No. 3 Cal Hosts No. 21 Pacific, Saint Mary's College

Feb. 4, 2003

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WHAT'S ON TAP: Starting the season with a perfect 4-0 record, the California softball team hosts No. 21 Pacific (1-1) Saturday, Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. and St. Mary's (1-3) in a doubleheader Sunday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. at Levine-Fricke Field.

RECORDS TO WATCH: Head coach Diane Ninemire is just 32 games away from becoming the all-time winningest head coach in Cal history. Her 657-336 mark, which spans over 15 years, stands behind former baseball head coach Bob Milano's 688 career victories. Senior Veronica Nelson needs 16 RBI's to become Cal's all-time career RBI leader. Melanie McCart (1994-1997) holds the record at 153, with Nelson currently at 138.

A LOOK AT PACIFIC: Before the Bears face No. 21 Pacific Saturday, the Tigers take on Sacramento State Tuesday, Feb. 4 in a doubleheader. Over the weekend, Pacific split with Stanford, 1-3, 15-2. Brandy Thurman led the Tigers with three hits, including a home run, two doubles and five RBI. Pacific collected a combined 17 hits to Stanford's four, with a .327 team batting average. On the mound, sophomore Natalie King notched the win, allowing one hit, six walks and firing six strikeouts in four innings pitched. Junior Jennifer Dacre absorbed the loss, tossing six innings, allowing two hits, three earned runs, eight walks and striking out three. Cal leads the all-time series, 45-34-1, including a 4-0 blanking in 2002.

A LOOK AT ST. MARY'S: Cal looks to extend its unblemished 32-0 all-time mark against St. Mary's Sunday. The Gaels opened the 2003 season at the Canyon Park Thunderbird Classic in St. George, Utah, falling to No. 23 Oregon State, 11-1, BYU, 9-0, and Southern Utah, 8-0. St. Mary's salvaged a victory before heading home, defeating Cal Poly SLO, 4-3, on the last day of the tournament. SMC utilized three pitchers, Jennifer Eaton (0-1), Jordan Larsen (1-1) and Justine Larsen (0-1). Tiffany Redding hit a solo shot against the Beavers in the first inning and Jennifer Arnold smashed a two-run dinger versus the Mustangs. The Gaels face UNLV in a doubleheader Tuesday before traveling to Cal.

BEARS POUNCE ON COMPETITION: The defending National Champions opened the 2003 season with a bang, outscoring its opponents 31 to six last weekend. The Bears defeated San Jose, 3-1 and 9-0, and Tennessee, 8-4 and 11-1. In her first collegiate at bat, highly touted freshman Haley Woods hit a solo shot down the right field line, batting 5-for-10 (.500) for the weekend. Senior Kristen Morley blasted five hits and five runs in three games while freshman Lindsay James batted 4-for-9 with two runs and one RBI. Second team All-Pac-10 Veronica Nelson, who set the NCAA single season walk record in 2002 with 108, picked up seven more walks, a two-run dinger to left field, for a .429 (3-for-7) two-day showing. On the mound, right-handers Kelly Anderson and Jen Deering notched two wins each, striking out 14 and 12 batters, respectively. As a whole, the team batted an impressive .380, driving 38 hits to their opponents 12.

NATIONAL CHAMPS FREE TO PUBLIC: The defending National Champions play at Levine-Fricke field this weekend before they hit the road for six consecutive weeks. Admission to California softball games is free, with the exception of weekend Pac-10 games. On these select dates, prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. The 2003 Bears will be signing autographs after the games on select dates.

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