No. 3 Cal Travels to No. 13 UCLA, No. 22 Washington

April 27, 2005

BERKELEY -

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This Week:April 29 at No. 13 UCLA (24-11, 5-5) / ESPNULos Angeles, CA (Easton Stadium); 1:00 p.m.

April 30 at No. 22 Washington (24-15, 4-6)Seattle, WA (Husky Stadium); 2:00 p.m.

May 1 at No. 22 Washington (24-15, 4-6)Seattle, WA (Husky Stadium); 1:00 p.m.

WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 3 California's final roadtrip before postseason may be its most arduous to date in 2005. Cal plays at No. 13 UCLA April 29 before traveling up the Pacific Coast for two weekend games with No. 22 Washington (April 30-May 1). Friday's game against UCLA will be televised live on ESPNU and all in-game updates will be available via Gametracker at CalBears.com. The Bears defeated Washington at home, 4-3, on April 8 before splitting with UCLA (2-1, 1-2) at Levine Fricke Field, April 9-10.

THORSON COMES THROUGH: As the season progresses, what was a luxury for Cal of having two, quality starters, has become something of a necessity. Earlier in the season, it was junior Kristina Thorson (17-4, 1.11) who was saddled with a majority of Cal's losses while senior Kelly Anderson (21-4, 1.25) leaped out to a 20-1 record. With Anderson taking defeats in three of her last four appearances, however, Thorson has picked up the in-circle slack and never was that been more evident than the past weekend. Thorson no-hit No. 7 Stanford for four innings on April 22, but was removed in favor Anderson to begin the fifth inning. The Cardinal touched Anderson for six runs and Thorson, who reentered the game after a third of an inning, allowed two hits the remainder of the evening, keeping the Bears in a game they would eventually lose, 6-4. In a 1-0 victory against the Cardinal April 24, Thorson struck out seven, tossed five innings of no-hit ball from the first through sixth innings and scattered three hits. Along with sophomore Sarah Adams, the Bears' pitching staff leads the Pac-10 in opposing batting average (.156), wins (40) and innings pitched (322.1).

SPENCER STEPS UP: Moving from a familiar spot in the lineup to fill the void left by a top player might not always be the easiest transition - especially when the player being replaced was hitting .478. Shortstop Chelsea Spencer, however, has been more valuable to the Bears' offense since moving to the second spot in the batting order and replacing left fielder Lindsay James, out for the remainder of the season with a broken hand. Spencer, hitting .277, is batting .307 since April 9, when she moved from the No. 6 spot in the lineup. More recently, Spencer is hitting .333 in Cal's last seven games. The senior, who has started 258 consecutive games at shortstop dating back to her freshman season, has also been one of Cal's top hitters in the clutch. Of her 21 RBIs, eight have come with a runner on third and less than two outs. Spencer has also successfully advanced runners in 40 of 81 opportunities.

TRANSFER PRODUCTIVITY: She's appeared at third base, in right and left field and, most recently, as Cal's designated player. Despite all of the position changes, junior Emily Friedman has emerged as Cal's top newcomer and one of the Bears' timeliest and most productive hitters. Though Friedman, a junior transfer from Wisconsin, is hitting .290 for the season, she co-leads Cal in batting average with runners on base (.350) and her .300 mark with runners in scoring position is fourth among Cal regulars. She is also third behind center fielder Kaleo Eldredge and third baseman Vicky Galindo in advancing runners, having successfully moved players along the basepaths on 26 of 48 occasions (.542). Friedman's top moment as a Bear came April 9, when her two-out, bottom-of-the-seventh single to left field scored Spencer for a 2-1 victory against then-No. 12 UCLA.

JAMES UPDATE: A broken left hand is still expected to keep James out of the Cal lineup until at least the remainder of the regular season. James, hitting .478 when Washington pitcher Ashley Boek struck her with a first-inning pitch April 8, had been especially valuable in the clutch for Cal, batting .514 with runners on base versus .417 when the bases were empty. The left fielder should have enough at-bats to qualify for any season honors and is poised to become not only the program's top single-season hitter, but the Cal's first .400-plus batter since catcher Gillian Boxx hit .466 in 1995.

BEARS GET IT DONE WHEN IT COUNTS: Cal is 12-7 against teams ranked in the Top 25 of either national poll (ESPN.com/USA Softball, USA Today/NFCA) and has defeated some of the nation's top clubs in 2005. Aside from Cal's recent victory against No. 7 Stanford, the Bears have defeated No. 2 Arizona, No. 3 Texas, No. 5 Tennessee, No. 7 Alabama twice in two days, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 12 UCLA, No. 18 Arizona State, No. 20 Washington, No. 24 Iowa and No. 25 Oregon. (all rankings representative of date game was played).

A SILVER LINING: If there's such a thing as a quality loss, Cal can take solace in the fact that its eight defeats this season have all come to teams that have been ranked, at one point, in the Top 25 of either national poll. Losses to No. 2 Arizona (April 2) and No. 23 Northwestern (March 18) came on two-out, walk-off home runs. Defeats to No. 16 Texas A&M (Feb. 16), Arizona State (March 13), No. 12 UCLA (April 10) and No. 7 Stanford (April 23) were the only four games this season where Cal had failed to lead at some point in the contest. In the Bears' April 16 defeat at No. 10 Oregon State, Cal committed three errors that led to a five-run Beavers fifth inning and a 6-5 loss. On April 22, Cal allowed six runs in a third of an inning in falling to No. 7 Stanford, 6-4.

TRIO OF BEARS VIE FOR TOP HONOR: On April 6, Galindo, Anderson and James were named to a list of 25 finalists for USA Softball's 2005 Collegiate Player of the Year award. Galindo, a first team All-American, All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 selection in 2004, is hitting .372 this season with a team-leading 10 doubles and 17 steals. She's also been a catalyst at the top of the order for Cal with a .433 on-base percentage and has successfully reached base 49 percent of the time when leading off an inning or game. Anderson holds the best record among Cal's pitchers at 21-4 and has 1.25 ERA. James was hitting a team-leading .478 at the time of an injury that is expected to keep her out through the remainder of regular-season play. Cal, along with No. 3 Arizona and No. 5 Oklahoma, are the only programs to have three players named as finalists.

STEALING SUCCESS: The 2005 season is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for Cal on the base paths. With 87 team thefts this year, the Bears have a chance to break the program record of 104 stolen bases, set in 1979. As a team, Cal leads the Pac-10 with 87 swipes, 23 more than second-place Washington (64). Galindo leads Cal with 17 stolen bases while freshman speedster Erika Racklin has nabbed 15. Three other Bears have stolen at least nine bases apiece.

BEST OF THE BEST: With eight seniors and four, four-year starters, it's no surprise that a few Bears are chasing or have already set some Cal program records. A complete list of which current Bears rank among the program's historical elite is available by viewing the PDF version of this release.

SCOUTING THE NO. 13 BRUINS (24-11 overall, 5-5 Pac-10): After stumbling out of the Pac-10 gate at 0-3, UCLA has been the hot conference team of late, winning five of their last six contests, including 9-1 and 5-4 victories against then-No. 2 Arizona April 16-17 ... freshman pitcher Anjelica Selden, who no-hit Cal for six and two-thirds innings April 10, leads UCLA in the circle with a 16-6 record and the Pac-10 with a 0.62 ERA ... third baseman Andrea Duran paces the Bruins with a .377 average, 10 doubles, four triples, 67 total bases, a .632 slugging percentage and a .451 on-base percentage ... the Bruins split with Washington, defeating the Huskies, 4-3, on April 22 before falling 2-1 on April 23 ... UCLA and Washington wrap up their season series April 27 in Seattle (1 p.m.) ... UCLA holds a 67-16 all-time advantage over Cal ... the Bruins are coached by Sue Enquist (17th season, 821-157-1) ... for more information on UCLA softball, visit www.UCLABruins.com.

SCOUTING THE NO. 22 HUSKIES (24-15, 4-6): Equally impressive of late has been Washington, which has won five of its last six games, including two non-conference victories against Nevada ... catcher Kristen Rivera, the 2004 Pac-10 Player of the Year, leads the conference in slugging percentage (.988), on-base percentage (.644), walks (51) and the Washington lineup in homers (14), RBIs (39) and total bases (80) ... shortstop Ashley Charters is hitting .385 with a .766 slugging percentage and has stolen 29 bases ... outfielder Lauren Greer was named Pac-10 Player of the Week Tuesday after hitting .667 (8-for-12) with five runs, four RBIs and two home runs as Washington went 3-1 last week ... Cal is 26-22 all-time against Washington and has won 10 consecutive meetings ... Washington is coached by Heather Tarr (1st season, 24-15) ... for more information on Washington softball, visit www.GoHuskies.com.

TIME CHANGE: Cal's May 6 home date against No. 8 Oregon State was changed from a 3 p.m. first pitch to 1 p.m.

ETC: Cal leads the Pac-10 in hits (378), runs (262), at-bats (1,254), plate appearances (1,482) and putouts (966) ... the top four spots among Pac-10 plate appearance leaders all belong to Bear hitters: Eldredge (170), Woods (168), second baseman Jessica Pamanian (167) and Spencer (163) ... the Bears are 36-3 when leading after four innings and their only two losses when leading after five innings have come on walk-off homers by the opposition ... Cal is 24-0 when scoring five-plus runs.

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