Golden Bears Travel to Honolulu for Bank of Hawai'i Invitational

March 18, 2008

Berkeley -

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QuicklyThe 25th-ranked California softball team (25-9) will take its season-high seven game winning streak to Honolulu for the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational, Mar. 19-22, hosted by the University of Hawai'i. With a revised tournament schedule, Cal will be playing eight games in four days, including games against nationally ranked Northwestern (No. 13) and Hawaii (No. 17). Live stats will be provided on CalBears.com and HawaiiAthletics.com on their softball page - click the live stats box on the right hand side of the softball page. Cal has won 17 of its last 19 games since Feb. 23.

Bear bitsSophomore pitcher Marissa Drewrey was selected as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week today after compiling a 4-0 record and a 0.72 ERA last weekend at the Capital Classic in Sacramento. This was her first career Pitcher of the Week honor. The 6-3 product from Oakdale returned from an injury that sidelined her a little over a week and threw two complete game shutouts against nationally ranked Ohio State and Oklahoma at the Capital Classic. Against No. 19 Ohio State on Saturday, Drewrey allowed seven hits (and just three after the second inning) to go along with 10 strikeouts in the 2-0 victory. The following game against No. 11 Oklahoma, she limited the Sooners to three hits over seven innings with three strikeouts. In the final day of the tournament on Sunday versus Nevada, Drewrey fanned a career-best 16 batters to help the Golden Bears to a 5-2 win over the Wolf Pack. She also picked up the win against Northern Colorado, allowing one run with nine strikeouts. For the season, Drewrey has compiled a 13-4 record with a 1.57 ERA with three shutouts and 150 strikeouts.

Thanks to those wins over Ohio State and Oklahoma at the Capital Classic, Cal made its debut in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 poll, at No. 25, this week as well. Cal has won a season-high seven straight games and 17 of its last 19 since Feb. 23.

About the Bank of Hawai'i InvitationalCalifornia competed last season in the Bank of Hawai'i Invitational and came away with a 4-2 record ... this season's tournament field includes - Hawai'i, Northwestern, St. Mary's and Colorado State ... No. 17/17 Hawaii is 21-8 heading into the tournament ... senior Kate Robinson, the reigning WAC Hitter of the Week, leads Hawaii with a .420 average, 11 home runs and 26 RBI ... senior Jessica Morton leads the Hawaii pitching staff with a 1.05 ERA and a 3-0 mark in 10 appearances ... the St. Mary's Gaels come into this week's tournament with a record of 10-10, but have won five straight games after a slow start ... the Gaels are led by senior OF/P Molly Bergeson who is hitting .367 with three triples on the season ... Northwestern enters the tournament with a 12-6 record on the season, having lost three straight at the Long Beach Invitational a couple of weeks ago ... junior shortstop Tammy Williams leads the Northwestern offense with a .509 batting average in 18 starts ... heading into the Bank of Hawaii Invitational, five Colorado State hitters boast batting averages of .300 or better, and three of those players have recorded at least a .400 average ... as a team, the Rams lead the Mountain West Conference with a .313 batting average.

Recapping the Capital ClassicCal won its third Capital Classic title in school history after going a perfect 5-0 - picking up wins against Princeton, Northern Colorado, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Nevada ... the Bears also defeated Sacramento State, 8-4, prior to the tournament to make it a 6-0 record for the week ... Sanoe Kekahuna paced the Golden Bear offense with a .474 batting average, including four doubles, a home run and nine RBI.

Hot batsCal has 282 hits (second in the Pac-10) through 34 games this season, 20 more than last season when the Bears had 262 hits through 34 games ... Cal entered the record books in 2007 with 470 hits - tenth-best all-time ... the Bears also have five players (with a minimum of 10 plate appearances) hitting .300 or better ... freshman Sanoe Kekahuna leads the team in batting average (.426), doubles (13), home runs (7), RBI (41) and total bases (77) ... Cal's RBI production is up from last season as well -- the Bears have accumulated 185 RBI (second in the Pac-10), 21 more than last year through 34 games ... Cal set a program record 278 RBI in 2007 ... the timely hitting has led to a bundle of runs as well -- Cal has crossed home plate 206 times, second-most in the Pac-10 and 13 ahead of last year's pace of 193 through 34 games ... Cal had a school-record 322 runs scored in 2007 as well.

The big kahunaTo say that Sanoe Kekahuna is playing well this season would be a severe understatement. The freshman product from Maui is producing at a blistering pace at the dish this season. Kekahuna ranks in the top 10 in several categories among the Pac-10 leaders - fifth in batting (.426), fifth in home runs (7), first in RBI (41), fifth in slugging percentage (.762), second in total bases (77) and first in doubles (13). Kekahuna also owns the league's longest hitting streak, which lasted 12 games from Feb. 10-Feb. 23. Kekahuna is already 17 RBI away from tying the school single-season record of 58 set by Haley Woods in 2005. Kekahuna could also potentially break into the top five single season hits record - Gillian Boxx had a school-record 90 hits in 1995, and break the single-season doubles record of 18 set by Vicky Galindo in 2004 and Candace Harper in 2002.

Local celebrityReferenced by Graham Hays of ESPN.com on his 'new faces poised to make instant impacts,' Valerie Arioto is one of the brightest young stars in the Pac-10 at the plate and in the circle .. the freshman product from Pleasanton notched her first career home run as a Golden Bear against Sacramento State on Mar. 11 ... she went 2-0 and collected a save at the NIST, Mar. 7-9 ... she produced a team-best .563 average with two doubles, a triple and eight runs at the Eller Media Stadium Classic (Feb. 29-Mar. 2) ... she hit .333 at the dish at the Mustang Classic, with six runs and five RBI .. she picked up her third win of the year after allowing an earned run on three hits in five innings of work with five strikeouts against UAB on Feb. 22 ... she tossed her first collegiate complete game, one-hit shutout (and nine strikeouts) against Western Michigan on Feb. 16 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. ... 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) ... her impact at the plate was key in Cal's 5-1 win over Winthrop (2/9), when 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 .370 this season, with 30 runs (fourth in the Pac-10), four triples (No. 1 in the Pac-10), 21 RBI and has a 1.88 ERA with 61 strikeouts in the circle.

Rarely caught stealingSenior Erika Racklin has 17 (third in the Pac-10) stolen bases in 19 attempts this season and currently has 61 for her career (70 attempts) - second all-time in program history (tied with Vicky Galindo). But Racklin isn't the only Cal Bear not getting caught stealing. Shannon Houston is a perfect 7-for-7, Gina Leomiti is 4-for-4 and Bernice Masaniai and Katie Vickers are both 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts.

Yard workSenior Julie Meyer entered the Cal record books on Sunday after she belted two home runs against Nevada at the Capital Classic, giving her five for the season and 24 for her career - fourth all-time in program history.

Grand salamiCal recorded grand slams in two straight games - Sacramento State on Mar. 11 (Shannon Houston in the bottom of the fourth inning) and Princeton on Mar. 14 (Sanoe Kekahuna in the bottom of the fourth inning). Both grand slams were career firsts for Houston and Kekahuna.

Multiple offendersTen Golden Bears have had multi-hit games this season, including freshmen Valerie Arioto and Sanoe Kekahuna, who have a team-best 11 multi-hit games. Arioto, Kekahuna and Bernice Masaniai have four three-hit performances this year as well ... Erika Racklin, who has 10 multi-hit games this year, had a season-high three hits against Western Kentucky on Mar. 2 ... Kekahuna is also a multiple offender, leading the team with 11 multiple RBI games this year ... In fact three Bears have had five or more RBI in a single game this season (Kekahuna, Masaniai and Julie Meyer).

Coming out swingingCal has outscored its opponents 65-17 in the first two innings of games played this season (31-11 in the first inning and 34-6 in the second inning) ... that scoring outburst has helped Cal to an 18-1 record when leading after two innings this season.

Standing tall in the circleMarissa Drewrey, the 6-3 product from Oakdale, CA, earned her first career Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor on Mar. 18 after compiling a 4-0 record and a 0.72 ERA at the Capital Classic in Sacramento (Mar. 14-16). Drewrey returned from an injury that sidelined her a little over a week and threw two complete game shutouts against nationally ranked Ohio State and Oklahoma at the Capital Classic. Against No. 19 Ohio State, she allowed seven hits (and just three after the second inning) to go along with 10 strikeouts in the 2-0 victory. The following game against No. 11 Oklahoma, she limited the Sooners to three hits over seven innings with three strikeouts. In the final day of the tournament on Sunday versus Nevada, Drewrey fanned a career-best 16 batters to help the Golden Bears to a 5-2 win over the Wolf Pack ... she won her 20th career game, allowing one earned run on three hits with five strikeouts against No. 15-ranked Hawaii (Mar. 1) ... she tossed a one-hitter against Santa Clara (Feb. 23), striking out nine of the 15 batters she faced ... she 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 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) ... for the season, Drewrey has compiled a 13-4 record with a 1.57 ERA (fifth in the Pac-10) and 150 strikeouts (third in the Pac-10), including five 10+ strikeout performances.

Pitching propsCal's pitching this season has been steady with a 2.06 ERA through 34 games as compared to its 3.46 ERA through 34 games last season. Strikeouts are way up as well, as the pitching staff has totaled 241 Ks this season - 84 more than last year's mark of 157 through 34 games.

Senior leadershipBefore 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 is hitting .309 this season with 12 RBI and a home run ... Erika Racklin has a .280 batting average with 32 runs (sixth in the Pac-10) and 17 stolen bases (third in the Pac-10) ... Julie Meyer is hitting .250 and hit two home runs against Nevada on Mar. 16.

How are the other newcomers doing?Carrie Arth has provided a nice spark for the Bears and has six starts to her credit ... she went 1-for-3 and hit her first career home run against Santa Clara on Feb. 23 and scored a run and had a double against Sacramento State on Feb. 24.

Savannah Hensley has appeared primarily as a pinch runner, but has produced when on the base pads ... she has eight runs and two RBI in 12 at bats this season ... she has also started five games.

900 for Ninemire21st year head coach Diane Ninemire reached another milestone in her storied California tenure with career win No. 900, after the Golden Bears defeated Long Beach State, 15-7 at the Eller Media Stadium Classic (hosted by UNLV) on Feb. 29. 'I'm very proud to have coached 21 years at Cal,' said Ninemire. 'The 900th win is very special and the team did it in style, putting up 15 runs against a quality opponent in Long Beach State. I'm extremely proud of my career at Cal. Every win has been sweet, but I'll remember this for a long time.' Ninemire has accumulated the second-most wins in Pac-10 history (914) and is the 11th softball coach in NCAA history to have 900 or more wins. The next winningest active coach in the Pac-10 is Stanford's John Rittman, who had 465 entering the 2008 season. Mississippi State's Jay Miller (slated at No. 12 all-time in NCAA wins) had 899 wins in 26 years through games played Feb. 29. Ninemire's 900+ wins in 21 years of service at Cal ranks her first among active coaches in their 21st year, well ahead of Tennessee's Ralph Weekly (15th all-time) and Texas Tech's Teresa Wilson (16th all-time).

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