Bears Hold Off Hornets, 8-4
March 11, 2008
Berkeley - Shannon Houston's first career grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning helped the California softball team earn an 8-4 victory over the visiting Sacramento State Hornets on Tuesday from Levine-Fricke Field.
Cal (20-9) resumes action this weekend at the Capital Classic - hosted by Sacramento State - Mar. 14-16 at the Sacramento Softball Complex. The Bears have now won 12 of their last 14 games dating back to Feb. 23.
Freshman Valerie Arioto also contributed at the plate, going a perfect 3-for-3, including a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, and two runs. Erika Racklin, Gina Leomiti and Bernice Masaniai all had two hits as well.
Sophomore Brittany LaRosa improved her record to 5-3 in the circle after pitching six innings and recording six strikeouts.
Cal got off to a positive start with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Arioto, who reached on a walk to start the stanza, quickly advanced to second base on a Racklin single, before stealing third base. Leomiti then punched a double to the gap in center field to plate both Arioto and Racklin. After the Hornets made a pitching change, Katie Vickers, three batters later, knocked a single to right field to plate Leomiti, giving the Bears a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets jumped on the board in the top of the third inning when Whitney Loomis produced a single to right field to plate Amanda Meyer, trimming the deficit to 3-1. Sacramento State stranded two runners in the inning however.
Cal used the long ball to score its next five runs, courtesy of Arioto's solo home run in the fourth and Houston's slam in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead.
Sacramento State did not go quietly however in the top of the seventh, generating two quick runs with no outs on the board. With the bases loaded (and still no outs) Kayla Meeks grounded into a double play as Rachel Miles was tagged out by Houston, who then threw out the other base runner, Izmena Cabrera in the process. A run did score from third base on the sequence as well. LaRosa then struck out Teri Ann Caoagan to end the game.
The Bears now lead the all-time series with the Hornets, 44-10.