No. 14 California Downs Saint Mary's 1-0
April 15, 2009
The No. 14 California Golden Bears (29-12, 5-4 Pac-10) earned a 1-0 victory over the Saint Mary's Gaels (18-22, 2-5 PCSC) Wednesday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field.
California had their first scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first when junior Valerie Arioto, who began the game as the Bears' first baseman, laced a lead off single. After stealing second, freshman Jamia Reed walked to give the Bears two on with no outs. Freshman Elia Reid drew a two out walk to load the bases. Junior Shannon Thomas drove a ball to right field, but it was caught by the Gaels' right fielder to end Cal's threat.
Arioto started another Bears' scoring opportunity in the fourth when she smacked a one-out double. An intentional pass to senior Gina Leomiti gave the Bears a pair on with two outs, but the Gaels got a ground out to short to keep the Bears off the scoreboard.
Thomas singled to left with one out in the fifth inning, taking advantage of a bad throw by the left fielder to advance to second. After a sharp lineout to the third baseman, head coach Diane Ninemire elected to let first-year Bear Sati Houston bat with a runner on second and two outs. Houston took advantage of the opportunity and singled to right, with Thomas racing home to put the Bears ahead 1-0. The hit by Houston was the first of her collegiate career and produced her first collegiate RBI.
The lone run was all the offense the Bears would need. In the circle, the Bears pitching staff completely shut down the Gaels hitters. Junior Marissa Drewrey started the game for the Bears, getting in three innings of work where she did not allow a hit, striking out four of the nine batters she faced. Arioto replaced her in the fourth inning. Arioto gave up just one hit while fanning 11 of the 15 batters she faced.
The Bears return to Pac-10 action on Friday, April 17 when they travel to Tempe to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils. They close out their trip to the Grand Canyon State with a Saturday night game against Arizona Wildcats with a final game against the Wildcats Sunday afternoon.