No. 2 California (18-1) Competes at the NIST
March 10, 2005
This Week:At the National Invitational TournamentMarch 11 vs. Santa Clara (10-10), 4:00 p.m.March 11 vs. Princeton (4-1), 6:00 p.m.March 12 - Bracket Play, TBAMarch 13 - Bracket Play, TBAAll games at Twin Creeks Sports Complex; Sunnyvale, CA
WHAT'S ON TAP: The No. 2 California softball team travels to the three-day, 12-team National Invitational Softball Tournament, hosted by San Jose State, March 11-13, in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Bears open Pool D play Friday against Santa Clara (10-10) at 4 p.m. and Princeton (4-1) at 6 p.m., before continuing the bracket portion of the tournament on Saturday and Sunday. All games are at the Twin Creeks Sports Complex.
WOODS DRIVES `EM HOME: through 19 games, catcher Haley Woods is well on her way to smashing the Cal single-season RBI mark of 57 she established last year. The junior plated 12 Bears during Cal's title run at the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Honolulu (March 3-6) to bring her 2005 RBI total to 27. At the tournament, Woods added a .435 average, four homers and a pair of doubles to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
LEADING OFF FOR CAL: With usual leadoff hitter Vicky Galindo out of the lineup due to injury, center fielder Kaleo Eldredge has done an admirable job in the third baseman's stead. The senior is batting .350 (7-for-20) with five RBIs and six runs as the Bears' new top-of-the-order threat.
SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Cal defeated Santa Clara (10-10) in a Feb. 23 doubleheader, 6-0, 6-0 ... freshman Jerrica Castagno leads the Broncos' pitching staff with a 4-3 record and a 2.82 ERA ... just one Bronco - senior third baseman Jessica Werner (.302) - is batting above .300 but junior outfielder Jessica Clee does have three homers and 16 RBIs ... SCU is coached by Jaime Forman-Lau (first season) ... Cal is 65-0 all-time against Santa Clara.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Princeton (4-1) began its season with a second-place finish at the East Carolina Pirate Clash, capturing the first four games of 2005 before falling to Elon, 5-1, March 6 ... junior righthander Erin Snyder leads the Tigers in pitching (2-0, 0.00 ERA) and hitting (.400, five RBIs) ... Princeton is coached by Maureen Barron (fifth season, 106-81-1) ... Cal won the lone meeting between the two schools, 1-0, last season.
THE NIST FIELD: The nine other institutions composing this week's tournament (with 2005 records in parenthesis) are Colorado State (10-7), Northern Iowa (4-3), Sacramento State (11-8), Arizona State (17-4), Rhode Island (1-2), Connecticut (1-4), Iowa (15-3) and UC Davis (3-18) ... three Cal pitchers combined to one-hit host school San Jose State, 6-0, in the Bears Feb. 5 season opener ... collectively, Cal is 154-59 all-time against the previously mentioned squads and has never faced Rhode Island.
WEEK IN REVIEW (2/28-3/6): The Bears outscored their opponents 51-4, including a pair of 3-2 and 7-0 victories against No. 7 Alabama, in sweeping the Malihini Kipa Aloha title ... joining Woods and Eldredge on the all-tournament team were junior pitcher Kristina Thorson, who went 3-0 with 24 strikeouts and allowed two earned runs, and left fielder Lindsay James, who batted 12-for-27 (.444) with seven runs.
A YEAR AGO: Woods had a monster tournament as Cal won the 2004 NIST. She homered in four out of five tournament games and batted .462 (6-for-13) with nine RBIs and six runs as Cal defeated No. 7 Washington, 5-4, in the championship game ... Thorson pitched a perfect game - the first and only no-hitter of her career - in Cal's 8-0 win against Virginia on March 12 ... Cal swept all five games, outscoring their opponents, 35-8.
BEARS ON THE BALLOT (3/7-3/13): Despite defeating No. 7 Alabama twice in successive days, the Bears remained No. 2 in the nation. Cal lost ground to No. 1 Arizona (15-0) in the USA Today/NFCA.org poll but collected a handful more votes this week in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. For complete results, log on to NFCA.org and USASoftball.com