Cal Travels to Santa Clara; Competes at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic

Feb. 19, 2008

Berkeley -

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The California softball team (6-5) will play a road contest at Santa Clara on Wednesday (3 p.m.), followed by a three-day tournament in San Luis Obispo at the Mustang Classic, hosted by Cal Poly, Feb. 22-24. Cal's exhibition home game against the Dutch National Team, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 19, was cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. All of the games at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic will be available on GameTracker via the Cal Poly website - www.gopoly.com. There is also a tournament central page listed on the softball page sidebar.

Recapping the Kajikawa Classic

Cal finished last weekend's Kajikawa Classic (hosted by Arizona State) with a 4-1 record, including victories over Nebraska, Temple, Western Michigan and Texas Tech ... Cal's only loss was a 4-3 defeat to Notre Dame on Sunday morning ... Bernice Masaniai and Sanoe Kekahuna both had outstanding games at the plate in Tempe ... Masaniai produced a .571 average for the tournament with seven runs, nine RBI and one home run ... meanwhile Kekahuna notched a .467 average with 12 RBI, three home runs (including a grand slam) and four runs scored ... Cal generated 40 runs in three days and now has 62 runs on the season.

Hot bats

Cal has 95 hits through 11 games this season, 28 more than last season when the Bears had 67 hits thru 11 games ... the Bears also have seven players (with a minimum of 10 plate appearances) hitting over .300 ... senior Katie Vickers leads the team with a .393 batting average, while senior Erika Racklin is right behind her with a .378 batting average ... freshman Sanoe Kekahuna leads the team with 17 RBI and five home runs ... Cal's RBI production is up as well -- the Bears have 59 RBI this season, 10 more than last year thru 11 games ... the timely hitting has led to a bundle of runs as well -- Cal has crossed home plate 62 times, two ahead of last year's pace thru 11 games.

Rarely caught stealing

Senior Erika Racklin has four stolen bases in five attempts this season and currently has 48 for her career (56 attempts). Racklin is three steals away from entering the Cal record books at No. 5 all-time (Lindsay James, 51, from 2003-06).

Standing tall in the circle

Marissa Drewrey, the 6-3 product from Oakdale, CA, has won four games in the circle this season with a 1.33 ERA and 56 strikeouts. Drewrey earned the win against Nebraska at the Kajikawa Classic on Feb. 15 when she allowed one run on one hit and six Ks in seven innings of work in Cal's 6-1 victory. She was impressive in Cal's opening weekend of play at the Cathedral City Classic when she recorded a career-best 14 strikeouts vs. Winthrop and had 13 strikeouts the following game vs. New Mexico State. She finished the tournament with 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).

Senior leadership

Before the start of the season, head coach Diane Ninemire was hoping to get plenty leadership from the seniors to guide the Bears this season. So far so good. Katie Vickers leads the team with a .393 batting average (11 hits on 28 plate appearances with a home run and six RBI) ... Erika Racklin has a .378 batting average with 11 runs and four stolen bases ... Julie Meyer has a .303 batting average and hit her first home run of the season against Texas Tech on Feb. 16.

How are the newcomers doing?

Referenced by Graham Hays of ESPN.com on his 'new faces poised to make instant impacts,' Valerie Arioto went 1-0 in the circle and tossed her first collegiate complete game, one-hit shutout against Western Michigan on Saturday (Feb. 16) at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. She also posted nine strikeouts against WMU. She tallied a .467 batting average to go along with two runs, a double, a triple and four RBI at the Cathedral City Classic (Feb. 8-10). 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. Arioto is hitting .343 this season and has a 3.23 ERA with 22 strikeouts in the circle. Freshman Sanoe Kekahuna has had a great start to her Cal career. She is hitting .364 with team-highs in RBI (17) and home runs (5). Kekahuna hit .467 at the Kajikawa Classic with 12 RBI and three home runs, including a grand slam against Texas Tech (she finished the game with seven RBI).

Five for Ninemire

In her 21st season at the helm of the California softball program, Diane Ninemire is five victories away from No. 900 in her career with the Golden Bears.

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