cal senior pitcher Jocelyn Forest started her third game in as many days, pitching perhaps her best game thus far with a 13-strikeout performance against the Titans.
Cal brought across a run right away, spotting Forest a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, junior Kristen Morley reached first after getting hit by a Jodie Cox pitch. Morley reached second on senior Candace Harper's fielder's choice. Titan shortstop Amanda Hockett bobbled Harper's grounder and had no play at second or first. The NCAA single season record holder, junior Veronica Nelson, walked for the 96th time to set the table up for junior Courtney Scott.
Scott, who smashed the game-winning double yesterday versus Stanford, hit a chopper to the shortstop, bringing home Morley.
Fullerton evened things up in the home half of the second inning as Hockett was, also was hit by a pitch. Shawna Robinson followed with a liner that got by a diving freshman Kaleo Eldredge for a RBI triple.
'This was a great game today,' said California coach Diane Ninemire. 'Jocelyn Forest gave her heart out there for us. Every batter hit by a ball today scored so the moral of the story is - don't hit batters.'
Fortunately, the Bears went ahead again in the third inning when Eldredge reached base on a bean ball. She went to second on a hit-and-run play and scored when Harper roped a single to left center, giving the third baseman 137 RBI in her career, which is third all-time at Cal.
In the fourth, Cal added another two runs on a rare inside-the-park homerun. Freshman Chelsea Spencer led off the inning with a one-out double to left center. Junior Mikella Pedretti hit a diving line drive to left field where Yasmi Mossadeghi's lunging attempt failed, allowing the ball to roll a down to the left field fence. Spencer scored and Pedretti came in with a 'stand-up' homerun.
'I kind of sneaked a peak between first and second to see where the ball was,' said Pedretti. 'I couldn't believe it when I saw coach wave me around third. My eyes just got really big.'
'I'd made a decision to send her before the center fielder even bobbled the ball,' added Ninemire.
In the bottom half of the inning, Fullerton looked as if it was starting a rally as Mossadeghi led off the frame with a solo homer to center. Amy LaRocque blooped a single down the left field line and it looked as though the Titans were well on their way to a comeback but LaRocque was picked off during the next at-bat as Scott threw down to first base. LaRocque, having no choice but to attempt second, was tagged out by Spencer. Hockett made the second out on a fly ball to left and Forest struck-out her sixth batter in Robinson to end the inning.
Forest had another dominating performance, recording her 17th double-digit strikeout performance and her 30th complete game of the year. She walked three while scattering three hits.
'Every batter I face I try to strikeout,' said Forest. 'That's my goal.'
'I thought that Jocelyn threw a spectacular game today,' said Ninemire. 'To throw three days in a row at this level of competition is outstanding. I felt the players were focused today at the plate and that was a positive thing for us. It was nice to be able to score four runs today.'
The Bears handed Fullerton starting pitcher Cox her first loss in her last 14 decisions. Cox struck out three batters, surrendering four hits before being relieved by Chris Robitaille in the fifth inning.
Cal awaits the winner of the Cal State Fullerton-Stanford game. A rematch with the winning team is set for Sunday at noon at Bulldog Diamond.
Softball Results at Bulldog Stadium
vs. Cal State Fullerton (52-11)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECalifornia 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 4 6 0Cal State Fullerton 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 3
Win: Forest, Cal (24-12) and ScottLoss: Cox, CSFU (18-5), Robitaille (5) and LaRocqueHome Runs: Cal, Pedretti (3); CSF, Mossadeghi (13)Attendance: N/A