Thorson Pitches California into World Series
May 28, 2005
WACO, Texas - Junior Kristina Thorson tossed a one-hitter and the California softball team scored all of its runs in the first two innings as the Bears clinched their seventh consecutive Women's College World Series berth with 7-1 victory against host Baylor in the championship game of the Waco Super Regional Saturday at Getterman Stadium.
Cal (52-13) survived a marathon day in advancing to Oklahoma City, Okla. for next week's WCWS (June 2-8). Earlier in the day, Baylor defeated the Bears, 4-1, to force a third and decisive matchup in the best-of-three series. That game was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. but was pushed back to 2 p.m. then rolled to 7:30 p.m. because of day-long precipitation in central Texas.
Cal won the opening leg of the series, 8-0, on Friday. Baylor, which finished with a school-best 51-13 record, saw its season come to a close.
'This California team has a lot of heart and they played with a lot of intensity. I think these eight seniors that are on this team didn't want this to be their last night of playing softball,' California head coach Diane Ninemire said. 'We received a great pitching performance out of Kristina in (game three) and came up with some timely hits. I can't tell you how proud I am of this team and their effort.'
The Bears jumped on Baylor starter Cristin Vitek immediately as the first five Cal hitters of the game collected base hits. That stretch produced Cal's first two scores on a two-run double from center fielder Kaleo Eldredge that plated third baseman Vicky Galindo and left fielder Lindsay James.
Cal added five additional runs in the second and by the time Baylor's Lisa Ferguson entered the game with two outs in the inning, the Bears' offense had shredded through three pitchers.
Thorson, meanwhile, was untouchable. She threw four and one-third perfect innings before giving up a solo homer to Baylor third baseman Stephanie Pomes - the only hit she allowed. Thorson struck out 12, including the Baylor side in the third, and faced just one batter over the minimum.
Cal will be making its 10th overall trip to the WCWS and ninth in Ninemire's 18-year career. The Bears will face perennial Pac-10 rival UCLA - who has defeated Cal in each of the last two WCWS title games - in the opening round on June 2 at 2 p.m. PST.
Softball ResultNCAA Tournament Waco Super RegionalGame No. 3Getterman Stadium; Waco, TexasMay 28, 2005
15 Baylor 000 010 0 - 1 1 22 California 250 000 X - 7 9 0Vitek, Lynam (1), Jackson (2), Ferguson (2) and Huffhines;Thorson and WoodsW - Thorson (23-5); L - Vitek (13-6)HR - PomesRecords (Postseason): Cal 52-13 (6-2); BU 51-14 (4-1)Note:California advances to Women's College World SeriesBaylor is eliminated