California Releases 2010 Schedule
Oct. 5, 2009
BERKELEY - The California softball team announced its 2010 schedule, head coach Diane Ninemire announced recently. The Golden Bears are slated to play a total of 69 games, with a calendar that stretches from Feb. 12-May 15. Cal will play 37 teams, 12 of which advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, including NCAA champion Washington.
'I think we've got a very competitive schedule,' Ninemire said. 'In all of the tournaments that we're playing in prior to Pac-10 play, we're going against some really great opponents. I think this schedule will really test our abilities and definitely prepare us for the postseason.'
The Bears begin their season Feb. 12 with a five-game stint at the Arizona State Tournament in Tempe, Ariz. Three of Cal's opponents in that tournament - Texas A&M, Kentucky and Portland State - went to the NCAA Tournament, but lost in Regional play. From there, the Bears make their first of two trips in 2010 to Las Vegas for the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, which will be held from Feb. 19-21. Cal's stiffest competition will most likely be Northwestern and Georgia Tech, which both advanced to the Super Regionals.
Cal will participate in the Palm Springs Classic, which is always known to draw talented teams. Cal will face off against Fordham, San Diego State, Oklahoma State, Colorado State and Long Beach State from Feb. 26-28 in Palm Springs, Calif. The Bears' first home game is planned for March 3 against UC Davis at 2 p.m.
The Bears will spend March 5-7 in Las Vegas, marking their second trip, for the UNLV Tournament, where they will meet New Mexico State, Weber State, Portland State, Southern Utah and UNLV. Cal then returns to the Bay Area to host a tournament of its own from March 12-14. The Bears welcome East Carolina, Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis for a five-game tournament with Cal playing in three of those matches.
Cal will jet off to Honolulu for the Hawaii Spring Fling (March 17-18), where they will see the University of Tokyo, Lipscomb and Hawaii. The Bears return home to host Pacific on March 24, before spending three days at the UC Davis Tournament to play Sacramento State, UC Riverside, Saint Mary's and UC Davis.
The Bears open their Pacific-10 Conference line-up on April 1 with a three-game series at Stanford. Cal is set to travel to Oregon (April 9-11), Arizona State (April 16-18) and UCLA (May 5-9), but will take on defending national champion Washington (April 24-25), Arizona (April 30-May 2) and Oregon State (May 13-15) in the comfort of their own home at Levine-Fricke Field in Berkeley.
Without question, the Pac-10 Conference has dominated the softball field, winning 21 national championships in the sport since 1982. Washington took home the 2009 NCAA trophy, the program's first national title in the sport. Six teams, including California, earned NCAA bids - Washington, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State and Cal, with UCLA earned the automatic bid by winning the Pac-10 regular-season title. All six Pac-10 teams advanced to the Super Regionals with Arizona, Washington and Arizona State making it to Oklahoma City for the 2009 Women's College World Series.
Last year, Cal qualified for the postseason for the 24th consecutive season, the second-longest streak in the nation and the longest in the Pac-10. The Bears won their NCAA Regional at Florida State before falling at top-seeded Florida in the Super Regionals. Over the course of the year, the Bears broke team records for stolen bases (146) and home runs (55).