No. 1 California Competes at the Kajikawa Tournament
Feb. 10, 2005
Feb. 11 vs. No. 23 Texas A&M (3-0) - 10:30 a.m.
Feb. 11 vs. Massachusetts (0-0) - 12:45 p.m.
Feb. 12 vs. Syracuse (0-0) - 10:15 a.m.
Feb. 12 vs. No. 4/15 Texas (0-0) - 2:45 p.m.
Feb. 13 vs. No. 19/18 Fresno State (0-0) - 9:15 a.m.
All games at Tempe Sports Complex, Tempe, Ariz.
WHAT'S ON TAP: A busy weekend greets the No. 1 California softball team (1-0) as the Bears put their top ranking and 1-0 record on the line at the Kajikawa Tournament in Tempe, Ariz., Feb. 11-13. The Bears, who one-hit San Jose State in their Feb. 5 season-opener, will get to find out where they stand against some of the nation's top clubs at the 19-team competition, hosted by Arizona State. Cal squares off with No. 23 Texas A&M (3-0) on Fri., Feb. 11 before wrapping up the day with unranked Massachusetts (0-0). The Bears play another doubleheader on Day No. 2 as Cal opens with Syracuse (0-0) before a showdown with Texas (0-0), No. 4 in the USA Softball/ESPN.com poll and 15th in NFCA/USA Today voting. Cal wraps up tournament action Sunday morning against intrastate rival and No. 19/18 Fresno State (0-0). All games are at the Tempe Sports Complex.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: No. 23 TEXAS A&M (3-0) returns eight starters from a 2004 team that qualified for the NCAA Region 8 Tournament. The Aggies opened the 2005 season with victories against North Texas (8-0) and a sweep of Texas-San Antonio (6-5, 1-0). Senior outfielder Jana James leads A&M in hitting at .500 while freshman righthander Aman Scarborough is 2-0 against no earned runs. The Aggies, coached by Jo Evans (288-180-2, 8th season), hold a 9-4 career mark against the Bears ... MASSACHUSETTS captured the Atlantic-10 regular season title in 2004 behind a 34-17 record and earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Elaine Santoro (858-372-3, 26th season) returns seven starters. Cal is 10-0 all-time against the Minutewomen ... SYRACUSE welcomes back 17-game winner sophomore Courtney Mosch and three All-Big East performers in senior outfielder Tanya Rose (.318, 8 home runs), junior shortstop Alexis Switenko (.327, 40 RBIs) and junior utility player Cassie Morales (.318, 36 RBIs). Head coach Mary Jo Firnbach (110-126-1, 6th year) and her Orange were 25-29 last season. Syracuse has never beaten Cal (0-2) ... TEXAS was 24-25 a year ago but welcome back senior lefthander Cat Osterman, who took off the 2004 season to play with the U.S. Olympic team. The 2003 Collegiate Player of the Year is 68-14 for the Longhorns with a 0.63 career ERA. Head coach Connie Clark (301-160-1, 11th year) also has sophomore righthander and All-American Meagan Denny in the circle. The Cal program earned its first-ever victories against the Longhorns last season with 10-1 and 7-1 wins. The series is knotted 2-2 ... Led by senior righthander Jamie Southern - the 2004 national ERA leader (0.54) and three-time WAC Pitcher of the Year - FRESNO STATE returns five starters from a club that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2004. Cal has played the Bulldogs 98 times - more than any other school - and trail the series 60-37. FSU is coached by Margie Wright (963-305-1, 20th season).
GAME IN REVIEW (1/31-2/6): The Bears got the 2005 season off to a successful start as three Cal pitchers combined to one-hit San Jose State, 6-0, in front of a packed house at Levine-Fricke Field Feb. 5. Senior Kelly Anderson started for Cal, working three innings, striking out five hitters and retiring the last seven batters she faced. Junior Kristina Thorson (1-0) earned the victory, striking out six, and sophomore Sarah Adams tossed the seventh ... The top three of Cal's batting order - senior third baseman Vicky Galindo, junior leftfielder Lindsay James and junior catcher Haley Woods - went a combined 7-for-12 with three RBIs. James led the way with three hits ... Sophomore Jeana Gevas, a transfer from Cal Poly, had a hit and an RBI in her first Cal appearance ... Freshman Katelyn Valenzuela, pinch running for Gevas in the fourth, scored her first collegiate run.
BEARS ON THE BALLOT: Cal remained No. 1 in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball collegiate polls but have company in the latter. Arizona, behind USA Softball National Player of the Week Kristie Fox, swept all of its games at the Pepsi Arizona Classic to begin the season 5-0. Cal will get a look at UCLA, No. 3 in both polls, at the Kajikawa Tournament.