No. 2 California Continues Tournament Play in Hawaii
March 4, 2005
This Week:March 3 vs. Portland State (2-4) 6:00 p.m.March 4 vs. Delaware State (4-2) 5:00 p.m.March 4 vs. Hawai'i (6-6) 9:00 p.m.March 5 vs. Mount St. Mary's (0-0) 1:00 p.m.March 5 No. 7 Alabama (19-2) 5:00 p.m.March 6 Bracket Play TBAAll times listed PST
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 2 California softball team (11-1) continues its early-season tournament slate at the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Bears open play on Thursday against Portland State (2-4) at 6 p.m. PST, before continuing against Delaware State (4-2) and host Hawai'i (6-6) at 5 and 9 p.m., respectively, on Friday. Saturday's action pits the Bears against Mount St. Mary's (0-0) at 1 p.m. and No. 7 Alabama (19-2) at 5 p.m. Bracket play begins Sunday with a tournament championship scheduled for 7 p.m. All games are at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
FRESH FACES: Though California's roster is dominated by seniors, two newcomers have started all 12 games for the Bears and made an immediate impact in the lineup. Freshman first baseman Julie Meyer has filled the vacancy left by Cal's lone graduating senior from 2004, Roni Rodrigues. The Yardville, N.J., native is hitting .276 (8-for-29) with four RBIs and a pair of doubles early in her Cal career. Jeana Gevas, a transfer from Cal Poly, has provided the Bears with some power out of the designated player position. Gevas, a sophomore from Benicia, Calif., hit home runs in Cal's victories against Iowa State (5-0, Feb. 19) and No. 5 Tennessee (7-3, Feb. 26) and has eight RBIs on the year.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Though they have a 2-2 aggregate record, righthanders Vanessa Holm and Michelle Hext, have posted a combined 1.90 ERA for Portland State (2-4). Catcher Rose Rutledge has a .364 batting average to lead the Vikings, who are 2-14 against Cal ... Delaware State (4-2) returns 11 letterwinners from a team that finish second in the MEAC in 2004. The Hornets and Bears have never met before ... senior outfielder Tracie Uchima leads Hawai'i, 6-13 against Cal, with a .412 batting average. The Rainbow Wahine (6-6) fell to No. 1 Arizona on Feb. 20, 2-1 (eight innings) and posted a 7-5 victory over No. 9 Washington Feb. 5 ... Mount St. Mary's, which finished ninth in the Northeast Conference in 2004, has yet to play a game this season. This is the first meeting between the Bears and Mountaineers ... No. 7 Alabama (19-2) returns nine starters from a 2004 NCAA Regionals participant team ... Junior Stephanie VanBrakle's 8-1 record and 0.90 ERA paces a staff that is 19-2 with a 1.22 ERA. Five Crimson Tide batters are hitting .303 or better. Alabama is 1-1 against Cal.
WEEK IN REVIEW (2/21-27): Cal collected wins against No. 5 Tennessee, Mississippi State (9-4) and Loyola Marymount (9-3) and fell to No. 16 Texas A&M (5-2) but the unquestionable highlight at the Palm Springs Tournament was a 1-0 victory against No. 3 Texas. The Longhorns loaded the bases with no outs in the third but failed to push across a run against Cal starter Kristina Thorson, who earned the win. Texas starter Cat Osterman struck out 16 Bears and was perfect through four innings but was saddled with the loss after Cal scratched out a run in the fifth. Center fielder Kaleo Eldredge led off the inning with a double, was advanced to third on Jessica Pamanian's sacrifice bunt and scored on Lindsay James' fielder's choice.
BEARS ON THE BALLOT (2/28-3/6): On the heels of the loss to Texas A&M, the Bears dropped to No. 2 behind Arizona in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls.