No. 2 seed Cal Tops No. 1 Seed DePaul, 1-0
May 17, 2003
ANN AROR, MICH. - Veronica Nelson blasted a bases-loaded two-out single to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Kristen Morley and give second-seeded California (44-18) a 1-0 victory against top-seeded DePaul (48-6-1), Saturday afternoon in NCAA Tournament Region 7 action at Alumni Field on the University of Michigan campus.
With one out in the seventh inning, Morley walked and advanced to second on a single by Galindo. A groundout and Courtney Scott being hit by a Lindsay Chouinard pitch loaded the bases with two outs. Nelson then proceeded to launch a single to deep left field that easily scored Morley from third with the gamewinning run.
Cal gave itself numerous chances to score throughout the game, but was unable to capitalize until the final inning. The Golden Bears had runners on third base in five of the game's seven innings.
The Bears posed their first threat in the second inning after putting runners on first and third with one out, but could not get the big hit. In the fourth, Scott and Nelson hit back-to-back singles and Kaleo Eldredge reached on catcher's interference to load the bases, but all three were stranded. And in the sixth, Scott and Woods singled and Eldredge singled to center field, but Sarah Martz threw out Scott, who was trying to score from second, at the plate. Chelsea Spencer lined a shot down the right field line that potentially would have scored two runs, but landed just about a foot foul.
Kelly Anderson pitched another gem, this time allowing just five hits and striking out six over seven innings in improving her season record to 19-10. She has collected the victory in all three of Cal's postseason games this season.
DePaul was never able to get a runner past second base. They threatened in both the fifth and sixth innings as runners reached second with just one out in both frames. A spectacular diving stop by Spencer, and subsequent force play at third, on a hard hit in the hole by Sarah Martz thwarted the Blue Demons' attempt in the fifth. One inning later, Jessica Pamanian made a nice grab on a line drive hit to her left that ended the inning.
The heart of Cal's lineup provided six of the team's eight hits against the Blue Demons. Scott, Nelson and Eldredge each had two base hits with Nelson picking up the game's only RBI. For the second time in three regional games, the Bears had no extra base hits.
Dating back to last year, Cal has not allowed a run in its last six-plus NCAA Tournament games, a total of 40 consecutive innings. The Bears posted shutouts in their final three College World Series games en route to their first national championship last year and have yet to let the opposition cross the plate through three regional games this year. The victory also extends Cal's postseason win streak to 11 games, dating to last year.
Cal is the only team remaining in the winner's bracket, and advances to the championship game Sunday, May 18 at 12 p.m. EDT. Cal will face either DePaul or Michigan in the championship game. Due to the true double elimination format of the tournament, the Bears still have to be beaten twice to be eliminated. Should a second championship game be necessary, it would begin at 2:30 p.m. EDT. A Cal win Sunday would send the Bears to their fifth straight Women's College World Series.
NCAA Softball Results at Alumni FieldAnn Arbor, Mich.
DePaul 000 000 0 - 0 5 2California 000 000 1 - 1 8 0Chouinard and Ramacci. Anderson and Scott.W - Anderson (19-10). L - Chouinard (33-5).2B: D - Chouinard.
Records:DePaul: 48-6-1Cal: 44-18