Cal Tangles with San Jose State; Competes at the ASU Kajikawa Tournament

Feb. 12, 2008

Berkeley -

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QuicklyThe California softball team will has a busy slate of games this week, beginning with a road contest at San Jose State on Wednesday, and a three-day tournament in Tempe, Arizona at the Kajikawa Tournament hosted by Arizona State, Feb. 15-17.

Recapping the Cathedral City ClassicCal finished last week's Cathedral City Classic (hosted by Oregon State in Palm Springs) with a 2-3 record ... Cal won its 12th straight season opener with its 12-3 victory over UC Riverside ... the 12 runs were the most for an opening day game since 2006 when the Bears tagged Oklahoma State for 14 runs ... sophomore pitcher Marissa Drewrey threw 28.2 innings in Palm Springs, recording 40 strikeouts with a 0.73 ERA ... Drewrey recorded a career-best 14 Ks in Cal's 5-1 win over Winthrop ... her previous high in strikeouts was six, set last season vs. Nevada on Mar. 17.

Hot batsCal has 39 hits through the first five games this season, six more than last season when the Bears had 33 hits thru five games ... senior Erika Racklin produced seven hits last weekend, and had multiple hits in three of Cal's five contests ... Racklin thus far has a .412 batting average with four runs and two stolen bases ... sophomore Vernae Sevilla had a career-best three hits at the dish in Cal's 12-3 win over UC Riverside on Feb. 8 ... Sevilla had eight multi-hit games last season as a freshman ... senior Katie Vickers also has seven hits through five games, including three multi-hit performances ... other 'hot' bats include Taylor Kelly (one hit in four of five games) and Bernice Masaniai (opened the season with a four-game hitting streak).

Standing tall in the circleMarissa Drewrey, the 6-3 product from Oakdale, CA, was quite impressive in Cal's opening weekend of play at the Cathedral City Classic. She recorded a career-best 14 strikeouts vs. Winthrop and had 13 strikeouts the following game vs. New Mexico State. This season (in Cal's first five games) Drewrey has 40 strikeouts in 28.2 innings pitched (with a 0.73 ERA) ... last season, Drewrey didn't record her 40th strikeout until Mar. 28 at Pacific (or 73.3 innings pitched).

How are the newcomers doing?Referenced by Graham Hays of ESPN.com as 'new faces poised to make instant impacts,' Valerie Arioto posted a .467 batting average to go along with two runs, a double, a triple and four RBI at the Cathedral City Classic last weekend. Although she struggled in the circle, Arioto's impact at the plate was key in Cal's 5-1 win over Winthrop (2/9). She went 2-for-3 with four RBI, including a bases-clearing triple in the second inning which gave Cal a 3-0 lead. Sanoe Kekahuna had a pretty productive Cal debut at the Cathedral City Classic. The freshman scored three runs and hit her first career home run against Winthrop.

Nine for NinemireIn her 21st season at the helm of the California softball program, Diane Ninemire is nine victories away from No. 900 in her career with the Golden Bears. Ninemire added victories 890 and 891 at the Cathedral City Classic last weekend.

Scouting San Jose StateThe Spartans have started the season 1-3 ... all three losses came against CS Bakersfield ... SJSU plays Sacramento State on Tuesday, before hosting Cal on Wednesday ... Ashley Wagner leads the Spartans with a .600 batting average, while Deanna Mauer has posted a 3.50 ERA in the circle ... Cal is 44-5 all-time vs. San Jose State ... the Bears defeated SJSU 9-1 last season in Berkeley.

Scouting the Kajikawa TournamentCal will be facing Nebraska, Temple, Western Michigan, Texas Tech and Notre Dame in the three-day tournament ... Nebraska, Western Michigan and Notre Dame have not played in 2008 yet ... in fact Cal is Nebraska's season-opening opponent ... the Bears faced the Huskers last season in Las Vegas and lost 5-2 ... Nebraska may feature as many as six new starters in the lineup at the same time this season, including five freshmen.Those newcomers are expected to include junior Amanda Duran, a first-year transfer from Pima (Ariz.) Community College, and freshman Ashley Guile, NU's most heralded recruits who have combined for a pair of first-team All-America honors each ...

Cal is 0-2 vs. Western Michigan all-time ... the last time Cal faced WMU was back in 1981 ... Western Michigan returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners in all. The Broncos return their best pitcher from 2007 as well as their best hitter. Senior pitcher Kyla Sullivan (Saugus, Calif./Saugus HS) returns after posting a 14-14 record in 2007 with a 2.13 ERA. The Second Team All-MAC performer finished fifth in the MAC in strikeouts (139) and fourth in innings pitched (183.2). Sullivan also finished the season with 21 complete games ...

Texas Tech is 0-4 to start the season (all four losses came at the UNLV Tournament last weekend) ... Cal is 2-0 all-time vs. the Red Raiders ... Tech returns three in the circle that saw significant time last season. Included in that group is sophomore Ashly Jacobs, who won 17 games and won three huge games as part of the Red Raiders' run through the Big 12 tournament. Senior Sarah Losleben has the most experience of the group and will be looked to for her experience and leadership. Junior Alex Watkins is a solid reliever that will be counted on significantly as well. The addition of talented freshman Tye Coats only helps to give Wilson a deep stable of hurlers for 2008 ...

Notre Dame, the 2007 Big East Tournament runner-up, finished with an overall record of 32-24 while posting 13 conference wins in 20 contests last season ... the Irish were fourth in the league's final 2007 regular-season standings. The Irish have claimed 10 league regular-season titles and five tournament trophies since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 1996, previously winning each in 2006. The squad returns a trio of all-league performers from the 2007 season, including senior Katie Laing and juniors Brittney Bargar and Beth Northway ... Cal defeated Notre Dame last season in Palm Springs ...

Cal has never faced Temple ... after reaching the postseason for the first time since 2004, optimism is high on North Broad Street that last season was just the beginning of a new era in Temple softball. Entering her third season at Temple, head coach Casey Dickson believes everything is in place to continue upon last season's success ... even with seven letterwinners returning, the Owls lost five starters and seven letterwinners from last year, including the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, Adrienne Repsher.

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