Softball Upsets No. 2 California, 2-1

May 14, 2005

BERKELEY - First baseman Sharee Zaleski belted a two-run homer and Katie Burkhart held Cal to three hits as Arizona State (29-24, 4-17 Pac-10) earned a 2-1 victory Saturday at Levine-Fricke Field against No. 2 California (46-11, 13-7 Pac-10). The win also marked the final regular season game for head coach Linda Wells, who will be retiring after 16 seasons.

 

Cal did earn its first Pac-10 title since 1987, although the room at the top is a little crowded. The Bears, OSU and Stanford were relegated into a four-way, first-place tie with Arizona - the largest split of the title in Pac-10 history. Although all four teams are expected to qualify for the NCAA Tournament when bids are handed out Sunday, Oregon State, by way of the conference's tie-breaking rules, earns the automatic bid.

 

The Sun Devils received a fielder's choice from second baseman Jen McCard and, with two in the second, Zaleski's team-leading 11th homer of the year.

 

The Bears struck back an inning later on right fielder Alex Sutton's first homer of the year, a towering shot to right center.

 

Cal, which stranded five runners in scoring position, squandered numerous chances to either tie the game or take the lead:

 

In the fifth, a two-out sacrifice fly from third baseman Vicky Galindo advanced left fielder Kristen Bayless to third and Sutton to second. Shortstop Chelsea Spencer then flew out to end the inning.

 

An inning later, back-to-back groundouts advanced Erika Racklin, pinch running for catcher Haley Woods who led off the inning with a single, to third. First baseman Julie Meyer then popped out to Zaleski to end the threat.

 

Galindo struck out to end the game, leaving pinch runner Jessica Vernaglia on third.

Up next, ASU will now wait and see if they gain a bid into postseason play when 64-team field is announced on Sunday between 4:30-5:00 p.m.

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