No. 6 Cal Travels to NIST Tournament in Sunnyvale

March 4, 2003

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WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 6 California travels to Sunnyvale for its fourth consecutive tournament, competing in the National Invitational Softball Tournament hosted by San Jose State Mar. 7-9 at the Twin Creeks Sports Complex. The Golden Bears (14-6) square up against No. 24 Minnesota (10-4-1) Friday, Mar. 7 at 3 p.m. followed by a nightcap versus Sacramento State (14-4-0) at 7 p.m. The 11-team tournament continues on Saturday with bracket play and the championships on Sunday.

THE FIELD: For the first time this season, Cal has the chance to compete against conference opponents, as three Pac-10 teams will make the trip to Sunnyvale: No. 10 Arizona State, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 23 Oregon. In addition to the Golden Gophers, and Hornets and Pac-10 schools, the NIST features San Jose State, Missouri-Kansas City, Santa Clara, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.

SCOUTING MINNESOTA: Cal faces the Golden Gophers in part two of the double header, after a week's rest and a relocation of fields. The two teams competed on the last day of the Worth Invitational last Sunday, with the Bears blanking Minnesota, 7-0. Nygrern Jordanne leads the team in hits (13), RBI (14), HR (3) and runs (8) with a .310 BA. Opponents are hitting .207 against the three-deep pitching staff. Cal holds the all-time series edge with a 9-2 record.

SCOUTING SACRAMENTO STATE: The Hornets come off a 10-game winning streak that was broken by San Jose State, 3-2. Erin Coyne leads the offensive attack with a top-notch .407 BA, including 22 hits, 18 RBI and three doubles. The pitching staff holds an solid 1.54 ERA, holding opponents to a .232 BA, while allowing 21 extra base hits. The Bears hold a dominating 42-19 all-time mark against the Hornets, including a 6-2 win in 2002.

LAST YEAR AT THE NIST:The Bears opened up pool play with wins against Miami (12-1), Santa Clara (6-3) and Virginia (7-1) before falling to Long Beach State, 1-0. The third day of the tournament was rained out, crowning Arizona State, which remained undefeated throughout pool play, as NIST champs.

BEARS FIND TWO WINS BEFORE LEAVING WORTH INVITATIONAL: Despite outscoring its opponents' 21 to 10, Cal suffered three losses by one run, falling to Northwestern, 5-4, in eight innings, No. 7 Fullerton (5-4) in the bottom of the seventh, and No. 20 Ohio State, 1-0, off a solo home run. The Bears found their bats against Pacific and Minnesota, however, collecting 15 hits between the twin 7-0 victories on the final two games of the tourney.

SUPER SOPHOMORES: Sophomores Kelly Anderson and Jessica Pamanian left the weekend on a high note against the Golden Gophers, as Anderson tossed her first career complete game no-hitter and Pamanian roped her second career grand slam in the triumph.

FREE TICKET, ALL ABOARD: Veronica Nelson added eight walks to her season list at the Worth Tournament, currently tallying 35 in the 20 games played. Her 1.75 walk per game ratio is on a steady track to threaten her NCAA record 108 walks last season.

RECORDS TO WATCH:

7 - Senior Veronica Nelson needs seven RBI to become the all-time Cal career RBI leader. The first baseman currently stands in second place with 147, quickly catching up to Melanie McCart's (1994-97) 153.

22 - Head coach Diane Ninemire is just 22 victories away from collecting the most wins by a Cal coach in school history. Former baseball head coach Bob Milano holds the record at 688.

CAL IN THE POLLS:

NFCA ESPN.com/ USA SoftballPreseason 32/19 42/25 6 63/4 n/a 9

PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL:

School (1st place votes) Points1. UCLA (5) 462. Arizona (3) 443. Washington 334. California 30 Stanford 306. Arizona State 207. Oregon State 148. Oregon 7

HEAD COACHDiane Ninemire, the all-time winningest coach in the school's women's sports history, added another milestone to her resume this past season when she guided the Golden Bears to the 2002 Women's College World Series national title.Ninemire has led Cal to the NCAA postseason during each of her 15 seasons at the helm, including trips to the College World Series in 1992, '96, '99, '00, '01 and '02. In 2002, the Bears swept through their competition, notching a perfect 4-0 mark at the regionals in Fresno and again at the WCWS in Oklahoma City, Okla. Cal claimed the NCAA title with a 6-0 victory over defending champion Arizona.Ninemire enters her 16th season as head coach, equipped with a current career mark of 667-342.

IMPORTANT NUMBERS:Amy Mellin (SID) (510) 643-5846Media Relations Fax (510) 643-7778SID email amellin@uclink.berkeley.eduSoftball Office (510) 642-1449Softball Fax (510) 643-1116World Wide web www.calbears.com

INSIDE THE HEAD OF AN ALL-AMERICAN:

First baseman Veronica Nelson writes a weekly journal entry posted on the calbears website, Roni's Remarks. It can be found at: http://calbears.ocsn.com/sports/w-softbl/spec-rel/nelson-index.html.

STREAKIN': Sophomore Jessica Pamanian is currently riding a five-game hitting streak. The second baseman/outfielder batted .353 (6-for-17) at the Worth Invitational for a .588 slugging average.

CLUTCH: California has a .307 BA with runners on base compared to its' opponents .172 BA. Sophomore Linzi Wescott leads the pack with a .533 BA (8-for-15) in the situation, as freshman Haley Woods heads the team with 12 hits (12-for-32) with ducks on the pond.

LET'S GIVE 'EM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: The Cal pitching staff currently posts a 7.87 strikeout per game ratio, combining for a whopping 150 K's 20 games into the season, topped by Kristina Thorson's 10 strikeout performance vs. Northwestern (2/28).

PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR:Sophomore shortstop Chelsea Spencer and senior first baseman Veronica Nelson are the only Cal players to have started in every game this season. Spencer started in all 75 games in the Bears' National Championship season, while Nelson has only missed three games while wearing a Blue and Gold uniform in her four-year career.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR:Four of Cal's six losses have come from a one run margin. In these six games, opponents have outscored the Bears, 21 to 10.

DEFENDING CHAMPS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS:The Bears have posted a 3-4 mark versus ranked opponents, with a .207 BA to their foes' .148 BA. Cal has produced more runs (24 to 16) and hits (36 to 24) despite these losses.

UP-TO-DATE BEAR BITS: Cal has produced 105 runs to its' opponents 30 ... the pitching staff has allowed only 11 extra base hits while tossing eight shutouts.

SIDELINE REPORT: In the loss to Fullerton Friday night, starting designated hitter Haley Woods broke her wrist after being hit by a pitch. Her return date is unknown as of now. Freshman right hander Chanel Tripp will not be competing this season.

NELSON AND SCOTT SELECTED AS PLAYERS TO WATCH:Seniors Veronica Nelson and Courtney Scott were among the 40 players named to the initial list of players to watch for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball, is the only national player of the year award in college softball. The first 25 finalists will be announced Apr. 8th. The list will then be reduced to ten players on Apr. 29th, with three finalists being named on May 13th. The winner will be announced at the World Series in Oklahoma City, OK.

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