No. 4 Cal Competes in Worth Tournament

Feb. 25, 2003

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WHAT'S ON TAP: California (No. 4/NFCA/No. 6 ESPN.com/USA Softball) continues its six-week away schedule, traveling to Fullerton, CA to compete in the Worth Tournament, Feb. 28- Mar. 1. The Golden Bears (12-3) kick off the 10-team three-day tournament against the Northwestern Wildcats and CS Fullerton Titans (No.7/No. 7), Friday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Cal then faces Ohio State (No. 21/No. 19) and Pacific (No. 20/No. 25) Saturday, Mar. 1 at the same times, wrapping up the round-robin tournament Sunday, Mar. 2 versus Minnesota at 10 a.m.

THE FIELD: Six of the 10 teams competing at the Worth Tournament are ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25, giving the Bears a chance to improve their current 2-2 record versus ranked opponents. In addition to Cal's bracket, the tournament features No. 5 Washington, No. 18 Oregon State, Portland State, Purdue.

SCOUTING CAL'S OPPONENTS: The Bears hold an all-time 9-2 edge on the Wildcats (5-3), including a 9-0, six inning blanking last season. Host CS Fullerton enters Friday's play with a 12-5 mark and a .258 team batting average, led by Jenny Topping's .432 average (19-for-44, 15 BB). Hurler Gina Oaks has posted a 9-1 record, collecting 61 strikeouts and allowing 10 extra base hits. The Buckeyes (5-4) are led by 11 hits apiece by Karisa Evans (.432) and Jennifer Link (.355), as Cal looks to extend its 3-2 series record versus Ohio State. The Bears take on the Tigers (6-6) for the second time in 2003, defeating them 4-0 in early February. Entering the game with a three-game losing streak, Pacific's Kristen Allen leads the squad offensively, batting .419 (13-for-31). Cal looks to extend its 8-2 series mark versus Minnesota (8-1-1). The Gopher's only loss of the year was a 6-0 blanking by Arizona. Jordanne Nygren and Stephanie Sward both lead the squad, batting .333.

LAST YEAR AT THE WORTH TOURNAMENT: California collected wins over San Diego State (5-4), Ohio State (4-0), Minnesota (2-1, 8 inn.) and Portland State (9-1), while dropping decisions to Oklahoma State (1-0) and Fullerton (2-1, 8 inn.).

RAIN ALTERS NFCA SCHEDULE: At what was expected to be the top tournament of the year, the Bears and the remaining 23 teams were only able to play three games throughout the weekend at the NFCA Leadoff Classic due to rain. Cal lashed out one home run in each of the three games, by Veronica Nelson (3), Courtney Scott (1) and Haley Woods (2). Cal lost its first game versus No. 17 Alabama, 4-2, as sophomore Kelly Anderson tossed a one-hitter while the Crimson capitalized on three Cal errors. Against No. 23 Notre Dame, the Bears' bats awoke, reeling off four hits to blank the Irish 6-0. Jen Deering tossed a four-hitter versus Illinois State to lead Cal past the Redbirds, 11-0. The Bears outscored their opponents 19-4, led by Woods' 3-for-8 (.375) showing.

BEAR BITS: After 15 games, Cal has scored 84 runs to its opponents' 20 ... Veronica Nelson leads the team with a .455 batting average, 27 walks and 3 HRs, while batting .429 (6-for-14) with runners on base ... Vicky Galindo is 7-for-14 with runners on and a perfect 5-for-5 with runners on third base and less than two outs ... with runners in scoring position, Jessica Pamanian is 6-for-16 (.375) and Haley Woods is 8-for-20 (.400) ... on the mound against left handed batters, Jen Deering and Kristina Thorson have allowed just one hit each in 22 and 21 batters faced, respectively ... with runners on base, Deering has given up six hits in 47 at bats while Kelly Anderson has allowed nine in 44 chances ... with two outs, Deering has allowed only one hit in 34 situations ... the Cal pitching staff has forced 57 fly balls and 123 ground outs.

DID YOU KNOW? Assistant coach Kim Maher was a member of the 1996 gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team. The Fresno State All-American shortstop also won gold medals at the 1997 World Championship and 1995 Pan American Games.

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